When I became a distributor of Landstroms Black Hills Gold jewelry, I knew I had become involved with something special. However, over this past July 4th Holiday weekend, my admiration for this company and their jewelry has been elevated to a new level. When it comes to Black Hills Gold jewelry, Landstroms is truly the jewel in the crown.
I’ve known about Black Hills Gold for quite some time, having seen all the shops in The Hills on past vacations and climbing trips. But to truly appreciate all that Landstroms is and all that goes into their jewelry, you really have to take the Landstroms factory tour. And that’s what I did with my girlfriend Christa and our friend Tom last week.
As owner of BlackHillsGoldSource.com, the web’s leading online source for Landstroms Black Hills Gold jewelry, I’ve come to know not just Landstrom’s product line, but their awesome Customer Service group as well. So this was not only an opportunity to see Landstrom’s production operation first hand, it was a chance to finally meet the people behind the familiar voices I hear on the telephone every day as well. I was very excited, and the day had finally come.
We planned to do some camping and climbing in beautiful Spearfish Canyon over the July 4th weekend, so we left Boulder very early to give us time to set up our campsite and get to Landstroms for our afternoon tour. When we arrived at the campground a massive thunderstorm had moved in so we decided to just throw our stuff in the campsite and hustle to Rapid City to be there in time for the tour.
We made it to Landstroms and breathed a sigh of relief, having driven the 45 miles in blinding rain and hail, and walked in the front door and up the stairs. As we entered the fantastic showroom, the entire room began to sparkle and shine with the most amazing array of the most beautiful Black Hills Gold jewelry in the world! This was truly a special place that we had entered.
When I could finally raise my head and look up from the display cases, I saw Tammy behind the counter with a big smile on her face. Tammy runs the retail operation there and knows just about everything there is to know about every piece of jewelry in the showroom. She’s been extremely helpful to me. A few moments later, Candy came into the room, followed by Lisa. These two have done so many things over the past couple of years to help me ensure that my customers have the best shopping experience: the highest quality Black Hills Gold jewelry available and the best possible service. They are fantastic!
After introductions (exchanging hugs and giggling like kids), we accompanied Norma on our own personal tour of Landstrom’s production area. We watched a number of amazing production processes, and met several of the people responsible for them and were able to have our questions answered first hand. Tom is a P.E. (Professional Engineer) and he was simply amazed with what he saw, as were Christa and I.
Though I had spoken with Norma on the telephone before when she was temporarily helping out Customer Service, she is a “setter”, meaning she attaches the tiny Black Hills Gold leaves to each piece of jewelry. We met two other setters during our tour as well. At that point it sort of hit me. I was just amazed that of all the Landstroms Black Hills jewelry being produced, every single piece, from coast to coast and north to south, that every single leaf on every single piece would be mounted by these three people. And they did it all by hand, right in front of us as we watched in wonderment. And it’s the same for every process in the factory, it’s just that watching those leaves get attached was unbelievable.
Some of the other Black Hills Gold jewelry manufacturers out there make some good looking stuff (well, some people think so :-)), but they just don’t do it the same way. Landstroms does it all by hand, and it shows. It was at this point that I realized how important quality is to me in my life, and how gratified I am to be a part of THIS company, a company that has epitomized quality for over 130 years.
Well, the tour finished up and we came back upstairs to meet Cheza, President of Landstrom’s and Dave, the CFO. I was so appreciative of the time they took to chat with us. Afterwards, we went out for a couple of drinks and had a very enjoyable time. And then it was time for the weekend and to do some rock climbing in Spearfish Canyon.
But the rest of the weekend, I just couldn’t get what I had seen that day out of my mind. How Landstroms Black Hills Gold is made is truly amazing! And I can’t wait to go back and see it all again!