In my profession I get to take part in sweet surprises all the time. Between engagement proposals, thoughtful milestone gifts, and the extensive list of Christmas hints we fulfill each year, it’s more often than not the case that Tim and I are surreptitiously putting a surprise gift together for someone. A few weeks ago, I helped put together a surprise for a dear friend and it was so sweet, I had to share the story…
My friend Nancy is a combination of humility and confidence that is rare to find in a person. She’s intelligent, a thoughtful friend, and she has successfully worked hard to build her career into the extensive network of clients she has now. At the same time, she’s always looking for a bargain and would never dream of paying full price for something — she’s an avid couponer and loves hunting for the best deal on her daily wares. I love when she excitedly tells me that she found her favorite brand of toothpaste on sale, or when she brings over a bag of dried mangoes for me because they were buy-two-get-one-free.
So, when we had our special a few weeks ago on our new collection of stacking rings, Nancy was first in line to make an appointment and try them out. She had been considering buying a nice, daily-wear ring for herself for a long time but — until now — couldn’t summon the indulgence to treat herself to one. But when she saw our sale, she knew this was the perfect opportunity to dive in for something special. I met with her and she tried on a few options before choosing this delicate 14-karat yellow gold diamond and beaded band, which happens to be one of my favorites from our collection as well. We ordered it in her size and told her we would have it ready for her to pick up in less than a week.
Fast forward a few days and I opened my email to find a message from her boyfriend, Sean. Sean knew that Nancy was waiting to pick up and pay for her ring and he wanted to know if he could secretly pay for the ring and mail us a card to give to Nancy when she picked up her jewelry that week since he was traveling for business and wouldn’t be able to see her in person. I was struck by the sweet gesture; he knew Nancy would never ask him for something like this, but he also knew how much she wanted this ring and he wanted to give her what he knew she would love.
So, I coordinated with Sean to have the ring and card ready for Nancy when she picked up the ring. Nancy and I chat often so I had to keep the surprise a secret, and when she arrived to try on her band I had to restrain myself for blurting everything out. She tried on her ring and (of course) loved it, so without comment I handed her Sean’s card in a plain white envelope.
Assuming I had handed her the invoice, she distractedly opened the card and began reading it, her face changing from neutral to confusion to disbelief to delight in the span of ten seconds. She was touched by his thoughtfulness (as was I!) and couldn’t believe we had coordinated this for her. It was definitely one of the highlights of my week and it was a reminder of how lucky I am to get to share in these little secret gifts all the time with our wonderful clients.
Alexandria & Company is an Old Town-based workshop and design studio specializing in creating and restoring fine jewelry and silver hollowware. They are the in-the-know jewelers of Alexandria and have been serving clients out of their small workshop for decades. Tucked in their historic building on South Royal Street, the team at Alx&Co. brings a personalized, modern approach to their craft – this is not your average stodgy jeweler or antique shop. Visit them during their walk-in hours or online to view their collection of handmade fine jewelry or to drop off a repair project; or, if you’re feeling creative, make an appointment to talk about that custom design project you’ve been imagining.
121-B South Royal Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
Design Studio Walk-In Hours (all jewelry services): Wednesday – Saturday 12-6pm
Silver Workshop Walk-In Hours (all silver repair and restoration services): Wednesday or Friday 12-6pm, or by appointment
Appointments encouraged for custom design.