> Out and About: Kerry Ruiz, Owner of Ashley's Distinctive Jewelry and Gifts

Out and About: Kerry Ruiz, Owner of Ashley's Distinctive Jewelry and Gifts

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Kerry Ruiz is the owner of Ashley's Distinctive Jewelry & Gifts that has been in business since 1989. It's located at the Day Hill Village Shoppes at 555 Day Hill Rd. Kerry is a member of the Chamber of Commerce.

Kerry was born in New Foundland, Canada, on a St. John's Air Force Base. His father was in the service. His family did a lot of traveling as he grew up. "We moved about every year." His father retired out of Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee, MA. Kerry stayed in Massachusetts where he went to a two-year college to learn about management. After graduating, Kerry worked for Aetna Insurance, but that proved to be a little mundane for a restless soul. Around the same time he was contacted by someone he had worked for while studying at college in the shoe business. He started as a district manager for Prague Shoes for a while. It was one day that an unhappy customer stopped by the shoe store Kerry was at. Being district manager, Kerry was able to resolve the problem so much so that the customer was fully impressed and offered him to work for Diamond Showcase. He knew nothing about jewelry but was willing to learn. That is when Louis DellaVeccia mentored him and out of it came a long business partnership for years to come. Kerry eventually left Diamond Showcase and went into manufacturing for jewelry. He learned manufacturing with those that dealt with manufacturers (i.e. raw materials and stones.)

In 1988, Kerry had by now moved to Windsor, CT. when three tobacco barns that were on Day Hill Road were being taken down. A sign announced they would be building a little plaza. Kerry lived a short distance away. He would drive by every day and see it. It was during then he thought he would try and open his own retail store. He brought in business partner Louis DellaVeccia. Ashley's opened in June of 1989. The name was inspired by Kerry's first niece and a wanting of an "A" name. It would be a store that specializes in retail jewelry, custom made sterling silver, 14K, 18K, and platinum jewelry diamond engagement and wedding bands. People could come in and get a one-of-a-kind piece, fabricated from scratch. Ashley's would accommodate them with napkins to draw out their plans.

In 2002, Louis became ill and passed away the same year. Kerry's wife, Carissa joined the staff that was certified from the Gemological Institute of America on Diamond and Diamond Grading. Two years later, Annette O'Meara joined the staff as Store Manager. Eventually, they would hire Master goldsmith, Kurt, who along with the rest of the staff, started out at Diamond Showcase.

When it comes to his adopted town of Windsor, Kerry was offered up a bit of advice from older famed jewelers, Bill Savitt and Bernie Fields. It was Mr. Savitt who said to Kerry, "If you want any advice, you need to give back to the community that gives to you." Kerry continues, "That's been a philosophy of mine right along. We're pretty involved especially if it has to do with kids. You'll always see us involved one way or another." He himself has done volunteer work with Project Santa, and The Diamond Club. His involvement with non-profits extends to the Windsor Elks Club, Masons, Chamber president for two years, and served ten years as Shad Fest Bureau president. On his off time, Kerry loves to go to the concerts held at Northwest Park, which he calls, "A gem in the rough."

Three words that describe Kerry: generous, honest, hard working.


Events

Take Out And Win
Now at Windsor Restaurants
WinWag Photo Contest 2020
through May 29 at online
Veterans Coffee Hour POSTPONED
4th Thursdays at Windsor Senior Center, 599 Matianuck Avenue, Windsor, CT
Blood Pressure Screening POSTPONED
1st Wednesdays at Senior Center located at LP Wilson Community Center.
Awards, Dinner & Dancing POSTPONED
Jun 5 at Hartford/Windsor Marriott, 28 Day Hill Road
Board of Directors Mtg
Jun 9 at online
B.P. Educational Sessions
Jun 10 at Windsor Town Hall
Business After Hours
Jun 10 at House of Books and Games, 1073 Palisado
Teen Game Day on Zoom!
Jun 12 at Virtual on Zoom
Basics of Fruit Preserving
Jun 13 at Wilson Branch Library, 365 Windsor Avenue, Windsor, CT 06095
HBG Open for Shopping by Appt
Jun 13 at 1073 Palisado Ave, Windsor
HBG RPG Nights - Postponed
monthly at The Bean @ 226
Programs Committee Mtg
Jun 15 at online
Tourism Committee Meeting
3rd Tuesdays at online
Lunch Program - 60+ Delivery/PickUp
Weekdays at The Senior Center
Veterans Coffee Hour POSTPONED
4th Thursdays at Windsor Senior Center, 599 Matianuck Avenue, Windsor, CT
Drop in Adult Games Postponed
Jun 27 at Luppoleto Brewery, 20 Main St Windsor Locks
Blood Pressure Screening POSTPONED
1st Wednesdays at Senior Center located at LP Wilson Community Center.
B.P. Educational Sessions
Jul 1 at Windsor Town Hall
HBG RPG Nights - Postponed
monthly at The Bean @ 226
Board of Directors Mtg
Jul 14 at online
Programs Committee Mtg
Jul 20 at online
Lunch Program - 60+ Delivery/PickUp
Weekdays at The Senior Center
Tourism Committee Meeting
3rd Tuesdays at online
Veterans Coffee Hour POSTPONED
4th Thursdays at Windsor Senior Center, 599 Matianuck Avenue, Windsor, CT
Drop in Adult Games Postponed
Jul 25 at Luppoleto Brewery, 20 Main St Windsor Locks