Loann StokesShe is a second generation goldsmith. She learned in the old fashioned way, an apprenticeship with her father, Wayne Ek Sr, a well known goldsmith and craftsman in the twin cities in his day. Loann and her family moved to Stillwater in 1986.
When her father decided to retire in 1989 she chose to help him sell his business, Jewelers Service Co., rather than take it over. She took "her cut" and opened a goldsmith shop in Stillwater in 1990. The kids were in Stonebridge Elementary and the day care was right up the road. Definitely a better and easier place to work than downtown Mpls! Plus "grandpa" came to work part time for her for a while!
After 40+ years at the bench there isn't much that she hasn't seen, done or repaired in the jewelry world. Her motto is “If you can dream it, we can build it. If it’s broken we can repair and restore it. We want you to get years of enjoyment out of your family jewelry!” Loann herself wears a ring that her father built in the 1950’s. Her mother wore it, now she wears it and in the future her daughter will wear it. What do you have that should be passed down?
Kate DonnerKate Donner was born in Boston and moved to Stillwater with her husband John in 1991. Yes, you've guessed it, she is mom to Emily and her younger daughter, Grace.
Kate has had such diverse jobs as sliming salmon in Alaska, working in the health insurance industry, being a full time Mom, working in a coffee shop in high school and then working in a coffee shop again when her kids were in high school! She has also been a fitness instructor, personal trainer and most recently, elderly care companion.
Now Kate handles all the behind the counter activities, including sales, merchandise check in, displays, repair take ins and customer service. (Plus, of course she has to try on all the new bling to make sure it looks good!) Daisy, her Yorkie is a very good store greeter!
Emily DonnerEmily Donner was born and raised in Stillwater. A graduate of Stillwater High School and UW River Falls with an Economics degree, she is now apprenticing and studying to be a goldsmith. Her love for jewelry started when she was young.
While visiting her grandparents, she would spend a week each summer working with various art fair jewelers at the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen Fair. She was hooked! Emily loves what she does and professes she will never work a day in her life! Artistic and detail oriented she brings a fresh feel to the repair shop.
Here she is using the laser welder (a $15,000 machine!) to do jewelry repairs. In her "spare time" she coaches the Stillwater Alpine Ski team, rides horses and plays with her dog Luna.