‘If someone can’t do it, Charlie can’

Charles Phillips, owner, operator and craftsman at Gold Lady Jewelers, came to the jewelry business by way of surfboards and bicycles. More

To continue reading this article, please do one of the following.



MAIN STREET

‘If someone can’t do it, Charlie can’

PBN PHOTO/RUPERT WHITELEY
CROWN JEWEL: Gold Lady Jewelers owner Charles Phillips with assistants Lisa Malin, left, and Lisa Delfino. The company specializes in fine jewelry, not costume jewelry.
Posted 1/30/12

Charles Phillips, owner, operator and craftsman at Gold Lady Jewelers, came to the jewelry business by way of surfboards and bicycles.

Since 1980 when he began the North Kingstown business, Phillips built his jewelry store into a successful enterprise with the addition of an estate collection, the use of fine craftsmen and relocation to a former bank building in the heart of Wickford village. He also runs a gift gallery across the street, Gold Lady Galleria, so few people, he quips, can get through the village “without tripping over me.”

What makes his jewelry business different, he said, is the fact that, “I’m on the premises every day, every hour that this store is open,” he told Providence Business News. “We are hands-on every day. We do our own work with state-of-the-art equipment, including computerized engraving machines and laser-welding machines.”

Two craftsmen, including himself, work at the store to make, repair and restore jewelry. A portion of their work is done anonymously for other stores that Phillips declined to name. Gold Lady, as its name implies, deals only in fine jewelry rather than costume pieces.

“Nothing ever leaves this store,” Phillips said. “Everything is done on the premises and is locked up every night.”

In September 2010, Phillips purchased the former Bank of America building in Wickford center, across the street from his first store. The bank building dates from the 1920s with a larger, more open and airy site than his former location, and the new place came with its own actual bank vault installed in the 1950s, an asset of value to a fine jeweler. Another asset is what Phillips said is the largest single-store parking lot in Wickford.

As is the case with many successful small-business owners, Phillips never went to school to formally study the trade he specializes in, but learned the ins and outs of jewelry work on his own in what he called “the school of hard knocks.” But he took to it right away. “It’s fairly second nature to me,” he said.

Phillips got his start in the business world in a shop in the Apponaug section of Warwick manufacturing surfboards, which he would have shipped to places like Maine and Florida. “I didn’t make any money,” he admitted. “You feast all summer and starve all winter.”

Next Page
No comments on this story | Add your comment
Please log in or register to add your comment
Calendar
PBN Hosted
Events

Only a few seats remain for PBN's Manufacturing Awards Dinner and Ceremony, Thursday, April 24th, at the Bryant University Bello Center. Don't hesitate. Register today!
  • Business Women
    Accomplished. Confident. Wicked Smart. Nominate women you know who deserve speci ...
  • 40 Under Forty
    It's the 10th Anniversary of 40 Under Forty, and PBN is planning a special event ...
  • Healthiest Employers
    Enrollment now open for the 2014 Healthiest Employers Program. Please take a mom ...
Advertisement
Purchase Data
Book of Lists
Lists
Book of Lists cover
PBN's annual Book of Lists has been an essential resource for the local business community for almost 30 years. The Book of Lists features a wealth of company rankings from a variety of fields and industries, including banking, health care, real estate, law, hospitality, education, not-for-profits, technology and many more.
Data icons
Data can be purchased as single lists, in either Excel or PDF format; the entire database of the published book, in Excel format; or a printed copy of the Book of Lists.
  • Purchase an e-File of a single list
  •  
  • Purchase an e-File of the entire Book of Lists database
  •  
  • Purchase a printed copy of the Book of Lists
  •  
    National
    Local
    Latest News