Feature Friday – Beau Vallot
While I was studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, part of the curriculum was geared toward CAD design. This truly piqued my interest and made an impression on me. Then, believe it or not, there was a job fair for the students and Stuller was participating. I talked with the person hosting and learned all about the CAD/CAM team. Once I heard I would be working with 3D printers, I was sold! I submitted my app the next day, spoke to Alecia Hebert, who has been a mentor of mine, and the rest is history! I was hired on for supporting and printing models and began to learn as much as I could.
Today, I am a senior member of the CAM team and a Team Leader. I started out at the bottom of the department and have worked my way up by never turning down a challenge. My job can be quite hectic due to the many “facets” (like that?) involved in working with CAM. I spend most of my time assisting management with whatever they need, and I still find time to modify and sketch customer files sent in for us to produce. Also, I help Gemvision understand the needs of CAM — I’m a liaison of sorts. I do some rapid prototyping on 3D printers as well as program testing and development.
I truly love what I do and love my coworkers. We have a running joke in here called #CADCAMcan. It speaks to the fact that we CAN truly do anything in here, whether it’s a difficult design or a ring that no other company would touch #CADCAMcan! In CAM, we are always trying to innovate and pave a new way for jewelry design and productions. We challenge our associates to be on the forefront of technology and I think that’s why I like it so much. After all, not everyone can say they work on the cutting edge every day. CAM implements new technology regularly to deliver a better product to our customers each time they order.
In CAM, we do all we can to follow through on our promises. We aim to deliver accurate quotes to customers the same day they submit a request, which is unparalleled in the custom jewelry industry. We strive to deliver our customer’s final piece in 10-12 days. For a custom designed ring, that is relatively quick! We have a host of talented designers in CAM and we hold ourselves to a very high standard, which we hope is reflective in the final product each customer receives. So when our customers show their customers the final product, we hope it amazes them!
Making our customers happy with smiles on their faces really keeps me going. I love hearing how amazed they are at the pieces they receive and the stories of their customers picking up the final piece. In fact, one of our customers, Dave Padgett of D and R House of Diamonds, makes it a point to tell me how much their customers love the piece after every request we complete for him. My teammates and co-workers inspire me as well. We have a strong sense of unity in CAM. They make me want to perform my best and not let them down. I consider many of my coworkers as family and have made friendships here that will last a lifetime!
Here’s a cool story: My favorite memory at Stuller is the time I got invited to a customer’s wedding because they were so happy with the product they received. Here’s the thing, the couple was passionate about free-diving to spear fish and they wanted a fish skeleton ring. I spoke daily with them until we perfected the model and once the customer received the piece, they were so happy that they invited me to their wedding in Florida. I could not make the wedding because of work and other obligations, but the fact that I made our customer so happy that they invited me to their wedding is something that remains with me! The ring, shown here, was later featured on Stuller.com because of its uniqueness.
In my time off, I love to hunt and fish. Since I live in Louisiana, known as “Sportsman’s Paradise,” I take full advantage of our resources. I like the camp life and would rather be sitting around a bonfire with friends than going out for nightlife any day. Being outside is a good way for me to decompress. When you’re outdoors waiting on that cork to sink or that duck to fly over, all your troubles are irrelevant and you’re able to let go of all that is stressing you.
If I could, I would remind my younger self that everyone makes mistakes and as long as you learn something from them, then it all happened for a reason. Take each mistake for what it was – a lesson of what not to do and move on and make it right. Life moves fast and it waits for no one. So stay true to yourself and those you love and you’ll do just fine!
How has our CAD/CAM services helped you and your business? Tell us all about it below. Then, catch last week’s Feature Friday here.