Husband-and-wife retailers Rob Prince and Terry Chambers, owners of Prospect Jewelers since 2000, are active members of their local community. So much so, in fact, that Chambers has become the go-to Mrs. Claus at neighborhood events for the Prospect Area PlayReaders theater and the Salvation Army. When the Point Center shopping center asked the duo to help reinvent its family-friendly holiday program two years ago, Prince and Chambers imagined a design competition that would captivate their town’s littlest jewelry aficionados: their customers’ children. Out-of-the-box thinking isn’t new for the duo, who until recently lived aboard their boat, the aptly named Family Jewel, on the Ohio River. “We’re officially landlubbers now,” Chambers says, “and I’m really enjoying being an integral part of this little town and getting the younger generation excited about jewelry.”
Why was it important for you to join forces with local businesses for the holidays?
Chambers: Prospect Jewelers moved to Point Center in Prospect from our 11-year-old location just 500 yards down the road in May 2011. So we were definitely the new kids on the block when asked to help organize the 2011 holiday joint promotion: Light Up Prospect at the Point. That inaugural year was a great success, created lots of energy for all the businesses, and reinvigorated the sense of community well-being that gets us excited.
How did you come up with the idea of a kids’ design competition?
Prospect is a very family-friendly place to live and work. We know most of our clientele on a first-name basis, and we like to say: “If we don’t know you when you come in, we will by the time you leave.” Rob and I—along with our four staff members—take a lot of pride in developing a warm and inviting atmosphere for the entire family when they come to visit. Our tagline for years has been “Your Family Jeweler,” so the tie-in really is organic. One of our favorite things to do each year is to host an evening with area Girl Scout troops to come in after-hours for private demos of jewelry-making to help them get their merit badges.
What are the contest rules?
The rules are simple: Kids submit an original piece of jewelry, and our master jeweler and co-owner, Rob, will judge for originality and design. The winners are announced on the final day of Light Up Prospect. Rob has been a custom jeweler and designer for over 30 years—so he has quite the eye when choosing that special something.
Do you see the event becoming a Prospect Jewelers tradition?
Light Up was a great success and drove quite a bit of traffic to the store. Our winner, Ella Brown, was awarded a $100 cash prize. Ella, a 10-year-old who attends Our Lady of Lourdes School in Louisville, created an original “Jingle” necklace that truly represented the spirit of the holiday. Rob loved the piece because it was a fantastic combination of creativity, playfulness, and wearability that we look for in all of our jewelry. Any time we can encourage growth and creativity in our young people, especially to learn and appreciate what our industry is about, we see it as a good thing.