I was invited to my first Premier Designs party in 1996. I was a Lt. Colonel in the US Air Force and was very busy with my career as officer and perinatal nurse, family (wife, mother of 5 teenagers and 2 dogs), and volunteering. I fell in love with the jewelry and held multiple parties every year. When we moved to California, Kim Gibson, now my Premier mom, became my Jewelry Lady. We went to the same church and our husbands liked to hunt and golf together. In 2005, I was coming to the end of my career in the Air Force. I had been contacted for some very lucrative nursing positions around the country. My nursing career had taken me around the world lecturing. I was a prolific writer and editor of medical-related books and articles, and shared a thriving nursing business with a fellow nurse.
However, my husband and I felt God leading us to Alaska. We decided that once there I would continue my nursing business, work at a local hospital, and I would be a Premier Jewelry Lady. I called Kim to tell her I wanted to become a Jeweler—we had never discussed this at all. When I told her there was complete silence on the other end—I believe Kim was in shock! In four short months I had sponsored four new Jewelers.
I retired from the Air Force in August 2006 after 27½ years and we moved to Alaska. I was so excited; I was going to be awesome! Boy was I wrong. For the next three years I did a mere 14 Jewelry Shows. I wanted to quit. I couldn’t understand how I could be so successful in everything I had done up to this point in my life, but not Premier.
I never stopped going to Rally, because it always inspired me, and at Rally I discovered creative ways to do shows such as Sweats & Stones and Jeans & Jewelry. That helped me do more shows in the following months than in the previous three years combined. I came home from the 2010 Rally pumped to push my business to another level. Then a week after Rally, our youngest son, Kyle, was killed in a work accident—three weeks before his 28th birthday. My world fell apart, despite the fact that I knew I would see him again one day in heaven. I managed to plow through the next six months, barely remembering anything but heartache. I suffered another setback when my hip surgery of 2009 failed and my “new” hip broke. For the next several years it seemed for every step I made forward, I fell two steps back. I quit my hospital job but kept my personal nursing business because I was making more money with nursing than Premier at that time.
I headed to yet another Rally with mixed feelings of failure and hope, and there in the parking garage across from the Convention Center, I broke down and cried to God to please help me. I knew He wanted me to do Premier but I was afraid to give up nursing, which had brought me money and success for over half of my life. I realized that I had been too caught up in the “money” part and not the “enriching lives” part. So, in August 2012, after 35 years, I walked away from nursing completely. If I was going to do what God wanted me to do, I needed to do it 100%. I started praying before each show, not for God to make it a profitable show, but to take me out of my comfort zone and to touch someone at the show, no matter how little. He did not disappoint!
Now my vision is to share Premier with everyone… I let God do the rest because He is better at it than me. He has allowed me to achieve things I never dreamed possible – like #1 in the nation for retail last March! I could not have done it without God or the love, support and encouragement from my husband, family, Premier family, my customers and Hostesses. My Premier mom, Kim Gibson, and Premier Glamma, Sherree Sevar, never gave up on me, even when I wanted to give up on myself.
“So don’t give up—no matter what! Let God work in you.
He did—and does—in me!”
Keiko is a Designer who has loved Premier Designs jewelry since 1996 and has been a Jeweler since August 2005.