Stuller Associates Share Thankful Thoughts

We can probably all agree 2020 has been a tough year. Lives have been turned upside down, work has been more stressful than ever, and the air of uncertainty is ever-present. However, even in the darkest of times, a light can be found for which we can be thankful.

Here at Stuller, we have much to be grateful for. Our customers have been so understanding and wonderful to work with. Our team members have worked so diligently and positively, and our community has provided us with support and encouragement. In a year like this where so much has been against us, it is important to take some time and reflect on those things – big or small – that give us a reason to have hope for the future.

We asked Stuller associates around the building to take a moment to reflect and share with us what they are thankful for. Meet part of our team and feel free to let us know what you are thankful for this year.


“It’s nice to pause and take time to be thankful for the important things. During stressful and overwhelming times, I am grateful and thankful for so many things. I am thankful for random acts of kindness. I am thankful to still have a job during COVID and still have the opportunity to help our customers and others. I am thankful for me and my family staying healthy and safe. I am thankful for the chance to slow down and share virtual moments with loved ones. Above all else, I am thankful to still have things to be thankful for.”

Bridget Brown

Customer Service Manager


“Due to all the craziness 2020 has brought, I am thankful to have had a college graduation ceremony! I am also extremely thankful to have a healthy family, great friends, and awesome coworkers.”

Morgan Boudreaux

Diamond & Gemstone Project Specialist


“I am blessed and thankful for the health of my family this year and to be part of the Stuller team that has displayed tremendous teamwork, resilience, and attention to our customers’ needs during these challenging times.”

Linus Cortez

Chief Financial Officer


“This year, I am thankful for being able to spend more time with my family during the pandemic and thankful we are all alive and well. I’m also thankful I was able to return to my job so that I can continue to support such a wonderful and loving family.”

Tanya Harrison

Stone Setting Master


“I am thankful for my family, the ability to be able to chase my dreams in this great country, and for the opportunity to work at Stuller for almost 15 years.”

Christina Garcia

Sales Associate


“South Louisiana is steeped in a strong sense of both community and family. A mandated disconnection from any large social gathering afforded me the opportunity to focus on and appreciate the people closest to me and recognize their importance in myself. Similarly, I was able to recognize how much of an effect my surroundings have had on my development as a person. Social distancing in nature was simple enough, so I am thankful to be surrounded by swamps, bayous, and wide-open fields to explore that to which photographs and videos never quite do justice.”

Jacob Dupuis

Tools and Supplies Technical Specialist


“I am thankful for the safety and health of my family and coworkers this year. I am also thankful to have a job at a place that provides a healthy work environment.”

Jennifer Trinh

Wax Metal Mold Manifestor


“I feel like the luckiest person in the world to work with so many dedicated and talented people at Stuller. Yes, even in 2020!”

Danny Clark

President


Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Stuller!




Stuller Associates Reveal Holiday Traditions

 

This holiday season, Stuller is grateful for you, our customers, for allowing us to help you do what you do best all year long. Here’s a look at how members of our Stuller family celebrate the holidays.

Holiday Feast

My dad was not the biggest turkey fan, so he started the tradition on Christmas Day to enjoy steaks instead. For the last 30 or so years, that has been our Christmas feast! My whole family looks forward to this feast every year, and we toast to those no longer here.

Laura Hulin – Accounting

 

Chinese Food for Christmas

When I was younger, my family celebrated Hanukkah.  So when Christmas Day rolled around, we always had the local Chinese restaurant in town all to ourselves.

Daniel Maldonado – Photography

 

Read in the New Year

Every year for Christmas, my parents get my brother, sister, and me each a gift card to Barnes & Noble.  Then on New Year’s Day, we all go to the store as a family and choose books to read in the new year!  It turns an everyday event into something special that my entire family enjoys.

Olivia Billet – Diamonds & Gemstones

 

Family Bonding

Every Christmas, my family opens presents in the morning. My little niece and nephew go first because they are slower and will inevitably need help. After we open our gifts, we attempt to fit on the sofa together. Some quality family time happens during this struggle! After that, we all take our new gifts outside to test them out. A game of tag usually emerges during this time. Then we all help prepare food for the party that we throw for our extended family and friends that afternoon. I always have to grate the cheese and peel the potatoes.

Randy Boner – Packaging & Displays

 

Snowy Traditions

I have always lived in the North, so snow is a big part of our Christmas tradition. Every Christmas Eve for as long as I can remember, my family would go outside in our pajamas and have a snowball fight and make snow angels.  We would always be welcomed back inside by my Mom, who would have freshly decorated Christmas cookies and hot cocoa waiting for us as we watched “The Rockettes Christmas Spectacular.”

Since my son was born, we have continued that tradition: snowball fight, snow angels, cookies, and Rockettes. This year, our first year in Louisiana, we are looking forward to baking cookies, snuggling onto the couch to watch the Rockettes, and maybe even making cinnamon rolls first thing on Christmas morning.  That’s the thing about traditions, there is never a wrong time to start a new one!

Samantha Larson – Gemstones

 

Believe in Santa

The longest-running tradition in my family is our sibling Santa photo. Yes, even as a full-grown adult, I still sit beside a mall Santa with my sister (who is 21) and teenage brother (15) to give my mom the photo that means the most to her every year. It’s always the one ”gift” she insists on getting from us each Christmas. She has every year’s photo showcased in its own festive frame lined up across her mantel. It feels silly sometimes, but I know this tradition means the world to her!

Brittany Boudreaux – Marketing

 

Reindeer Games

I join my boyfriend’s family in playing board games each year!

Morgan Boudreaux – Diamonds & Gemstones

 

 

 

 



Stuller’s elves worked hard this holiday season to ensure every little detail was perfect for you.  From our family to yours, Happy Holidays from Stuller!




Blog Header Thanksgiving Stuller Employees

6 Stuller Employees Express Their Gratitude This Thanksgiving

There is always something to be thankful for. So, in preparation for this year’s Thanksgiving holiday, we’ve reached out to a few special Stuller employees to gauge their gratitude this holiday season—

Thanksgiving Stuller Employees

Faith & Furry Friends

I am most thankful for my faith. Throughout my life, my strong faith has guided me in the right direction when I’ve felt lost or mislead. My faith has helped me accomplish so many astonishing goals that I’ve set for myself. I am also very thankful for my wonderful “children”, my four-legged furry pups Marley and Lulu. They seem to always listen and show unconditional love during our daily cuddle sessions.

Ysedria Batiste – Customer Care

 

Thanksgiving Stuller EmployeesCajun Country

Living in South Louisiana with my family is what I’m most thankful for. The people, the culture, and the outdoor-centric lifestyle have made it a great place for my wife and me to raise our three children. I’m also thankful for time alone in my kayak. Whether paddling down a remote Arkansas stream for some overnight camping, or kayak fishing in the marshes of the Louisiana coastline, it’s my favorite way to unwind.

Steven Domingue – Digital Experience

 

Thanksgiving Stuller EmployeesBecoming A Family of Three

This year, I am extra thankful to celebrate Thanksgiving as a family of three! My husband and I welcomed our firstborn son into the world earlier this year in August. So this Thanksgiving marks the first major holiday we get to celebrate with our son! Together with our dogs, our family, and our newborn son, we’re expecting an EXTRA special Thanksgiving this year.

Nichole Guillory – Communications

 

Jason Peterson Thanksgiving Stuller Employees

Rich Acadian Culture

I was born and raised in Chicago and have lived everywhere from Nashville to the Northeast to New Zealand, and there’s nothing I’ve experienced quite like the culture of South Louisiana. One of my first visits to Lafayette involved eating alligator sauce piquante hot enough to light my hair on fire at Festival International and loving every minute of it. Since then, I’ve tried to make it out to every type of festival I could (I’m looking at you, Scott Boudin Festival). I’m lucky to live in a place that values fun, fellowship, and — yes — food, and I haven’t even gotten into the Sportsman’s Paradise or cool folklore side of things. Acadiana is a truly special place, and I’m thankful to be a part of it.

Jason Peterson – Customer Relationship Management

 

Carson Webb Thanksgiving Stuller EmployeesFamily and Spice

I’m always thankful for family, but lately, I’m feeling it more than ever. I got to meet my dad for the first time recently and along with him came the bonus of bonding with my older sister, Amanda, too! I now consider her one of the closest people in my life and am so grateful that I get to have two sisters now, along with my close friends who feel like sisters, too. And speaking of girl power, I’m also grateful that 4/5 of the Spice Girls have reunited and are touring again! Now if only I could actually see them live. But at least I can watch their performances online. (So, I guess I should give a shout out to YouTube, too!)

Carson Webb – Packaging & Displays

 

Alisse Gregson Thanksgiving Stuller EmployeesNew Traditions

I’m originally from Washington State, so I don’t get to see my family very often. But over the past few years, we’ve made a new tradition of meeting in Las Vegas for Thanksgiving. It gives us all a chance to leave home, make new memories, and enjoy the holiday in a new city with the ones we love most!

Alisse Gregson – Chain & Religious

 




stullers top 5 blogs of 2017 blog header

Relive the Year with Stuller’s Top 5 Blogs of 2017

With 2017 drawing to a close, I can’t help but reflect on how incredible the year has been. Established in 2015, this blog has published over 450 posts over its three-year span—all in an effort to support and inspire you, our beloved customers. And in reviewing Stuller’s top 5 blogs of 2017, I am proud to see such a range of well-received topics. We successfully dispelled jewelry myths and superstitions, featured a few impressive customers and earnest Stuller employees, and uncovered countless exciting jewelry trends. We cannot thank you enough for your readership and can’t wait to share what’s in store for the year ahead!

 

Let’s dive into Stuller’s top 5 blogs of 2017:

 

1. 6 Jewelry Superstitions and How to Use Them to Your Advantage

Stuller's Top 5 Blogs of 2017 Jewelry Superstitions

Around Halloween time, we decided to explore a few jewelry superstitions and detail how to use them to your advantage. After all, there’s nothing more powerful than using storytelling and emotion to sell jewelry. We sought inspiration from our friends in the Jewelers Helping Jewelers Facebook group and were blown away by their fascinating tales! Click through for a fascinating tale and to see why this mysterious post became the most-viewed of Stuller’s top 5 blogs of 2017.

2. How Matrix 9 Earns International Acclaim

Stuller's Top 5 Blogs of 2017Matrix 9 Facebook Graphic Mehmet Pekin

A talented Matrix user, Mehmet Pekin has been using Matrix software for about 13 years. He built his career around 3D modeling, both as a CAD operator and instructor, all while mastering the tools required. This intriguing post features an interview with Mehmet, where he shares a little about himself and how Matrix helps to fuel his jewelry-sculpting success.

3. The Mystery of Stuller Dum Dums

Stuller's Top 5 Blogs of 2017 Stuller Dum Dums

My personal favorite from Stuller’s top 5 blogs of 2017, this post became an instant classic! If you’ve ordered from Stuller before, you’ve likely encountered the surprise suckers added into each package. These Dum Dums have become a Stuller staple, a sugary signature to light your eyes and add sweetness to your day. And, if you’re a regular, you may have noticed that depending on the season – Mardi Gras, Valentine’s Day and the Holidays – we change up our sweet surprises. The reason for this? Well, we like to think of it as traditional southern hospitality—it’s the way our mommas raised us! Check out this playful post to uncover the true motive behind Stuller’s Dum Dums.

4. A Ring Fit for Royalty

Stuller's Top 5 Blogs of 2017 David Bernard Custom Engagement

In this post, Stuller’s very own virtual designer David Bernard explains, “While my wife, Marisa, is not descended from any royal family, she is royalty’s greatest fangirl. She is enamored with all the glamor and mystery that royals represent. As I fell for Marisa, I was attracted to a certain grace and warmth to her presence. In my eyes, these qualities embody the royal ideal. So when I decided to propose, that was my task — to design a ring befitting someone who is royalty to me.”

5. A Disney-Inspired Enchanted Engagement

Stuller's Top 5 Blogs of 2017 Disney Enchanted Blog

Disney Princesses are special because of the stories they represent, but also because of their individual spirits. In this enchanting post, we chose styles that embody these unique traits along with elements of their classic tales. We rounded up quite a collection of Disney-inspired engagement rings for the perfect princess proposal. It’s no wonder this was one of Stuller’s top 5 blogs of 2017 — it’s magical!


What was your favorite blog post of the year? What would you like to read about in 2018? Let us know in the comments below! And again, thank you to our dedicated readers who help to make this blog a success.




Team Stuller Celebrates Thanksgiving!

This Thanksgiving holiday, amid turkey and togetherness, don’t forget to leave room for dessert and appreciation for life’s simplest treasures. We here at Stuller are most thankful for you, our customers, for allowing us to help you do what you do best. Behind the scenes, a few unique personalities in the Stuller family have a bit to share about what they’re most thankful for.

This is how Team Stuller celebrates Thanksgiving with gratitude:

 

Team Stuller Celebrates Thanksgiving Donna Lancon Headshot

Donna Lancon • Stuller First Representative

Smells & Music

This year, I am thankful for smells and music. It amazes me how a distinct smell or the beat of a familiar song has the ability to transform your mood in the blink of an eye! The fact that sights, sounds, and smells have the power to transport you from your current situation to a time of remembrance, peace, or uplifting fun is wonderful and cherished! Sweet smells and nostalgic tunes are how Team Stuller celebrates Thanksgiving!

 

 

Team Stuller Celebrates Thanksgiving Chris Leonard Headshot

Chris Leonard • Merchandising Content Manager

Sportsman’s Paradise

A few years ago, I decided to leave my home state of North Carolina to pursue other career opportunities. Growing up fishing and hunting, it was important to me to settle in a place where I could continue this passion. When I heard Louisiana was the Sportsman’s Paradise, I had to check it out. There’s no question that this term is spot on! From hunting turkey, squirrel, deer, and hog in the Basin to slammin’ specks and reds in the Gulf to blasting ducks in the rice fields – Louisiana truly has it all! I am very thankful to enjoy these hobbies in one of the most beautiful and bountiful places on Earth. This year, Team Stuller celebrates Thanksgiving with wild game on the dinner table.

 

 

Team Stuller Celebrates Thanksgiving Erica Geoffroy Headshot

Erica Geoffroy • Marketing Content Specialist

#PistacheOnThings

I am thankful for my best friend, Pistache. Because of him, there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t laugh. Whether chasing a squirrel or performing balancing acts (#pistacheonthings), he finds fun in life’s simplest things and encourages me to do the same. His happy attitude in the morning — “this is the best day of my life!” — sets the tone for the rest of my day. It seems impossible that by not doing anything, he still manages to do so much. Just the fact that he exists somehow makes life better. Team Stuller celebrates Thanksgiving with their most precious pets!

 

 

 

Team Stuller Celebrates Thanksgiving Charlotte Lafleur Headshot

Charlotte Lafleur • Customer Care Sales Associate

Healthy & Happy

I am extremely thankful for my health. I had a cancer scare just a couple months ago, but after two surgeries, I am now healthy and happy! I’m thankful for the wonderful doctors who took care of me and my supportive family and friends who were by my side throughout the journey. Full-fledged family time is how Team Stuller celebrates Thanksgiving!

 

 

 

 

Team Stuller Celebrates Thanksgiving Lindsey Prewitt Headshot

Lindsey Prewitt • Gemstone Product Manager

Clean Water

We sometimes forget the simplest pleasures we’re afforded in life. I get up several times in my work day to fill up my water jug, which is a privilege that many across the globe would love to have. Countless people worldwide do not have that simple convenience that we take for granted. I stay grounded by taking a step back to give thanks for everything in my life, even the simplest things like clean water. Check out this special jeweler who chooses to do more and give back to those in need.

 

 

Team Stuller Celebrates Thanksgiving Michael Gauthier Headshot

Michael Gauthier • VDS Designer

Tennis + Music

There are so many things to be grateful for, but the simple things, I feel, are the most important. I am so fortunate to have a life filled with family, friends, and love. I’m thankful to have the ability to participate in and enjoy activities like competitive tennis and playing music. Tennis is an important part of my life. It keeps me active and continues to create new relationships with truly amazing people. I’m so thankful to have music in my life as well, as it connects me with creative minds and channels good vibes and high spirits! Team Stuller celebrates Thanksgiving with tennis and the coolest tunes.

 

Baseball

Team Stuller celebrates Thanksgiving Cassie Derouen

Cassie DeRouen • Fulfillment Manager

I have an eight-year-old son whose life revolves around baseball. The sport has taught him to strive for greatness both on and off the field. Baseball has brought so many great people into my son’s life, creating lasting friendships. The sport has taught him the importance of school, how to handle failures and successes, and that nothing is given – it’s earned. My son is turning into a wonderful young man one home run at a time, and I am forever grateful for that. This year, Team Stuller celebrates Thanksgiving with a different kind of diamond!

 


From our Stuller family to yours, wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving and a busy Black Friday!




Jett Pesson FF Blog Header

Feature Friday – Jett Pesson

“I stay inspired by looking toward the future, envisioning where this company is heading, and realizing my role in getting it there!” – Jett Pesson

 

After working in the oil industry, I began looking for a career with more stability, and I felt the jewelry industry had just what I wanted! When I was younger, the sheer size and aesthetic appeal of Stuller’s headquarters always sparked my curiosity. As I got older and realized that I needed to start looking for a career and not just another job, I began talking to people who worked at Stuller. This led me to view Stuller as a company with room to grow and the opportunity to establish a lifelong career. Looking toward my future, I applied for an entry-level position in the Fulfillment Department. I figured this would help to get my foot in the door and get a feel for the company from the ground up.

Jett Pesson: User Support Analyst
Jett Pesson IT User Systems Analyst

To broaden my knowledge and build my skill set, I helped in every department in the building as needed. I would start my day in Fulfillment, and then lend a hand in Shipping and Tools when work started to pile up. Later in the evening when things began to slow, I’d end up on the manufacturing side, helping PPM pull wax molds until the building closed.

Once I really started to get a feel for the Stuller process, I began helping the IT department in any way I could. Anytime we experienced system or equipment issues, I tried to troubleshoot as best I could. In doing so, I learned a lot! I’ll never forget the moment I received the call from the IT department for an interview; I couldn’t have been more excited! Suddenly, I realized that my hard work at Stuller hadn’t gone unnoticed. I secured the position in IT, making it my first and only full-time department move since starting at Stuller.

Jett Pesson catches a keeper!
Jett Pesson Fishing Outdoors

Currently, I’m still hard at work in IT as the User Support Analyst. My role consists of troubleshooting, Oracle testing and development, giving tech support to anyone who needs it, and everything in between. Nothing feels better than being presented with an issue and solving it or hatching an idea that will better the company, then follow through to make it happen. I love technology and its role in the jewelry industry, which grows exponentially by the day. The incorporation of tools like 3D printing and robotic automation into our company is fascinating. I love the technological growth I’ve seen in this industry, and I’m honored to be a part of it.

In my daily job, I strive to make our employees’ jobs easier, which in turn, creates a better experience for our customers. I stay inspired by looking toward the future, envisioning where this company is heading, and realizing my role in getting it there. Looking at Stuller, I’ve seen daily routines change for the better. While these individual changes can seem small, collectively, they make a huge impact. I’ve also seen a positive change in customer care with dedicated employees working hard for our customers.

Jett Pesson, his girlfriend Stephenie, and their pup Penny explore Lake Fausse Pointe
Jett Pesson Lake Fausse Point Fishing

On my time off, I love going to Lake Fausse Pointe, a local state park, fishing, and playing video games. I also really like woodworking and tinkering with anything that has a circuit board.

If I had the opportunity to change anything about my life, I wouldn’t; I don’t think I’d give my younger self any advice, even if I could. I’m happy with the way things are going, and I wouldn’t change anything for the world. After all, Doc Brown wouldn’t approve of altering the timeline!


Did you enjoy this Louisiana native’s tale? If so, read all about the product designing princess with Cajun Country roots here.




Feature Friday – Brandon Hill

“If you find something you’re interested in, get involved!” – Brandon Hill

 

As I prepared to finish college, I decided to sign up with a temp agency in an effort to give variety to my work experience. The very first place the agency sent me was the Distribution department here at Stuller in preparation for the holiday rush. Once the holidays were over, the manager of distribution offered me to stay in a newly created position. I quickly grew to enjoy working here, as I met new people and became interested in how the jewelry industry operated. So I gladly accepted the position and left the temp agency.

Within a couple years, I moved through a few different positions within distribution, ultimately becoming a team leader. During my last semester of college in pursuit of my Advertising degree, I sought an internship in a related field. I soon discovered Stuller’s Marketing department was planning to begin an internship program. I applied and was accepted! So for my last semester of college, I worked part-time as a Marketing intern, while still full-time in Distribution.

Go Team Stuller!
Brandon Hill Team Stuller

In Marketing, I reported directly to the PR Manager, who was leaving for maternity leave right as the internship ended. I was offered a permanent position working for her, taking effect immediately while she was out. Working in the PR arm of Marketing provided a unique opportunity to become involved in a variety of projects – from facility tours to video content to work on the From the Bench publications. These tasks specifically helped me to develop valuable project management skills, leading me to apply for my current position when it became available.

As the Catalog Project Manager, I oversee Stuller’s catalog production. This includes creating schedules based on due dates to the printers, facilitating the overall flow of information, and working with the Merchandising and Marketing departments. This means my days are filled with tracking progress and countless meetings.

Brandon Hill Stuller Marketing Christmas Party

My position is extremely rewarding. Though there is stress that comes from working with so many moving parts and different personalities on a project of this scope, it is incredibly satisfying to see the finished product. The process has increased my understanding of the jewelry industry and helped me to understand jewelers’ specific needs. And the best part is being able to incorporate that understanding into the next round of catalogs to make each one better than the last. I strive to improve everything from the design to the internal process of creating catalogs.

Producing a catalog is a group effort. In order to show so many associates my appreciation, I have started get-togethers after work after each catalog successfully goes to the printer. Nearly the entire Marketing department gathers to celebrate another successful project completed! Everyone seems to have a great time, and I’ve come to really appreciate this opportunity to show the team my gratitude.

Brandon Hill and his beautiful family
Brandon Hill Family Photo

Through catalogs, I’m able to give jewelers one of their primary tools, enabling them to find anything they need for their customers at the turn of the page. I’ve also noticed that the incorporation of customization software has made a huge impact on the industry. I was just starting here at Stuller as the company was beginning to develop this technology. It has been quite interesting to watch its growth!

Brandon Hill Eagle Scout Outdoors Adventure

Brandon Hill on an Eagle Scout Adventure

At this time, I have two boys – a 3-year-old and a 5-month-old. So I don’t do much of anything that doesn’t involve them these days. This means most evenings consist of peek-a-boo and Batman. I’ve been involved in Boy Scouting in one way or another since I was 12 years old. It’s a great program that has really helped to shape me into who I am today. In turn, I think it is important to give back and offer that same guidance to the youth today. I have recently become the Scoutmaster of my troop and spend much of my time on camping trips and other Scouting activities. I also really enjoy movies and especially like to hunt down older movies.

My advice to others is this: if you find something you are interested in, get involved! Most people will welcome you with open arms and the overall experience will benefit you in the long run. Also, when you hit a roadblock or new challenge, take a step back and really evaluate all your options before tackling any problem.

Get to know Brandon Hill in his Faces of Stuller feature

In case you missed it, check out the last Feature Friday post featuring Russell Brown of Brown’s Jewelers.




A Ring Fit For Royalty

While my wife, Marisa, is not descended from any royal family, she is royalty’s greatest fangirl. She is enamored with all the glamor and mystery that royals represent. As I fell for Marisa, I was attracted to a certain grace and warmth to her presence. In my eyes, these qualities embody the royal ideal. So when I decided to propose, that was my task – to design a ring befitting someone who is royalty to me.

Since Marisa admired styles created for kings and queens, it was only natural to study designs from the Georgian, Victorian, and Edwardian eras. Here I discovered masterful works of craftsmanship and meticulous precision, perfected over generations of practice and mentorship. How would I be able to create something unique under the shadow of such achievements? Everything I drew seemed to be a cold and calculated reflection of what had already been done. None of my feelings about my future wife were coming through in any of my concepts. It became clear that I needed to change directions. I abandoned my direct interpretation of jewelry for royalty of the past and decided I needed to design something for my queen of today and tomorrow.

David Bernard Wife Marisa Vacation

As a designer, I try to ensure that the customer’s needs are met and must remove my personal taste from the design. And while this habit serves me well in my profession, I forgot a key element. This time I was the customer! I felt relieved to realize this obvious fact, but I still needed a source of inspiration. I searched her Pinterest boards, but nothing spoke to me. As I reflected on our relationship, I focused on one specific memory. I remembered how happy my wife was sharing her old scrapbook and clippings of Princess Diana. I decided to use this moment in time as the inspiration for a design which would reference Princess Di’s ring as a basis for the initial concept.

Now that I had established my direction, the floodgates opened and creativity began to flow. The manic sketching began, and I put dozens of concepts to paper. After many hours (which felt like minutes) I embraced my tendency to incorporate natural forms. After all, nature is a huge inspiration for me. Even as a young child, I was always fascinated with the majestic live oak trees of southern Louisiana. The way the branches twist and turn, and the knots that curve the grain of the bark and captivate the eye. Nature, stylized and simplified, was coming through in various iterations of my design. With that, I had finally included myself in the design. This ring was meant to represent the beginning of us, and so the perfect design would demand a part of me in it. But, a part of me was just that, a part of the design. Now it was time to define the details of the ring.

David Bernard Engagement Oak Tree

The devil is in the details. Few sayings are truer, especially for someone whose profession centers on aesthetics. I put so much effort into the foundation of the ring, I had to be sure to carry it through to the finish. As designers often do, I wanted to add symbolism imbuing the ring with deeper meaning. My mind returned to Princess Diana’s ring. The beautiful hue of its famous sapphire was something I could not ignore. Alone, neither of us had any direct symbolic connection to the blue stone, but together we did. September, the month we started our path together, is represented by the sapphire birthstone. It seemed fitting to choose sapphire as the accent stones for this ring built to represent our future. I used these accents to create a partial cluster around the center diamond. Now, this ring became a classically influenced ode to the past, balancing the organic shapes that attracted me.

David Bernard Marisa Engagement Hands Ring

At this point, the piece was almost completing itself. Certain shapes, colors, sizes, and proportions reinforced one another to guide the next decision. The shoulders of the ring flow up and around the cluster of sapphires, similar to the oak branches I remember from my childhood. These forms hug the cluster of tapered sapphires and create a seductive curve that draws the eye across the entire design. Embedded in the shank’s shoulder are diamond accents that represent the bark of oak trees. All of these elements guide the viewer to the focal point – a gorgeous, round, brilliant-cut diamond.

David Bernard Engagement Matrix RenderOne important detail remained: what metal would best set off this beautiful design? As I reflected on the woman this ring was intended for, I kept thinking about her class, timeless grace, and warmth. I could not think of another metal that expressed her spirit as much as yellow gold.

Once I rendered the CAD model in Matrix®, the perfect ring emerged. The beautiful diamond in the center, with sapphire accents framing it so well, the yellow gold allowing the blue in the sapphires to pop and look so rich, and finally the diamond accents unifying the movement and repeating the brilliant sparkle of the center stone.

At last, this was the ring for my queen. A design of beauty and elegance to stand the test of time.

As a jeweler, have you designed an engagement for your loved one? Tell us all about the experience! And for another heartfelt engagement story, check out Searching For the Perfect Pebble.




Lou Meinerz Blog Header Feature Friday

Feature Friday – Lou Meinerz

Lou Meinerz Stuller Office Team

The office staff when I started at Stuller

I graduated with a service and hospitality degree, which lends itself to working in hotels and restaurants. After working in that arena for over 10 years, I moved to Lafayette to take on a Marketing position. More specifically, I was the personal assistant to a local family. When the business eventually closed down, I was on the job hunt and applied at Stuller. They said they had nothing to offer in the main plant however, there was a possible opportunity for me as the Personal Assistant to Matt Stuller. I interviewed, received the job, and love every minute of it 15 years later!

I’ve kept this same position all throughout my tenure, the only change being my move from the Ranch office to the main plant about eight years ago. It was at this time when Mr. Stuller made the decision to work directly from Stuller headquarters to oversee and assimilate a prime Executive team. I recently entered into my 15th year as the assistant to Matt and his family. I asked him if I could sign on for another 15 years, as it is a total joy to work for the Stuller family. (FYI – Matt said yes, so I pray I can hit 30 years!)

Each day, I have the pleasure of being Matt Stuller’s gatekeeper – you must get through me to get to him! It’s been rewarding to serve him, his wife and children to the best of my ability. This means I wear many hats over the course of a day or week, though I must admit, I love the costume changes and have learned flexibility through the years. Do not get me wrong. Flexible does not equal precision — for most know that Matt sets a high standard for himself and the company. Every aspect of Matt’s life is very detailed, so I strive for precision and poise as my ultimate goal on a daily basis.

Lou Meinerz Matt Stuller Mardi Gras Ball

Matt Stuller and me at a Mardi Gras Ball

One of my favorite memories happened when I began working for Matt. It took place at the former Ranch office located on Mr. Stuller’s personal property. During the first two weeks of work, Matt asked me to bring some documents to him at his home. I was so nervous to do this small task, as I had only spent a few days working for him and didn’t know much about him or his family. When I entered the house, Mr. Stuller was scrambling eggs on the stove for his two youngest children: Matthew (6) and Lauren (5). Shocked, I quickly realized he was just like every other Dad out there, loving his kids and making them a fun evening meal. But to top it off, he took the time to introduce me to both of the children. He explained that Mommy took care of Daddy when he was at the house, but Mrs. Lou was the person who takes cares of Daddy while he is in the office. I felt like part of the family and will never forget this warm welcome!

Gratitude keeps me going. My boss always takes time to thank me for my service, whether is it bringing him a cup of coffee each morning or going the extra mile to ensure that every detail is in place for an important trip. We may think we do not need a “thank you,” but when you hear those simple words it calms your spirit and lifts you up! In turn, I use that positive energy to perform my job in the best way possible. For example, when a call comes to Matt from a disgruntled customer, I do all that I can to efficiently connect them to the right person to best help with their situation.

Lou Meinerz Family Photo

My husband John, Maggie, and me

My words of wisdom are simple: understand that passion and God’s gifts sometimes go hand in hand. Once you learn what your God-given gifts/talents are, you will find total enjoyment in your career path by aligning the two. Personally, this took several years, as I did not accept the Lord into my life until I was about 36. But once I did, God’s path led me to my position as PA for Matt Stuller. Then I knew I was using my gifts to glorify God and do the best to care for the Stuller family behind the scenes.

On my own time, I love to organize, plan, create, network and partake in fun events and outings for family, girlfriends, couples, neighbors, co-workers — the list goes on. Life is about people, not stuff and I believe relationships developed along the way happen for a reason, so nurturing them is important!




Candace Ledet Stuller Associate FF Blog

Feature Friday – Candace Ledet

Candace Ledet Team Stuller

Nearly 10 years ago, I was working at Kohl’s and attending the University of Louisiana here in Lafayette. In my search for another job, a friend told me about Stuller and mentioned they were hiring. I came to pick up an application, filled it out and brought it back the next day. About a week later, Stuller called for an interview. After anxious waiting, I finally received a call asking if I was still interested in working with the company. Of course, my reply was yes! Throughout my time here, I moved through a few different departments. I began as an Order Filler. About three years later, I transitioned to a Prototype Receiver. Almost three years after that, I applied to be a Returns Credit Processor – the position I currently hold.

As a Returns Credit Processor within the Logistics Operations department, it’s my duty to ensure that customer credits are handled in a timely manner. I strive to place myself in customers’ shoes and deliver quality service I would expect from the company if I were on the other end of the interaction. I enjoy what I do and try to reach this target each day in an effort to make our customers heroes.

Candace Ledet Gabba dog

My dog, Gabba

I stay inspired by pushing myself on the job. Though I’m comfortable doing my daily tasks, I sometimes start to lose motivation. In those situations, I must push myself outside of my comfort zone. I relate this to my workout goals knowing I can reach them by working harder and stronger. In turn, I always encourage people to push their professional limits. It’s also important to get involved in something new. This challenges me and adds motivation.

The main advice I would give to a younger me is never to give up on what you are trying to accomplish. Live with a purpose and work to achieve your life’s goals. My favorite advice is to stay true to yourself and be confident. Listen to what others have to say but always have the confidence to make up your mind and express your own thoughts. It would be a very boring world if we were all the same. So believe in yourself and do what is right. And last but not least, FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS.

Candace Ledet Team Stuller family

My favorite memory working at Stuller was when I worked in the Fulfillment Department. As they say, those were the good ol’ days! Also, being a part of TEAM STULLER is something I will always cherish. Outside of work, I love to spend time with my family. Family is all about the simplest things – like hanging out around the house and enjoying a good ol’ home cooked meal. We talk, laugh, and have a joyful time just being in each other’s company. After all, there’s nothing like family, whose love is life’s greatest blessing. Also, I enjoy working out and walking my dog, Gabba.

Interestingly enough, I knew little about the jewelry industry before working here. But I sure am glad how it turned out! Now that I’m involved, I look forward to learning more and more. Since I have been working at Stuller, the jewelry industry has changed rapidly. One takeaway is acknowledging and embracing change. Whether good or bad, change is inevitable. To have control over change, I replace fearful thoughts with something positive and hopeful.


For another dedicated Team Stuller associate, read about Coby Blanchard, the home grown problem solver.