I started out in 1995 selling jewelry working nights and weekends in a fancy jewelry store in Iowa to help my hubby get through chiropractic school. We moved to Colorado in 1997. I was a morning kindergarten teacher and started Tender Loving Carats by selling jewelry in the teacher’s lounges during lunch. I bought pieces from the merchandise mart and ordered as needed from catalogs while carrying only 2 jewelry lines. In fact, after providing proof of industry invoices and tax registration, Stuller was one of the first companies to accept and include me. I will always be grateful to them for that. I’ve attended a couple of their seminars and they treat you like royalty. Going there is like access to the Willy Wonka golden ticket of the jewelry world. They are there to help us all, just ask.
It took years to grow my name and clientele. It was hard to persuade companies and designers to let me carry their lines without a storefront. During the first 19 years in business, I wasn’t as efficient, so I worked 10-12 hours, 6 days a week but didn’t have the overhead of staff. I also didn’t a storefront, and inventory, which helped me to sell at a slightly lower rate to save my clients money.
Specializing in engagements and upgrades with no pressure selling, I still order as needed with very little inventory. TLC has its own jewelers, carvers, designers, watchmakers, and refiners.
To get clients, I created a referral only business comprised of friends, neighbors, farmers, realtors, flight attendants, charities, Alaskan oil riggers, patients, teachers, police, firefighters, nurses, doctors, newscasters, NFL coaches and their wives. Now 80% of my business comes from out of state, thanks to my amazing clients who have sent their friends, families, and coworkers.
I can work from anywhere using my phone through text, email, FaceTime, Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram Monday-Wednesdays 10-5:00 or less. We travel a lot and I live up in the mountains half the year with an assistant in Denver to help a couple hours a day. I don’t ever want to retire, & LOVE what I do.
JHJ is amazing because I finally feel like I have support and a family in the jewelry world. It helps me when I need advice, deals, and new vendors. Aleah is a true gem and I’m amazed at her huge heart and generosity for creating a place for all of us to grow & work as a team.
I’d be honored to help other members work from anywhere, reinvent and create their dream business, learn to love working again, have a work/life balance, get out of debt, lower their overhead, thrive with a smaller inventory, and play more while working less.
Tender Loving Carats
International Diamond & Jewelry Broker
16748 E. Smoky Hill Rd. Suite 285
Centennial, CO 80015
monday-wednesday 10:00 to 5:00
Linkedin: Kelly Grady