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Introducing - Richard Hart


#1

Richard Hart
Jewelers Gallery
Denver,CO. USA

Graduate Gemologist in Residence. Artist, goldsmith, fabricator,
caster repairs, lapidary; faceting and cabs. Retailer.
Obsessive-compulsive. Own my own store, in my 13th year.

In my 20’s I started making silver rings and pendants with a hand
held propane plumbers torch from a hardware store.

I only did one turquoise ring.

I did silversmithing as a hobby for about 6 years, basically self
taught

Then I had an opportunity to attend G.I.A. when it was in Santa
Monica in 1977. I had a trust fund and I could not get the money, but
I could go to school and it covered tuition and living expenses. I
piggybacked my G.I. bill and was doing quite well financially for
those days.I lived about a mile from the school and rode a bike to
school. I took a faceting class and hand engraving class after the
Gemology course.

Had a store in Ventura, Cal. for 5 years. It was a learning
experience.

I lost my ***. My half, $15,000 from selling fixtures and goodwill
went to paying off my wife’s parents for a loan. Broke, I moved to
Denver and lived with my sister for a year, recouporating from my
loss and burned out from a failed business and my wife dying from
cancer. She was 38 years old. My wife stayed in L.A. living with
her sister, going through three chemo treatments, as the first two
did not work. The third one worked and she has been in remission for
over 18 years.

I had been paying $2,500 a month in Calif. for 1400 sq. ft. I found
a retail spot in Denver when I was not even considering opening
store. Rented it. The rent was $650 for 1700 sq. ft. in a quaint
location. I had no savings, and no income, and I borrowed $ 1000 from
my wife who was on S.S. while going through chemo in Calif. before
she joined me in Denver, chemo having worked. After 6 months in
business, I thought either I had faith or I was crazy to attempt what
I was doing. That was after I had called E.M.T for an anxiety attack,
having worked 14 hour days, no days off for months.

I then realized I had been given an opportunity to caretake something
that was given to me, not of my creation, and things went a lot
easier.

I have just started, after 13 years, to reap the benefit of high
quality custom, repair, and service, service, service.

I take as much time with every customer as they need to feel
comfortable. I treat every person who comes through the door as if
they are a friend whom I have not seen in a while. I treat my
customers as if I am appreciative for the fact that they pay me my
paycheck, because they do.

I got the best compliment last Friday. Talking with a customer I had
done work for, designing a ring with her, she said, “You are a
jeweler that is a jewelry designer’s dream come true.”

Oh, yeah!

I have had a burning desire, patience and persistence. And I have a
wife who is as committed as I am, who loves gems,minerals, fossils,
and jewelry as much as I do. She has created a retail shopping
paradise for women. She sets the stage and creates an environment for
me to do what I do. And our store is kinda funky, but our customers
do not seem to mind. I guess it is “charming” in some way. It is not
dirty, it is mismatched cases, worn carpet, scratched glass on the
case tops. We will never have an article about our store being “the
coolest” in a jewelry magazine. We do have better cases lined up and
we’ll have a new carpet this year before Christmas.

I just turned 58 on the 8th of June and I am having the best time of
my life.

Richard in Denver


#2

Hello Richard;

That is a touching story which I think bespeaks of your
perserverance and character. I wish the best for you.

David L. Huffman


#3

Hi Richard,

Thanks for sharing your personal story. I admire your persistence
and faith, and am so glad your wife has been cancer-free for so
long! My best to you and her for a long and happy life together!

Judy in Kansas


#4

I loved reading your introduction… thank you for sharing such
personal and private experiences. My mother is in the first few
treatments of chemo, so I can understand a little of what you went
through. Hearing your story of persistance inspires me to keep
going. I have been in the industry for 13 years and am now home with
2 young children. I am trying to start my own business as a
manufacturer of fine art jewelry. Beginning stages! Doing some art
fairs and home parties to make ends meet. It’s very frustrating… I
am a fine jeweler- custom stuff and repairs- but I do not wish to
have my own shop. Many years of children ahead and you know how
consuming a retail shop is! So wish me luck and I will keep you and
your wife in my prayers. Take care and have a great week.

Stephanie Swanson


#5

The race does not always go to the swift and you are proving that.
Congratulations to both you and your wife for staying the course.

marilyn smith