● By Wendy Sipple
Photo by Dante Fontana
Describe your business. Did you find it, or did it find you?
Randolph’s is the oldest jewelry store in the West, established in 1852. Today Randolph’s is a full-service jewelry store featuring custom work and fine designer jewelry in gold and platinum. The professional staff includes deeply experienced designers, goldsmiths and gemologists using the latest technologies including Computer Aided Design and laser welding, all in an environment of old fashioned service. Randolph’s has been buying and selling gold on Main Street for 157 years and with the current high gold prices, many people are bringing in unwanted jewelry for redesign, trade or outright sale. The estate jewelry department is brimming with recent arrivals and offers excellent value to the discerning shopper.
What was your first job and what did you learn from the experience?
I started out as an apprentice jeweler making sterling silver chain by hand, one link at a time. I learned that I do not like to work with silver. Gold and platinum are much better.
What is the best part of doing business in this community?
Helping people create and acquire some of their most treasured possessions. Some of our customers have been coming to Randolph’s for generations.
How are you involved with the community?
I have deep roots in the community and am committed to a life of public service. I served 12 years on the Marshall Hospital Board of Directors including three years as board president. I am currently president of the board of directors for the El Dorado Community Foundation, which promotes philanthropy in our community, and is building an endowment for our long-term benefit.
Why is your staff the best in the business?
Randolph’s has a very experienced staff and very little employee turnover. Nobody is just a salesperson. Each person has a professional skill such as jewelry designer, gemologist or goldsmith. We will have a third gemologist (nobody else locally has even one) when Kathy Prender, who has been here eleven years completes her Graduate Gemologist degree this year. The staff has earned the following awards: Voted best jewelry store by Style magazine readers in 2008 and 2009, voted best jewelry store by Mountain Democrat readers in 2007 and 2008 and recognized by the Sacramento Business Journal as one of the fastest growing businesses in the area in 2008.