My name is Bobbi French and I own G. Thomas Jewelers in Manhattan, KS. I have owned this brick-and-mortar jewelry store for over a decade, which was originally established in 1963.
With over 20 years of working in the jewelry industry, I have developed a passion for custom jewelry designs and Up-Cycled pieces. I believe almost every nice piece of jewelry we wear has great meaning to the wearer, and enables us to carry a story with us at all times.
I've always been passionate about the "stories" of the pieces people wear, and more often than not I'm finding these stories are created with some intervention of our own. So many of us wear pieces that have been Up-Cycled or "re-worked" to fit our tastes, and needs.
In my years of working in a retail setting that sells a lot of mass produced pieces, I began to see the need for Up-Cycled pieces. I see this as a need because almost daily I have someone coming in who wants to sell a piece that no longer has any value or meaning to them, or has become a painful reminder of a previous life, or they have lost a loved one, and don't particularly have the same taste they did, but would like to honor that person by wearing a piece (or part) of them.
I started to recognize the fact that pawn shops are completely disrespectful to the jewelry industry and offer ridiculously low-ball prices for quality items. To combat this practice, I have started selecting pieces that come through our doors and offering better pricing than what a pawn shop would. However, I usually can purchase these items for less money than what I can from a wholesaler, enabling me to re-work the piece to make a custom creation for less money than purchasing all new from my wholesalers.
I employ several talented jewelers, and I have been dabbling in the actual construction a bit myself. I have a great passion for creating quality pieces with meaning, and produced in in the United States. Which are limited in numbers and not mass produced. Like any great skill, I look forward to mastering the design process to be able to create a following of people who appreciate what we produce.
On this site I will share the stories behind the creations, and provide the fairest pricing I can. (as I will not need to pay my staff to sell these items) I look forward to sharing my story with you, being able to eliminate all of the "political correctness" and speak directly from the heart. I am well aware of my faults in being human, and am enjoying this journey of self healing and awareness of all kinds. I am always available to help produce something custom for you if you have something you would like Up-Cycle (or sell outright) and would greatly look forward to sharing your story as well.