We Are Premier – Gretchen Julius

Our interview with the talented Gretchen Julius, Design Director for Premier Manufacturing.

gretchenHow did you get into this field? Have you always wanted to design jewelry or did you stumble into it?

Ever since I was little, I’ve always collected sparkly things. Growing up in a family that appreciated works of art, my mother and I constantly painted and composed mini architectural projects. I was constantly creating and immersed in the art of craft. In my early teens I took my first jewelry class at the Toledo Museum of Art and fell madly in love with the idea of putting small works of art together.  Not long after, I began working in my father’s orthodontic lab where I mastered the use of small tools, casting and polishing.  After that, I was hooked. I wanted an art degree. By the time I enrolled at The Rhode Island School of Design, I had already experimented with ceramics, glass blowing, architecture and furniture, and decided to set my sites on jewelry and light metals.

You used to work at Liz Claiborne; have you always been in fashion jewelry?

Liz Claiborne was actually my first introduction to the fashion jewelry industry.  Before that, I had worked only in fine jewelry.  And although I’ll always appreciate real diamonds, I’ve fallen for faux diamonds too.  I want every girl to feel special and believe you don’t need to spend a fortune to look amazing.  This is one of the many reasons I love Premier Designs.

You travel to Asia annually. What do you do there and how long are you gone?

Asia has a large presence in jewelry development and manufacturing.  For me, a typical trip is about two weeks, but with all the various travel locations and vendor meetings, it often feels much longer!  Premier has a committed partnership with the manufacturers and we communicate daily.  By traveling to Asia, I’m able to meet with contacts face to face, grow our friendships and keep it personal.

Where does your inspiration come from?  Do you go to Asia with a plan, or is it more fly by the seat of your pants?

I am a girl with a plan! Before I leave, our Design Team at Premier Manufacturing puts together a wish list.  We brainstorm as a team, researching trends via blogs, fashion magazines, trade magazines, found treasures, etc.  Then, I’ll compile a list of all the new beads, colors, materials and ideas I want to see when I’m there.  Before my departure my binder is packed with images, trends, and colors.  This is very helpful when I’m at the market shopping beads or working with our partners on new development concepts.

BUT… I’m always looking for new ideas.  So while I may leave the country with a full agenda, I always keep an open mind and am ready to explore and think creatively.

Do you bring anything back?

Definitely!  After every trip, I bring home new treasures for our design teams to transform into one-of-a-kind pieces.  We then source the markets and work with our vendors on new concepts and techniques.  Our focus is to keep Premier ahead of the trends and our Jewelers equipped with fabulous pieces you won’t find anywhere else.

Can you give us a sneak peek at the Spring Collection?

COLOR!  LAYERING!  DETAIL!  VERSATILITY!  Premier Designs is setting trends; we have styles for everyone and every budget.  Each piece in this new collection is thought out – down to the smallest detail.  The Spring Collection fully embraces a mix and match vibe, plus you’ll find amazing new pieces to coordinate with the favorites you already own.  Anyone who knows me, will tell you, I LOVE versatility, and believe a great piece should offer more than one look.  With the amount of versatility in our designs, you’re guaranteed more bang for your buck.  You absolutely can’t go wrong – we’ve designed this collection to make sure you’ll get more.  So, go for it!  This will definitely be the season to accessorize!

What makes Premier Designs different than other jewelry?

We design with our Premier Jewelers and their customers in mind.  We want to serve them with the very best product.  As a company, we care deeply about the details and how each piece will best represent the Premier Designs Family.  We’re blessed to get feedback straight from our Jewelers.  We review and discuss every comment.  Having one-on-one feedback with the Jeweler helps us to continuously improve our jewelry lines and stay flexible to foster the growing markets.  This interaction makes us different from most design houses.

As I’ve mentioned before, we take great pride in creating extra details and versatility for our jewelry.  Versatility means more options.  And we offer fantastic designs that bring functionality and style.  I haven’t seen any brand with designs that do so much!  Versatility is key!

How do you feel about your chosen career path?  What advice would you give someone who is interested in designing or selling jewelry?

I am a driven designer and have been blessed to work with some of the best jewelry professionals in the field.  I’m also blessed to be able to do what I love every day!

My advice: Don’t be afraid to give your dreams a try.  It may not always be easy, but with hope, faith and strong work ethics you can do anything!

We are Premier ~ Beverly Terrell

What am I doing here writing this blog entry?  Simple, Premier suggested I share one of my stories from 27 years of doing Premier Jewelry Shows and that I share it via “blog.”  Never having written a blog entry before, I had to ask, “how do I do that?”  Needless to say, after conquering Facebook, this is a new mountain to climb and definitely a “major first” for me!

During my first fall as a Premier Jewelry Lady, one of my first Hostesses was a cute, young, single-mother.  Before her Home Show that evening, she would need to drop her two preschool aged children off at their grandmother’s house.  She was worried that she wouldn’t have time between work and her Home Show to “tidy up” her living room and kitchen, so I had promised to arrive one hour early to help.

bev“Just leave the porch light on and the front door unlocked,” I’d said.

When I arrived and rang the doorbell, I was surprised to hear a voice inside yelling, “Come on in and make yourself at home!”

My husband Jack (he always carried the jewelry in and out for my shows) and I walked in to the MESSIEST HOUSE I had ever seen in my life!!  Clothes were scattered everywhere! The kitchen table was still dirty from breakfast – Cheerios and milk, and so forth.  We literally could not see the tops of the kitchen counters for all the pots, pans, and dishes stacked there and in the sink. The dishwasher was already loaded with DIRTY dishes, so I just started clearing the countertops and stuffing the dirty dishes in the refrigerator in order to get them out of sight.

The voice from the back of the house yelled, “Help yourself to the Cokes in the refrigerator.”

And I quietly muttered, “There’s a lot more than Cokes in your refrigerator tonight.”

Most of the scattered clothes ended up under the sofa cushions, and the rest were desperately thrown into the hall closet.  When the living room, dinette, and kitchen were spotless, Jack and I were breathless and exhausted!

I yelled to the voice from the back of the house, “Is the dinette table where you want me to put the jewelry?”

Silence …JACC

A few moments later, walking towards me from the back of the house, I saw a woman I had never seen in my entire life!!  I can only picture how we looked; a man and woman whom she didn’t know, in her house … her now radiantly CLEAN house!

Jack asked me, “Is she your Hostess?”

“I’ve never seen that woman in my entire life.”

After collecting ourselves, we discovered that she was expecting a woman from Sears to come and measure her windows for new drapes and that my real Hostess lived directly across the street!

We raced across the street to the REAL Hostess’ home where she had already straightened up and was wondering what on earth had happened to me.  We hugged, Jack disappeared (shaking his head and chuckling over this woman he’d married), and I explained to my real Hostess that her neighbor had also left her porch light on and her front door unlocked for the Sears woman for drapes.

My Hostess said, “That woman doesn’t need drapes; she needs a housekeeper.”

Grinning, I quickly answered, “NOT TONIGHT!”

And so, I will forever be known as “the Jeweler who cleaned the wrong house!”

gr

   Beverly Terrell is a Silver Executive Director who joined Premier Designs, Inc. as a Jeweler in 1988.  She has diligently built her business from Houston, Texas, over her 27 years of service and she’s been honored with some of Premier’s most prestigious awards.  In 2004 Beverly received the Tom Hemingway Excellence in Leadership Award for her character, honesty, and deep concern for helping others meet their needs. She was Crowned Premier’s 2005 Princess because of her unselfish example of service, and in 2006 she was the recipient of the Marge Caldwell Encourager of the Year award because she is loving and encouraging to everyone she comes in contact with. In 2012, Beverly was the second recipient of the Commitment to Purpose Award for fulfilling the Purpose, Philosophy and Objectives of honoring God, growing wisely, enriching lives and providing excellent service.  Beverly has a sweet relationship with her Downline who affectionately call her Mimi.  When Mimi isn’t pouring into her Premier Family, she’s spending time with her family of three sons,eleven grandchildren and thirty-three great grandchildren.

Our Plan, God’s Plan, My Plan

Andy Horner Co-Founder & CSO

TO GOD BE THE GLORY, GREAT THINGS HE HAS DONE!

To God be the glory! What He has done for me, He can do for you.

While we focus on our strengths, God uses our weakness. Think about Moses and Aaron. God provides! Think about the story of Samson. Our strength takes us away from God and towards Delilah who deceives and destroys. Have you ever failed? I certainly have. I’m convinced God knew my heart. God could see me, my life.

When I was kid, I was told, “Kids are to be seen and not heard…You talk too much…you have a short attention span.” I was very creative and could not sit still for very long. I don’t know of anyone who thought I would have a future in anything. It’s been a long journey.

I started with so little. I can’t remember my father. I had an uneducated mom, an Irish scrub lady, who in her late twenties became a Christian. I struggled with wishes and dreams. I misbehaved. I ran around with some dangerous friends. I had been saved at age 11, but at 17, I rebelled against my mother and the Lord. I joined the Navy and saw the world and much of what it was made of. Oh, I had fun at times, but always, always there was something missing.

I rededicated my life to Christ in Dallas in 1950. With my rededication and Joan accepting Christ as her personal Savior, our lives changed. We became active in the church. Learned to pray and study the Bible. How we thank the Lord!

God has a plan and I’m thankful at age 60, after much resistance, I was able to understand and follow Him. I can tell you that since then I have enjoyed my life and thank God for His love, patience and wisdom. To God be the glory! What He has done for me, He can do for you.

Recently, I had the opportunity to talk with two close friends who are Jewish Christians. We talked about how we believe we are in the last days. Their discussion was very impacting to me. I know many pastors believe the same thing. For those of us who believe in Christ – what a peace we have knowing God is in control. That for Him, a day is as a thousand years – He holds the future in His hands. We can rejoice knowing that every promise the Bible tells us will come to pass.

Thank you for all you do! I’m so grateful to have you as a part of the Premier Family! We will remember where we came from and who we are! We will remember our Purpose and Philosophy and how God has blessed us. We will remember my honey, Joan, and her personal touch and the major role she played in building Premier into a personal business. We will remember to God be all the glory, great things He has done!

Romans 11:36 “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen.”

We care a lot,

WWR – A Clip from Joan Horner

Joan Horner loved keeping it personal. In her Gems from Joan presentation at the 2007 National Rally, Joan shared with us how we can keep it personal. May 12 would have been Joan’s 87th birthday. Andy and Tim wanted to share with you this wonderful gift, a clip of Joan sharing about Keeping It Personal. There is no better way for you to honor Joan than to pass along her legacy and passion for Keeping It Personal with your Hostesses and Customers.

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