> 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

Kick-Off to Summer Art Week
Jun 18 at Windsor Art Center Studios
Bring Your Gadgets to the Geeks
Wednesdays at Windsor Public Library
Evolution of Bradley Airport
Jun 19 at Windsor Historical Society
Lunch & Learn: Business Financing
Jun 19 at Hilton Garden Inn, 555 Corporate Dr
Red Door of Grace Food Pantry
Wednesdays at Grace Episcopal Church, 311 Broad St., Windsor, CT
Talk It Up Toastmasters Meeting
Jun 20 at 175 Addison Road, Windsor, CT
Hot Lunch Program-60&Up
Weekdays at the Senior Center
Strawberry Festival
Jun 22 at Brown's Harvest 1911 Poquonock Ave
Windsor Art Center Tag Sale
Jun 22 at Windsor Art Center
Call for Artists - Member Show
Jun 23 at Windsor Art Center
Keney Park PGA jr. League
Jun 23 at Keney Park Golf Course
Drawing and Painting 101 for Adults
Jun 24 at Windsor Art Center Studios
How to Hire Top Talent
Jun 24 at Wilson Branch Library, 365 Windsor Ave
Monday Morning Book Club
Jun 24 at Windsor Public Library
Summer Movie Series - Planet of the
Jun 25 at Windsor Public Library
Bring Your Gadgets to the Geeks
Wednesdays at Windsor Public Library
Red Door of Grace Food Pantry
Wednesdays at Grace Episcopal Church, 311 Broad St., Windsor, CT
Summer Concerts on the Green
Thursdays at Windsor Town Green
Veterans Coffee Hour
Jun 27 at Windsor Senior Center, 599 Matianuck Avenue, Windsor, CT
Edward Jones Grand Opening
Jun 28 at 697 Poquonock Ave (Price Choppers plaza), Windsor, CT 06095
Mid-20th C. Tiki Drinks & Culture!
Jun 28 at Windsor Historical Society
Christopher Martin Art Show
Jul 1 at Windsor Public Library Artspace
Drawing and Painting 101 for Adults
Jul 1 at Windsor Art Center Studios
Young Artist’s Watercolor Day
Jul 1 at Windsor Art Center Studios
Summer Movies Series
Jul 2 at Windsor Public Library
Bring Your Gadgets to the Geeks
Wednesdays at Windsor Public Library
Red Door of Grace Food Pantry
Wednesdays at Grace Episcopal Church, 311 Broad St., Windsor, CT
Windsor Business Connection
1st Wednesday at Bart's Drive In, 55 Palisado Ave
Summer Concerts on the Green
Thursdays at Windsor Town Green
Talk It Up Toastmasters Meeting
Jul 4 at 175 Addison Road, Windsor, CT
Christopher Martin's Art Reception
Jul 6 at Windsor Public Library Artspace
Drawing and Painting 101 for Adults
Jul 8 at Windsor Art Center Studios
Summer Movie Series
Jul 9 at Windsor Public Library
Bring Your Gadgets to the Geeks
Wednesdays at Windsor Public Library
Business After Hours
Jul 10 at Northwest Park, Lang Rd, Windsor
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.
Summer Concerts on the Green
Thursdays at Windsor Town Green
Yoga at the Windsor Art Center
Friday at Windsor Art Center
Windsor Art Center - Member Show
Jul 13 at Windsor Art Center
Windsor Garden Club Garden Tour
Jul 13 at Windsor, CT
Drawing and Painting 101 for Adults
Jul 15 at Windsor Art Center Studios
Diabetic Support Group
Jul 16 at AP1, LP WIlson Community Center, 599 Matianuck Avenue, Windsor, CT
Summer Movie Series
Jul 16 at Windsor Public Library
National Hot Dog Day
Jul 17 at The Tavern at Keney Park
Bring Your Gadgets to the Geeks
Wednesdays at Windsor Public Library
Red Door of Grace Food Pantry
Wednesdays at Grace Episcopal Church, 311 Broad St., Windsor, CT
Ukulele for Beginners-B
Jul 17 at Windsor High School J113
Summer Concerts on the Green
Thursdays at Windsor Town Green
Talk It Up Toastmasters Meeting
Jul 18 at 175 Addison Road, Windsor, CT
Windsor Art Center - Artist Talk
Jul 20 at Windsor Art Center
Hot Lunch Program-60&Up
Weekdays at the Senior Center
Drawing and Painting 101 for Adults
Jul 22 at Windsor Art Center Studios
Monday Morning Book Club
Jul 22 at Windsor Public Library
Summer Movie Series
Jul 23 at Windsor Public Library
Bring Your Gadgets to the Geeks
Wednesdays at Windsor Public Library
Red Door of Grace Food Pantry
Wednesdays at Grace Episcopal Church, 311 Broad St., Windsor, CT
Summer Concerts on the Green
Thursdays at Windsor Town Green
Veterans Coffee Hour
Jul 25 at Windsor Senior Center, 599 Matianuck Avenue, Windsor, CT
Yoga at the Windsor Art Center
Friday at Windsor Art Center
Summer Concerts on the Green
Thursdays at Windsor Town Green
Drawing and Painting 101 for Adults
Jul 29 at Windsor Art Center Studios
Summer Movie Series
Jul 30 at Windsor Public Library
Blood Drive Windsor Historical Soc.
Jul 31 at Windsor Historical Society
Bring Your Gadgets to the Geeks
Wednesdays at Windsor Public Library
Red Door of Grace Food Pantry
Wednesdays at Grace Episcopal Church, 311 Broad St., Windsor, CT
Photojournalist Jessica Hill Art
Aug 1 at Windsor Public Library Artspace
Summer Concerts on the Green
Thursdays at Windsor Town Green
Talk It Up Toastmasters Meeting
Aug 1 at 175 Addison Road, Windsor, CT
Drawing and Painting 101 for Adults
Aug 5 at Windsor Art Center Studios
Summer Movie Series
Aug 6 at Windsor Public Library
Bring Your Gadgets to the Geeks
Wednesdays at Windsor Public Library
Red Door of Grace Food Pantry
Wednesdays at Grace Episcopal Church, 311 Broad St., Windsor, CT
Windsor Business Connection
1st Wednesday at Bart's Drive In, 55 Palisado Ave
Alzheimer's Support Group
2nd Thursdays at Kimberly Hall N.
Summer Concerts on the Green
Thursdays at Windsor Town Green
Yoga at the Windsor Art Center
Friday at Windsor Art Center
Drawing and Painting 101 for Adults
Aug 12 at Windsor Art Center Studios
Monster Madness Art Day
Aug 12 at Windsor Art Center Studios
Summer Movie Series
Aug 13 at Windsor Public Library
Bring Your Gadgets to the Geeks
Wednesdays at Windsor Public Library
Business After Hours
Aug 14 at Edward Jones, Poquonock Ave, Windsor
Red Door of Grace Food Pantry
Wednesdays at Grace Episcopal Church, 311 Broad St., Windsor, CT
Summer Concerts on the Green
Thursdays at Windsor Town Green
Talk It Up Toastmasters Meeting
Aug 15 at 175 Addison Road, Windsor, CT