Recently, our family took an adventure out East. We traveled to a dude ranch in Milford, Pennsylvania for three days where we rode horses, saw a rodeo, and shot clay pigeons. After that, we continued on toward New York City. We saw a few shows on Broadway and had some of the best tasting meals of our lives. Also, we took a day in New York to do some business and are excited to show the elegant pieces we bought. After staying there a few nights we drove to the beautiful city of Boston, Massachusetts. We spent a lot of our time in Quincy Market, and had our fair share of clam "chowda" and Lobster. Believe it or not, Boston turned out to be a great place to do business as well. Mark bought some beautiful specimens of stones and plans to make them into gorgeous pieces of jewelry very soon.
Our family had a great time and a lovely dinner at another Warren Central grad's
new restaurant last night. Rick Fonseca is a fellow East-sider and one of our
personal friends. He just took ownership of Casler's Kitchen and Bar in the
Geist area. It was refreshing to find someplace with a family atmosphere and
sophisticated food. (Usually you have to sacrifice one for the other). The
peanut butter brownie was a hit with our whole family! We feel blessed to have
made it through this rough patch of the economy and I am so happy to see
friends and community members who are making it work as well. I'm happy to say
I think things are looking up. For a good night out with the family try
Casler's 11501 Geist Pavilion Drive, Fishers.
As many of you know (and as my latest blog post shows), the family recently returned home from New York. While we were there, Mark did some research on our suppliers based in the city, and we made a few visits. We recently got a renewed interest in one of our suppliers with whom we’ve kept in contact for years, but haven’t done much business with lately.
They are in the forefront of a new movement that I hope will take hold: The Fair Trade and Green movement. As part of our responsibility to you, we are researching more companies like this. They use only 100% recycled metals from earth-friendly refineries, avoiding pollution and destruction of local lands.
They are also concerned with human rights—employing only United States workers. If we can keep business within the country, we know that the workers are protected by labor laws and that they can work in a safe, clean environment.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, they use completely conflict free diamonds. This has always been an issue close to our hearts; no jewelry is worth someone’s life.
In truth, the jeweler industry has been doing a lot to clean up its act in recent decades. Nearly 25 years before the label ‘conflict diamond’ ever came out, we were working on ways to ensure that war and conflict would never again have a role in our business. There are numerous precautions and checkpoints that we practice every day in order to ensure that everything in our store comes from reputable sources.
Every diamond supplier we buy from comes to have a personal relationship with us before we consider using their stones.
Back home again from another whirlwind vacation with the family. Its always been my philosophy to see as much as a city has to offer while you're there. A friend told me that New York City would be a one or two day trip at most, but we spent 5 non-stop days of sight seeing.
Despite my 14 year old sister’s and my own best teenage effort, this year’s family vacation was actually an enjoyable one. We found ourselves in Nashville, Tennessee for the week. This is the music capital of the world, but did we visit any honky-tonks? No! Instead, we accompanied Mom and Dad on a buying trip to American Pearl Company. Because we were pretty sure that neither Keith Urban nor Taylor Swift had recently done a song at the pearl shop, Molly and I were less than enthused about the day’s visit.
We arrived at the front door to the American Pearl Company and were greeted by a friendly little dog. (This was a vacation day and everyone in the office could be relaxed.) Ok, so playing with the dog gave us a hopeful option as to how to spend the meeting time.
Next, the manager came to the door and welcomed the whole family into her office. As we sat down at the table, the afternoon suddenly seemed to be looking up; all around me were display boards covered with trendy pearl earrings, brightly colored pearl bracelets, and my favorite piece a pearl choker with a rainbow of colors. The staff was more than accommodating, inviting Molly and I to get up and look around and even try on our favorite pieces. Doing business with Mom and Dad was getting more interesting by the minute.
As Molly and I browsed, we overherd the sales lady giving a brief history of the company. She said that American Pearl Company was all started by one man and is still run by his daughter. Today, they are the only pearl manufacturers in America. That seems like an impressive statement, considering the vastness of the American population and commerce. She went on to say that even the expert Japanese pearl growers are buying their shell nuclei from American Pearl Company, and they’ve been relying on the US for years. That’s right, down home Tennessee is the birthplace of the majority of all cultured pearls in the world. If that’s not a cool statement on American made goods, I don’t know what is.
The pearls start as shell nucleus that is harvested right there in Tennessee, and then American Pearl keeps some of the nuclei and sells the rest to other pearl farmers, planting their own pearl seedlings. The ones who stay in Tennessee are implanted into hand picked oysters from the Tennessee and Mississippi rivers. Once filled with the nucleus, an oyster will grow in the pearl farm for three to five years, until the pearl is of a desired size and durability. After the long wait, farmers harvest the pearls and send them to the designers who in turn make beautiful pieces of jewelry.
The result of all of this down home farming and waiting is a beautiful array of colors, shapes and sizes of pearls that create classic white strands or trendy colored earrings. Who knew following Mom and Dad on a business meeting could yield such good eye candy? Dad picked out some great pieces for the store and Molly and I put in our two cents as well.
And no worries, Mom and Dad did take us to the Grand Ole Opry while in town. Molly and I got our fix for musician heartthrobs this summer, and more importantly, learned that Mom and Dad really can be a good time.
Daughter of Mark and Rebekah Lewis