Emeralds International Team
Diana Calixta Mogrobejo Vanegas – Accredited Jewelry Professional, AJP GIA
Where were you born | Cali – Colombia
What languages do you speak | Spanish, English, Portuguese
What is your professional background prior to the jewelry industry | Model, Fashion designer, Wardrobe stylist, Visual merchandiser, Sales rep
How long have you worked in the jewelry industry and what areas were you working in (i.e. sales, management etc.) | 2 years in jewelry industry as a sales consultant
What credentials do you have in the jewelry industry | GIA Accredited Jewelry Professional
What is your favorite hobby | Painting, traveling, and drawing
How would you describe yourself |Highly creative, communicative, energetic, fun, friendly and a joyful being
What do you enjoy about working with a company like Emeralds International | Great reputation, distinction, knowledge in the industry, like principles and work ethics.
What do you think is the most important thing for customers | Fueling their satisfaction by us surpassing their expectations
Do you have a favorite inspirational quote | In order to be irreplaceable, one must be different. “Coco Chanel”
Patricia Ellstrom – Accredited Jewelry Professional, AJP GIA
Where were you born | Casablanca – French Morocco
What languages do you speak | French, Spanish, English, intermediate Portuguese and Italian, basic German
What is your professional background prior to the jewelry industry | I earned a Paralegal degree. I was a stay-at-home mom and had several part-time jobs, including volunteering at school and after-school programs
How long have you worked in the jewelry industry and what areas were you working in (i.e. sales, management etc.) | I have been in the industry for 31 years. Started as sales and moved up to all phases of management
What credentials do you have in the jewelry industry | GIA Accredited Jewelry Professional; All kinds of high-end watch certifications such as Rolex, Brietling, Tag-Heuer and others
What is your favorite hobby | My grandchildren and spending time in and on the water, in any way, shape or form!
How would you describe yourself | Passionate and compassionate, professional, easy-going but sometimes a little too serious. Responsible and detail oriented
What do you enjoy about working with a company like Emeralds International | I enjoy that it’s a family business and I worked for a family business when I started in the industry. There’s a warm and friendly atmosphere and the personal attention is quite welcoming and genuinely caring. Let’s not forget the beautiful emeralds and amazing conch pearls!
What do you think is the most important thing for customers | The most important thing is to make them feel welcomed, special in any way and to genuinely listen to them… personally and professionally
Do you have a favorite inspirational quote | “Learn to love without condition. Talk without bad intention. Give without any reason. And most of all, care for people without any expectation.” “Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be.”
Robbi Harvey – Administrative Assistant & Bookkeeper
Having worked for NASA and a political action committee on Capitol Hill, and born and raised in Cleveland OH, at 43 years of age, Robbi was ready for a warmer clime. A 20-year resident of Key West, her background in administrative and accounting work allowed her to take over the position of Assistant to the store’s general manager, and the bookkeeping department at Emeralds International. Robbi enjoys the small and simple life, spending time with her 8-pound Maltese puppy, Meister and playing in the sunshine. “I really enjoy that I can have a 9-5 Monday through Friday work schedule in a tourist town, which allows me to enjoy the many festivals and social activities in a place surrounded by tropical waters.”
Marina Marcial – Store Manager
Carl Schutze – Managing Director/Designer
Where were you born | South Africa
What languages do you speak | English and some Afrikaans and I’m learning Spanish
What is your professional background prior to the jewelry industry | I have held many types of jobs since arriving as an immigrant in 1990, from summer camp specialist to construction and carpentry to barback, waiter, to a bouncer in the Bronx, and in Key West, to name a few. I was also a part owner in a small retail business before selling that and moving to Key West where my journey in the jewelry trade began.
How long have you worked in the jewelry industry and what areas were you working in (i.e. sales, management, etc.) | It’s now going on 17 years but I actually started out a little bit earlier before I formally started working with the company – by literally taking out the trash and running errands for the family whenever I popped in to visit my wife. When the time came for the opportunity for me to start, after the loss of 2 long-time employees, I started out on the sales floor and then onto the bench and then into marketing and appraising. I wear a few hats in the business for sure☺!
What credentials do you have in the jewelry industry | Although I have a jewelry repair course and some GIA courses for color stones and diamonds as well as some appraisal training under my belt, there’s nothing like on-the-job learning and honing skills under great mentors like my father-in-law and founder of the company and other professionals in the industry that I admire and worked with over the last 17 years. It’s a never ending process of learning and developing skills. You’ll never stop learning in this business.
What is your favorite hobby | That’s hard to choose but world travel with my wife and family and any outdoor activities that I enjoy such as tennis and spearfishing with my father-in-law and son are at the top. Quality time with friends and family is right there too!
How would you describe yourself | I love mankind and the diversity of our planet and it’s inhabitants and creatures. I’m an Aquarian and a Baha’i so I am motivated by the concept of my work being performed in a spirit of service to humanity and seeing the best in people. I love creativity and seeing others do well! I like to think outside the box and experiment to solve challenges.
What do you enjoy about working with a company like Emeralds International | Well aside from a fantastic and genuine background story and reputation that the company has, the biggest part is that it’s a family business environment so we are a close knit organization and try to create a happy working environment in a stressful world. I’m also very excited about the potential of our brand as we focus on growing it. We have such a great foundation and story behind the founder, my father-in-law Manuel Marcial de Gomar, and the niche market of emeralds and conch pearls that we have been specializing in for over a half century now.
What do you think is the most important thing for customers | Quality, sincere and honest service. As consumers ourselves, hoping to be treated as we would treat others in a society where it seems like companies and corporations are only interested in the bottom-line dollar, and real care and honesty have been sacrificed, we really want new and old clients to experience a high quality value & shopping experience with our brand and know that when they are dealing with us we truly have their best interest at heart. We’re not perfect but we genuinely try.
Do you have a favorite inspirational quote | One of many but this one definitely gets me thinking on my purpose, existence and capacity in this life which motivates me to be who I am in all aspects of my life including my profession –
“Think thyself puny when within thee I have folded the entire universe.” Baha’i Holy Writings