Prior to the floods of June 2008, Ginsberg Jewelers was a casual member, at best, of the Iowa Jewelers Association (IJA). It was when I received a call from then IJA president Tyler Klima in September 2008 that I became aware of at least one very valuable reason for membership in the association: The IJA literally helped us back on our feet and get us ready to maintain our retail business.
Klima and Tom Keleher drove up to our newly rented temporary store in Marion/Cedar Rapids in a large panel truck on a September evening and began unloading all that the IJA had collected... ring sizers & sticks, ring stretcher, ring engraver, gem scales, buffing machine, steam cleaner, ultrasonic cleaner, tweezers, loupes, enough equipment to outfit a repair bench-including the bench! And, enough showcase jewelry displays to completely dress our newly acquired, used showcases.
My father, wife & I were dumbfounded then, and continue to be amazed to this day. The actions of the IJA were instrumental in confirming to us that we were going in the right direction in our decision to move forward with our business, despite the largest single devastating interruption in our store's 100 year history.
Fast forward to now, the silver lining from 2008 is apparent in our sales, location, industry partners, and friends who rose to the surface to help us. I'm now on the board of IJA, allowing me to interact with fellow Iowa jewelers. I can only hope that many other Iowa jewelers will make the opportunity to participate in the Iowa Jewelers Association and realize the camaraderie and assistance that fellow "neighbors" can provide in good times and in bad.
With sincerity and gratitude,
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402