Attention to detail, excellent customer service and a wide selection in a family-owned business are the hallmarks of Baker's Jewelry.
By Marsha Salley
There are few objects that we attach a high emotional significance to the way we do with jewelry. An engaged woman generally gets a diamond. Marrying couples exchange rings. A graduation or birth of a child, an anniversary - all are special days frequently marked by giving pieces of jewelry.
Patti and Joe Baker are very aware of jewelry’s emotional impact.
As owners of Baker’s Jewelry in Kingsport, they have been helping people select those special pieces since they opened their doors in 1989. Both Kingsport natives, Joe had experience in retail jewelry and, when he and Patti wanted more flexibility in their professional lives, opening a jewelry store seemed like a logical choice. Joe brought retail experience, while Patti says simply, "I appreciate beautiful pieces - the artistry involved in jewelry making, as well as the emotional representation."
In terms of the artistry, Baker's Jewelry has a reputation for having a wide array of distinctive styles. For instance, the Southern Gates Collection is a line inspired, as the name implies, by the ironwork of Southern plantations. Delicately-crafted sterling silver patterns that mimic iron gates are featured in rings, earrings, bracelets and necklaces. They manage to be both modern and romantic at the same time.
Another new line for Baker's, called Chamilia, also sterling, takes the traditional charm bracelet in a new direction with Italian Murano glass and gold accents. Chamilia also offers Disney charms on their bracelets and necklaces. "It’s a very youthful look and is very popular for gifts," Patti says.
Of course, one of the mainstays of their business at Baker's Jewelry is engagement rings.
"Our Romance Collection of diamond engagement rings features 14- or 18-carat gold rings that are high quality and built to last a lifetime. The stone sizes range from ¼ to 3 carats to suit every price range," Patti says. While colored gemstones are gaining in popularity, diamonds are still the most desired stone whether for engagement or other jewelry. The four c’s of a diamond (cut, color, clarity and carat) together determine its value, Patti explains.
A qualified jeweler, and one with integrity, can guide customers to find the best value for their budget. Patti stresses the importance of having integrity in this business.
"We have a loyal customer base because they know they can come to us with confidence. When someone brings in a diamond to be appraised or repaired, we plot the diamonds on a diagram and we mark the stone so you can be sure the diamond you get back is your diamond." They also do all their own repair and cleaning in the store. "We employ three jewelers and a watchmaker on site," she said.
It’s no secret that the value of gold and silver has increased in the last several years. This has opened a new market for other precious metals like tungsten and titanium. More durable than silver or gold, but less expensive than gold, these metals are popular choices for watches and men’s rings. In addition, higher gold and silver prices have opened a market for those interested in selling old pieces. Patti says her store pays the highest prices for gold and silver. "It’s a good time to sell coins, old class rings, broken chains and things you just don’t want any longer," she says. And unlike many jewelry stores, Baker's Jewelry will consider old jewelry as a trade-in if you want to purchase something or redesign an old piece.
Attention to detail, excellent customer service and a wide selection of merchandise in a family-owned business are the hallmarks of Baker’s Jewelry.
"We want to be the No. 1 jewelry store in the region. Our customers come back again and again... I really strive to know the name of every customer who comes through that door so, when they come in, I have a relationship with them and I can help them pick the perfect piece," Patti says.
Baker's Jewelry is located at 1127 N. Eastman Road and 4209 Ft. Henry Drive. Store hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday; and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday. For regular updates and special deals, visit the Baker's Jewelry Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BakersJewelry.comments powered by Disqus