A substantial part of a jeweler’s work with customers involves solving problems: Some are as small as fixing a broken clasp, and others are more serious. At Day’s Jewelers in Waterville, Maine, a recent earring crisis was solved with empathy, exceptional service, and an act of kindness that all involved say they will not soon forget.
It started with a woman named Doris, a 97-year-old resident of a nearby nursing home. Doris received a pair of earrings from her granddaughter for Christmas, and she wanted to wear them. The only problem was her formerly pieced ears had closed, and Doris needed them re-pierced to achieve her goal.
That is where Day’s Jewelers stepped in. Turns out, marketing manager Nikia Levesque’s mom works at the same nursing home and heard about Doris. By now, Doris had been fretting about the piercing situation for several days.
This is where the story gets fun.
“Doris had become very serious about getting her ears pierced,” Levesque says. “First, the doctor would have to give permission before the process went any further.”
A very determined Doris got to work and got the doctor’s permission. Next, Levesque’s mom called the Waterville location of Day’s Jewelers to see if someone on the staff there could help. Craig, the Waterville store manager, knew the perfect candidate for the job: Tony Cuares, one of the store’s associates.
“The nursing home was not on lockdown, but they have strict visitor guidelines, so a nonfamily member would be unable to go into the nursing home, meaning Tony and Craig couldn’t go in and pierce her ears,” Levesque says.
Now what? Doris would not be deterred, that’s what. This is where Doris’ sister stepped up to bat. She drove Doris to the Waterville store on Jan. 6 to meet up with the staff. Cuares went outside and did the piercing right in the car.
“When Doris and her sister parked their car in the parking lot, I could tell from the minute Doris opened the door she was thrilled that she was getting her ears pierced,” Cuares says. “You could see that getting her ears pierced meant a lot.… She flinched a tiny bit with the first ear but said, ‘That didn’t hurt at all.’ ”
Here’s something else you need to know: Day’s Jewelers recently transitioned from a family-owned business (first the Davidsons, then the Coreys) founded in 1914 to become an employee-owned company in November 2021. The chain of full-service jewelry stores in Maine and New Hampshire considers customer service its top priority, Levesque says.
“Now that we are an employee-owned company, acts of kindness like this and going out of your way to make someone smile is the most important thing we can do as the new owners of Day’s Jewelers,” Levesque says.
Seeing Doris achieve her goal? That’s why this work matters, Levesque says.
“We care about our customers. Each and every Day’s employee, from the store level to the corporate level, knows that taking care of every guest and providing exceptional service to everyone who enters one of our establishments is the most important thing you can do when you come into work each day,” Levesque says. “It’s not about the size of the sale that determines what kind of care we give, it’s the experience, empathy, and joy shared with each guest.”
Top: Day’s Jewelers and store associate Tony Cuares made the day of one of their newest (and likely oldest) customers with a special ear piercing for 97-year-old Doris (photo courtesy of Day’s Jewelers).@jckmagazine
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