October 26, 2017
Written by Katie Kuhn, United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County
For Lisa Ricke, owner of Finishing Touch Jewelry, creating beautiful baubles for local women is more than just a job; it’s a true passion.
“For 16 years, I’ve had the privilege of being able to dream, design, and make jewelry from a little studio in my home,” says Lisa. “I love showing women that they don’t have to fit the cookie-cutter mold, they can find beautiful jewelry that is unique, their signature piece.”
Finishing Touch Jewelry has a unique business model – instead of creating jewelry in bulk and selling online, each piece is unique, hand made, and sold through intimate shows in the homes of local women.
“The slow food movement has taught us that not everyone wants something mass-produced. People want locally-sourced, quality food, and that is what I do with my jewelry,” says Lisa. “I’ve found that, by doing small-batch production, I can make something no one else is wearing. Women love that!”
Lisa enjoys attending gem shows and choosing the perfect freshwater pearls, aquamarine, and other gems for her pieces. “I feel like Julia Child going to the French market,” says Lisa. “I look carefully at each gem and pick out the best ones. That is where I draw inspiration – from stones and gems that are not hand-made, but God-made.”
Though she tried ecommerce in the past, Lisa decided to take a step back and focus on making in-person connections with her clients. Through home shows, Lisa’s clients can see the jewelry in person, hold it in their hand, try it on, and take it home the same day. Lisa even does alterations on pieces she sold previously. “I invest in my clients. They see me as their jewelry designer.”
At the upcoming Women United SPREE: Shopping for Change, a one-of-a-kind luxury shopping experience featuring local, women-owned retailers, you can have a chance to see, try on, and take home a unique piece from Lisa’s collection. “This is your chance to find quality, creative jewelry with high-end components at a fair price,” says Lisa. “No jewelry store sells what I do.”
After last year’s SPREE event, Lisa heard from women who had bought her pieces that they loved. “It was such a joy to get that feedback,” says Lisa. “I got emails saying ‘I’ve been looking for something like this!’ it’s really not just about making a sale, but about giving my women clients something unforgettable.”
If you’re looking for jewelry that is “funky mixed with serious, classic mixed with fun,” join us at Women United SPREE: Shopping for Change next Thursday, November 2nd at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center in Waukesha. A portion of event proceeds will go to benefit United Way’s Community Fund. Learn more and get your tickets today!