Featured Seguin Small Business Highlight
Gracie's Gold in Seguin, Texas is owned by Leo and Elsa Salinas. Leo Salinas is a degreed chemical engineer, retired after a 31 year career in R&D and Alternative Energy technology and business development. Leo says, "I exhausted my bucket list rather quickly when I retired. I'm now having the time of my life running this business and helping people."
Elsa Salinas is a degreed accountant and has worked for various firms in the Houston and San Antonio area. Her passion for custom jewelry design ignited their custom jewelry design business.
"We actually started off as a gold buyer for about three years here in Seguin," Elsa says. "Last year we started making jewelry with high tech equipment. We brought in technology that was not used in the county. We use a computer aided CAD program. My husband and I are the only employees, so we're doing this together. He went to advanced training on the CAD program. So he does jewelry models on the computer software. And then I went to training for setting stones and polishing."
Gracie's Gold brings high tech, innovative jewelry making to Seguin, Texas.
"We're just a small mom and pop, but we bring that technology to Seguin," Elsa continued. The software is used for making cars, prosthetic limbs - anything. That's the same top software that we use in our store to make rings. Our main business so far has been creating a new look for customers that have had their rings for a long time. Most people that have had yellow gold rings, want white gold or platinum. So we do that for them."
Gracie's Gold does not resemble the typical jewelry store.
"People come into the store just shocked that there's no display cases," Elsa says. "It's totally different. All you do is come in, tell us your design ideas and we create a custom prototype for you. We do everything high tech. We send e-mails back and forth of renders. The render is a picture of this type of prototype that the software produces.We send it to the customer and they may say 'can you change this a little bit?' And so we'll do that, change it a little bit and send them another render. That's what we do and we feel like we're providing a great service to Seguin. We're hoping as a small mom and pop that we keep the monies here in Seguin and not outside of Seguin. Every month is different for us because every piece is different."
At the same time Gracie's Gold is tied to a nationwide jeweler manufacturer. Jewelry that is existent in regular jewelry stores in traditional display cases, is offered through Gracie's Gold online showcase. You can fill out the online form or come into the store to order from the online showcase.
"We can order it today and it gets here tomorrow, as long as it's not personalized," Elsa says. "If you don't like it, we send it back at no cost to you. So we are able to provide that type of service. By not having those large inventories in the store, we pass that savings on to the customer. So we have both - we can custom design or we can order something for you.
To us everybody wants a unique type of look, so everyone is special and everyone has their own stories. So that's also the joy that we get from working one-on-one."