It can be rare to find a fine jewelry store owned by a woman. But it’s even less common to find a shop helmed by a trio of women. Such is the successful scenario at Peter & Co. Jewelers in Avon Lake, Ohio. Veteran retailer Theresia Oreskovic, who owns the store, runs it with her daughters, Kim Elton and Tamara Geraci. Oreskovic’s late husband, Peter, founded the store in 1975, and after his passing she kept the business going—growing the store from a small strip mall location to a thriving freestanding outpost with Geraci and Elton. It’s no wonder one of Oreskovic’s favorite parts of the workday is lunch. “We try to sit down for lunch together every day and I love it,” she says with a laugh. “But I think the very best thing about working with family is feeling like you can actually be yourself all the time. You never have to be someone else.”
Mom Theresia Oreskovic (c.) with daughters Tamara Geraci (l.) and Kim Elton
Photograph by Ricky Rhodes
Kim: When I was growing up, I knew, for the most part, that I wanted to join the business. For a minute I thought I would go into marketing research. But I didn’t stray very far from my family. And I saw that there was a lot of potential at the store. I can’t imagine going to work and not loving what you do.
Tamara: I went to The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, and I worked as a graphic artist for two years.… My dad and Theresia asked me to come aboard in 1994. It was not a good fit at first. It’s family and you’re young and it can be hard. But they both helped me grow up.
Theresia: Kim started in 2003 and she is our numbers girl. She keeps us on track and doesn’t let the rest of us go wild. She handles the website and inventory management, too. Tamara…is sheer energy. She brings enthusiasm and power to the store. Even if there’s no one here, she’s happy and smiling.
Kim: Tamara’s the person who goes up to talk to people she doesn’t know. I’m a person who likes to be in the backroom, so we complement each other.
Tamara: Theresia’s great attitude and way of treating people rubs off on all of us. Kim helps the business grow in every way possible.
Tamara: For a long time we used the tagline “We have what women want.” And we feel like we really know what women want—we’re women coming from different generations, and all three of us have a different outlook. Also, [as women] we’re just really powerful!
Theresia: When we moved in 2010 to a freestanding building, that was a huge step. Now we want to be bigger and better. Our goal is to reposition the store in a bigger, higher-traffic area. We see so much potential.