Feature Friday – Vicki Sagrera
I never really saw myself working with jewelry. I always thought that I would do something creative, but never once thought that might be jewelry. But, as it turns out, I do have a very creative job here at Stuller!
My journey to Stuller was much like others you’ve read — word of mouth. While I was working at a small grocery store in Pecan Island, a customer who came in often mentioned Stuller and the opportunities it offered. I decided to give applying a try and submitted an application. Looking back today, I feel like this was the best decision I’ve ever made career-wise.
I started out in the polishing department cleaning jewelry. Then I moved on to our Final Quality Assurance area where I was charged with inspecting and bagging finished products. After a while, I became a trainer in this area. One day, I was asked to inspect stones that were set in vendor pieces. I needed advice in order to inspect them properly. I headed to Diamonds and Gemstones for help. While there training to inspect vendor pieces, I learned of an opening in the diamond cutting area, and I thought, why not try for this too? That was 21 years ago.
As a diamond cutter, I cut and repair diamonds for both Stuller and our customers. After a five-year apprenticeship, I achieved the distinction of master diamond cutter and have been cutting stones for 13 years.
I LOVE my job and plan on being here until I retire. I truly can’t see myself working in any other industry. I love giving our customers the opportunity to present beautiful, well-cut diamonds that their customers will cherish for life. Diamond cutting is much more difficult than I could have ever imagined, but that didn’t stop me! I’m as stubborn as the diamond. Diamonds are very hard and have a certain way about them that makes each one a challenge. It makes me feel amazing to be able to restore a diamond to its full potential — sparkling and beautiful. And the folks I get to work with in my department make the job even better. They are as passionate as I am about working with diamonds.
When I’m not cutting, I enjoy going home to Pecan Island to crab, shrimp (by cast netting), and crawfish with my family. I don’t do a lot of fishing because I don’t have the patience to wait for the fish to bite. I love to go camping and ride my golf cart just to relax. I also like to go on trips with my family. My sister and I try to take a trip each year picking a different state each time. My favorite trip so far was Hawaii.
I also enjoy participating in local races to benefit different charities around Acadiana. Camellia Crossing Acadiana’s Gleaux Run, the Color Run, and the Courir Du Festival during Festival International de Louisiane are just some of my favorites.
If I could talk to my younger self, I would tell her to keep on the path she’s going because I’m loving the way life’s turned out so far.