The glitter and sparkle that greets a customer to Jewellery Connection is a reflection of the depth of service the long-established North Battleford business has to offer.
While owner David Odishaw says there is a wealth of satisfaction to be gained from helping a customer choose just the right piece, there is even more lasting gratification to be gained from matching a client with the perfect piece of customized jewellery.
A trained jewellery designer, Odishaw has developed long-standing and close relationships with the artisans who take his designs and turn them into pieces that line up with what his costumers have in mind
Those artisans have often praised Odishaw for clarity of his designs and his ability to reflect what the customer wants, resulting in less back and forth before a design can move on to the next stage.
Meeting that challenge keeps Odishaw's interest in his work and his business keen.
“I enjoy it because it is a challenge trying to find out what the customer wants and coming up with a design that fits their requirements,” he says.
Shopping locally always has advantages, he adds.
“This is a service they can get right here without the hassle of dealing with out of town sources,” says Odishaw, who points out commissioning custom jewellery often entails several return visits.
Custom jewellery creation accounts for a quarter of the Jewellery Connection's business, an enterprise Odishaw has been involved in since1987. In November of that year he moved to the Battlefords to work at the store, and one condition of his employment was completing a jewellery design course. He achieved that certificate in 1988.
“I have been designing engagement rings, matching wedding rings, custom anniversary rings, coloured stone rings, special pendants and earrings ever since,” he says
Specialized service based on training is the foundation of a business Odishaw has owned since 1989. He completed a five-year process to obtain a Graduate Gemology Degree in 1998. This intensive course included a hands-on component where Odishaw was required to identify and appraise actual gemstones.
“You can study books all you want, but you need to actually deal with the gems to be competent.
“This knowledge allows me to accurately distinguish the difference between various gemstones and their relative qualities and values so I can provide the best value for my customers.”
This knowledge base also gives Odishaw the ability to appraise, on site, pieces for insurance or other purposes. The “on site” aspect is one few other jewellery stores can boast, Odishaw claims. Some stores may employ individuals with specialized knowledge in specific gems, but the intense study required to become a certified gemologist means those with his spectrum of knowledge are uncommon
Another source of growth is Odishaw's ability and willingness to purchase scrap gold and jewellery.