Jennifer Roback, the young and friendly entrepreneur who owns and operates The Jeweller Next Door, brought home the Business of the Year Award for a business with 14 or less employees.
Roback smilingly admits that she is owner and employee.
“There is only me,” she said.
Taking over the store was a natural for Roback who grew up in the jewelry business.
Her parents, Ron and Donna Robak, own Ammonite World and her brother, Chris has Silver Cove jewelry stores throughout central Alberta.
When Roback began her business she was in partnership with a manufacturing company from Toronto, but she has since struck out on her own. She now displays and sells Ammolite jewelry and precious stones along with her own special selection of jewelery and other items. She notes that Amolite was named the official gemstone of Canada for its 150 birthday.
Her little shop is packed with a wide selection of jewelery, costume jewelery, scarves, hair accessories, rocks and fossils.
Because she travels to Tucson, Arizona and Los Vegas annually to purchase her jewellery, she is able to eliminate the middleman and sell her merchandise at a more affordable price than shoppers may find at larger centres.
Her jewelery is varied in style and price.
“I try to have a little bit of everything as Rimbey doesn’t really have a set style,” she said.
As well as singlehandedly running her store, Roback is studying with the Gemological Institute of America for her diploma in graduate gemology.
Having a small business in Rimbey is a great experience, she said.
“It’s a nice area and people are very kind, very friendly.”
She was surprised and pleased to win the award.
“I was up against a lot of good people, good businesses.”
Roback is secretary treasurer of the Rimbey Chamber of Commerce, a volunteer job she thoroughly enjoys.
“It’s nice to get to know the people from the other businesses. When customers come by my store I’m able to send them along to other businesses as well.”