> 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

November Food Drive at Many Rivers
Nov 11 at 3 Barnard Lane, Suite 205, in Bloomfield
4 Part Quilting Workshop
Nov 13 at Windsor Public Library
Ambassadors Committee Meeting
Nov 13 at Chamber office
Business After Hours
Nov 13 at Webster Bank, Broad St, Windsor
Game Dinner
Nov 13 at The Tavern at Keney Park
Red Door of Grace Food Pantry
Wednesdays at Grace Episcopal Church, 311 Broad St., Windsor, CT
Burgers and Brews
Thursdays at The Tavern at Keney Park
Alzheimer's Support Group
2nd Thursdays at Kimberly Hall N.
Beth Caruso and The Salty Rose
Nov 14 at Windsor Public Library
Lobster Fest
Fridays at The Tavern at Keney Park
WHS Drama Presents "CLUE"
Nov 15 at Windsor High School. 50 Sage Park Road. Windsor, CT. 06095
Big Steak Dinner
Saturdays at The Tavern at Keney Park
Dom's Fundraiser for Food Pantry
Nov 16 at Dom's Broad St. Eatery, 330 Broad St., Windsor, CT 06095
Student and Faculty Recital
Nov 16 at First Church in Windsor, 107 Palisado Ave.
Turkey and Twenty Drive
Nov 16 at Eagle on the Green by Windsor Public Library
Vendor & Artisan Fair: SagePark PTO
Nov 16 at Sage Park Middle School - 25 Sage Park Road
WF&FB Fundraiser at ACE
Nov 16 at WINDSOR ACE HARDWARE 296 Broad St.
Brunch Buffet
Sundays at The Tavern at Keney Park
Yoga Paint Party
Nov 17 at Wabi-Sabi Yoga & Wellness Center
Adult Drawing and Painting 101
Mondays thru Dec 16 at Windsor Art Center Studios
Diabetic Support Group
Nov 19 at AP1, LP WIlson Community Center, 599 Matianuck Avenue, Windsor, CT
Intermediate Adult Art
Tuesdays till Dec. 17 at Windsor Art Center Studios
Learn to Crochet
Tuesdays at Windsor Public Library
Nutritionist Talk - Supplements
Nov 19 at Windsor Public Library
Red Door of Grace Food Pantry
Wednesdays at Grace Episcopal Church, 311 Broad St., Windsor, CT
Stillness in Motion - Art Center
Nov 20 at Windsor Art Center
Burgers and Brews
Thursdays at The Tavern at Keney Park
Hot Lunch Program-60&Up
Weekdays at the Senior Center
Programs Committee Meeting
3rd Thursday at Bart's Drive In, 55 Palisado Ave, Windsor
Stillness in Motion - Art Center
Nov 21 at Windsor Art Center
Talk It Up Toastmasters Meeting
Nov 21 at 175 Addison Road, Windsor, CT
WinTech Showcase
Nov 21 at Hilton Garden Inn, 555 Corporate Dr, Windsor
Kids Movie, Craft, and Pizza Night!
Nov 22 at Windsor Art Center Studios
Lobster Fest
Fridays at The Tavern at Keney Park
Old Fashioned Christmas with Clara
Nov 22 at The Music School at Sound Crossing, 101 Palisado Ave. Windsor, CT
31st Annual "Food For Health" Drive
Nov 23 at Dr. George B. Curry of 15 Central Street
Artist Talk/Panel Discussion
Nov 23 at Windsor Art Center
Big Steak Dinner
Saturdays at The Tavern at Keney Park
Holiday Auction & Dinner!
Nov 23 at The Lodge
Brunch Buffet
Sundays at The Tavern at Keney Park
Adult Drawing and Painting 101
Mondays thru Dec 16 at Windsor Art Center Studios
Monday Morning Book Club
Nov 25 at Windsor Public Library
Monday Morning Book Club
Nov 25 at Windsor Public Library
Intermediate Adult Art
Tuesdays till Dec. 17 at Windsor Art Center Studios
Learn to Crochet
Tuesdays at Windsor Public Library
Red Door of Grace Food Pantry
Wednesdays at Grace Episcopal Church, 311 Broad St., Windsor, CT
Tacos 7 Trivia
Nov 27 at The Tavern at Keney Park
Veterans Coffee Hour
Nov 28 at Windsor Senior Center, 599 Matianuck Avenue, Windsor, CT
Lobster Fest
Fridays at The Tavern at Keney Park
Big Steak Dinner
Saturdays at The Tavern at Keney Park
Christmas Sampler
Nov 30 at L.P. Wilson
Shop Small with HBG
Nov 30 at House of Books and Games
Small Business Saturday
Nov 30 at Windsor's Small Businesses
Santa Brunch
Dec 1 at The Tavern at Keney Park
Shop Small with HBG
Dec 1 at House of Books and Games
Adult Drawing and Painting 101
Mondays thru Dec 16 at Windsor Art Center Studios
HBG Adult Game Night at LP Wilson
1st Monday at LP Wilson Rec Center
Intermediate Adult Art
Tuesdays till Dec. 17 at Windsor Art Center Studios
Learn to Crochet
Tuesdays at Windsor Public Library
Transportation Committee Meeting
Dec 3 at Chamber office
Red Door of Grace Food Pantry
Wednesdays at Grace Episcopal Church, 311 Broad St., Windsor, CT
WCC Holiday Business Breakfast
Dec 4 at Hartford/Windsor Marriott
Block Printed Gift Wrap Workshop
Dec 5 at Windsor Public Library
Festival of Wreaths
Dec 5 at Kimberly Hall North Building 1 Emerson Dr Windsor
Talk It Up Toastmasters Meeting
Dec 5 at 175 Addison Road, Windsor, CT
A Victorian Country Christmas
Dec 6 at 778 Palisado Ave., Windsor CT
Holiday Open House!
Dec 7 at Therapeutic Solutions - 96 Poquonock Ave, Windsor, CT 06095
Adult Drawing and Painting 101
Mondays thru Dec 16 at Windsor Art Center Studios
Holiday Movie
Dec 9 at Windsor Public Library
Chamber Board of Directors meeting
Dec 10 at Chamber Office
Intermediate Adult Art
Tuesdays till Dec. 17 at Windsor Art Center Studios
Learn to Crochet
Tuesdays at Windsor Public Library
Tourism Committee Meeting
Dec 10 at Chamber office
Ukulele Holiday Benefit Concert
Dec 10 at Windsor High School Auditorium
Ambassadors Committee Meeting
Dec 11 at Chamber office
Red Door of Grace Food Pantry
Wednesdays at Grace Episcopal Church, 311 Broad St., Windsor, CT
Alzheimer's Support Group
2nd Thursdays at Kimberly Hall N.
Card Stamp event to win Gift Cards
Dec 14 at House of Books and Games, Ewe and You, The Bean
Hearth Cooking Class
Dec 14 at Windsor Historical Society
Wreath Across America
Dec 14 at Windsor Veterans Memorial Cemetery
HBG Beth Caruso book signing
Dec 15 at House of Books and Games
Adult Drawing and Painting 101
Mondays thru Dec 16 at Windsor Art Center Studios
Monday Morning Book Club
Dec 16 at Windsor Public Library
Monday Morning Book Club
Dec 16 at Windsor Public Library
Diabetic Support Group
Dec 17 at AP1, LP WIlson Community Center, 599 Matianuck Avenue, Windsor, CT
Intermediate Adult Art
Tuesdays till Dec. 17 at Windsor Art Center Studios
Learn to Crochet
Tuesdays at Windsor Public Library
Red Door of Grace Food Pantry
Wednesdays at Grace Episcopal Church, 311 Broad St., Windsor, CT
Programs Committee Meeting
3rd Thursday at Bart's Drive In, 55 Palisado Ave, Windsor
Talk It Up Toastmasters Meeting
Dec 19 at 175 Addison Road, Windsor, CT
Hot Lunch Program-60&Up
Weekdays at the Senior Center
Red Door of Grace Food Pantry
Wednesdays at Grace Episcopal Church, 311 Broad St., Windsor, CT
Veterans Coffee Hour
Dec 26 at Windsor Senior Center, 599 Matianuck Avenue, Windsor, CT
Red Door of Grace Food Pantry
Wednesdays at Grace Episcopal Church, 311 Broad St., Windsor, CT
Talk It Up Toastmasters Meeting
Jan 2, 2020 at 175 Addison Road, Windsor, CT
HBG RPG nights at the Bean
Jan 4, 2020 at The Bean @ 226
HBG Adult Game Night at LP Wilson
1st Monday at LP Wilson Rec Center
Transportation Committee Meeting
Jan 7, 2020 at Chamber office
Ambassadors Committee Meeting
Jan 8, 2020 at Chamber office
Business After Hours
Jan 8, 2020 at Preserve at Great Pond, 2000 Day Hill Rd
Red Door of Grace Food Pantry
Wednesdays at Grace Episcopal Church, 311 Broad St., Windsor, CT
Alzheimer's Support Group
2nd Thursdays at Kimberly Hall N.