Owner, Enchanted Jewelry
Owner, Enchanted Jewelry
Growing up on an Appaloosa Horse farm in eastern Connecticut, Jill Keith never imagined she would one day own a jewelry shop. Her path to entrepreneurship was far from direct.
Jill left the horse farm to attend college and later enjoyed a long career as an education administrator. Around the same time that Jill was entering college, her father decided to sell the horse farm and became a jeweler, eventually opening a shop in Danielson called Enchanted Jewelry.
When Jill retired from education in 2014, she planned to spend time with family, focus on her health, and remain involved in national education policy. Life had other plans. After her retirement, Jill began visiting her father at his business more often. In 2015, the store was short-staffed heading into the busy holiday season. Recently retired and with time on her hands, Jill offered to help out. Before long, she became more involved, attending trade shows, and taking steps to grow the business such as improving the company’s Facebook page. Enchanted Jewelry became a more popular destination for those seeking engagement rings and custom pieces.
As she delved deeper into the business, Jill found a passion for the shop her father had created, appreciated being part of her father’s legacy, and loved helping clients to find or create their most treasured possessions. In 2017, Jill’s father transferred ownership of Enchanted Jewelry to Jill. The business offers both in-store and digital shopping for finished fine jewelry and fashion, classic, and estate pieces, along with services such as design, redesign, and repair.
Jill first began using WBDC’s services in the summer of 2017, when construction on the street where Enchanted Jewelry was located limited customers’ access to the store for several months and threatened the sustainability of the business. While she initially only sought support for relocating the business (with the move to Plainfield occurring in 2018), she also discovered that she had much to learn about being an entrepreneur.
“I began reading every WBDC email, participating in every training session that I could,” she says. “My business sales grew about $100,000 each of those first four years. I continue to use WBDC resources, which inspire me to find joy, hope and purpose for the future within the challenges of business ownership.”
Jill credits the WBDC’s training and mentoring services with helping her to identify her target market, make informed decisions that impact the future of the company and community, and hire key staff. She says the organization also provided key support and encouragement during numerous challenges that arose during the COVID-19 pandemic, including an incident of identity theft that made it more challenging to access federal aid.
Jill recommends that entrepreneurs form close relationships with their mentors, network and train as much as possible, and not procrastinate when it comes to marketing, accounting, and bookkeeping.
“Be comfortable with the winding road and enjoy the view along the way,” she says.