Integrity, Innovation, and Craftsmanship

A kiss on the hand may be quite continental, but diamonds are a girl’s best friend…

If the lyrics to the famous song is true, it might also be said that the jewelry designer is a man’s best friend! Every woman wants to be pampered and made to feel special. A ring, necklace, or earrings are always special but what’s even more so is the love that went into them.

Until recently, guys looking for the perfect gift for the special woman in their lives had to make a long trek into the busy streets of the city to find just that perfect piece of jewelry.

Not anymore. I was delighted to see Elbert County’s own jewelry store open in Elizabeth—Tim Brown Jewelers in the Safeway complex. The store’s owners, Tim and his wife Renee, are no strangers to the area—they called Franktown home seven years before moving to Elizabeth, and leapt at the opportunity to fulfill their dream of owning a local business. Tim says, “We’ve wanted to open a store for many years and saw a need. People from Elbert County had to drive all the way to Parker, Castle Rock, or Denver for jewelry or repair. We saw a chance to work within the community we live in and thought it was a great opportunity.”

Life in a small community is a big deal to the Browns, who devote their spare time to organic gardening, raising chickens, visiting their five kids and one grandchild, and participating in local church events. But as much as they love their hobbies, they love their business more—beneath Tim’s gentle smile beats the heart of a true artist. He started in high school with a jewelry making class, and in the thirty-eight years since has become a master goldsmith and jewelry-maker, capable of repairing or creating anything anyone might need. Renee squeezes his hand and says, “Tim is a goldsmith, a very fine hand engraver, and an expert jewelry repairman. All the jewelry repair and custom design work is done here on the premises because Tim’s skill level is so much higher than most jewelers.”

One of his many passions is engraving. His face lights up as he talks about it. “I took an engraving course about twelve years ago and fell in love with that art form. I’ve been working at it, taking classes on it, even specialized with one-on-one training with a world-renowned hand engraver in Illinois. I really enjoy it. It’s different than fabricating or carving waxes or just making jewelry, but it’s definitely an art. It’s very satisfying and fun and there’s so many different styles that you can do… western and European, etc.”

For the Browns, fulfilling the high expectations of their customers is the top priority. Neither of them is a stranger to the business. Renee worked for Judith Ripka, a famous jewelry designer from New York, for 10 years. She was Ms. Ripka’s national training director, and opened up her retail stores. She’s taken that training and put it to use for Tim. Renee smiles and says, “The customer starts with me. I tell them about the process and as we go through what is involved in the making of a piece of jewelry, I pick up on what they want. Then we talk with Tim. He draws a three dimensional, freehand design so they can visualize what he can do for them. When they are pleased with the design, he takes it on to the finished product.”

The result is that Tim can custom-design just about anything, and even replace a lost heirloom, if you have a picture of it. He starts the process with a sketch, drawing, or a picture of something the customer has lost or wants. Tim then takes it and carves a wax mold to look exactly like what the customer wants. He presses that into plaster of Paris material and the wax melts out. He finishes the process by casting into the void and adding the finishing adornments or final touches.

When asked what she thinks the most important thing is in the jewelry business, Renee answers, “Trust. We realize it’s a trust business and we strive to have the trust of our customers. When they bring a piece in for repair, we have their jewelry and we want to make sure they feel comfortable and satisfied with the end results. We strive for excellent customer service and we really want to be one of the finest jewelers in Colorado. Our tagline is ‘Integrity, Innovation, and Craftsmanship.’ We strive for that. Integrity in this community is very important to us.”

Sounds good to me! In addition to the ability to make fine pieces for your loved ones, they also offer an assortment of ready-made but unique pieces. There’s no need to go anyplace else this Christmas for that special gift, or any other time for that matter.