Five Question Spotlight
Founded in 1928, and at its current location in Jacksonville, FL since 1940, Underwood’s Jewelers has certainly established itself within the community. This month we’re featuring Denise Chislett, Certified Gemologist (CG) and social media guru for Underwood’s Jewelers. She was kind enough to answer our Retailer Spotlight questions and give us more insight into all things Underwood’s.
When did you first realize you were passionate about jewelry?
Interestingly enough, growing up I never had a passion for jewelry. In fact, I was one of those girls who would say, “I don’t like jewelry.” When I happened to stumble into the industry when I was 22 and working as a temp, it didn’t take me long to respect the artistry and talent it takes to design such small, but beautiful pieces that we have the privilege to wear. I have always been passionate about learning and was fortunate enough to work for a company that took great care of my jewelry education. My desire to learning more about gemology continues to grow even today.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of my job would be that I have the opportunity to do so many different things during the day that it’s never boring. I wear too many hats to even have a title at Underwood’s Jewelers. From social media, staff training, accounts payable, buying, travelling, grading diamonds, planning trunk shows and helping customers, my day is always an adventure! There is nothing I wouldn’t do for Underwood’s, including going through the dumpster to find a misplaced piece of inventory!
What do you consider to be the highlight of your career?
The highlight of my jewelry career would have to be becoming a Certified Gemologist! When I received the email saying I had passed my 20 stones from GIA, I don’t think my co-workers have ever seen me that excited before. I now feel very confident in looking at new or potential stock that we are buying for quality and also identifying customer’s jewelry concerns and questions.
What do you think your customers think of you as a jewelry professional?
I don’t work with customers full-time, but I would have to think that my knowledge of diamonds, gemstones and fine jewelry would be the most valuable quality they find in me. For example, my friends and acquaintances, who often become customers, will always ask me questions about their rings or necklaces when we’re at parties. I have started carrying a loupe in my purse! I love that people trust me enough with the knowledge and experience I have gained from Underwood’s.
What are your hobbies?
My hobby at the moment is CrossFit (I know, crazy!), but I am actually a classically trained ballerina and have a BA in Dance. The reason I started working through a temp agency (which got me the job at Underwood’s) was because I couldn’t pay my bills with just dancing and teaching dance. Dance has taught me the discipline and hard work that you need to be successful at anything in life, especially the jewelry industry! I am still involved in the local ballet company here in Jacksonville.