“Be the change that you wish to see in the world,” a quote attributed to Mahatma Gandhi, is an expression of hope and encouragement, and it’s a mantra many wish to emulate. Among those who try to live by those words as they go about their daily lives is the Pierce family, the jewelers who have been serving Seminole County for the past 25 years.
“That is how we try to live,” says Melissa Pierce, “and we encourage others to do the same.”
While many Central Floridians know Pierce Custom Jewelers in Lake Mary as a local business offering fine jewelry, impeccable customer service, and as the home of Master Jeweler Lance Pierce, it is much more than that – it’s a participating member of our community.
“Our store is the vehicle that allows us to be The Change,” says Melissa. “We are so blessed to have the opportunity to interact with many wonderful people. We are allowed to be an example, to be community minded, to support other local businesses, and to help others where we can.”
Those deep-seeded values were cultivated during the childhoods of both Melissa and Lance. They were both brought up by single mothers who worked long hours to provide for their families, while always remaining kind and caring.
“We saw how diligently they worked to provide in an era that was quite different for a single mother,” recalls Melissa. “They gave so much. We were taught a great work ethic but also to remember that your actions speak louder than your words. They demonstrated what was necessary to survive, but they taught our spirits to fly!”
The strong role models inspired a family-centric way of life for the Pierces. Family is the key to their everyday lives – in business, and especially in their personal lives.
In addition to Lance and Melissa, the Pierce family includes daughter Anna, a junior at Lake Mary High School; Lance’s brother Jason and his wife Sandy; and David, the store manager, who is a designated adopted brother. Anna’s boyfriend, Zoar, who plays football for Lake Mary High, is also considered a member of the family. Last, but certainly not least, are the two family Newfoundland dogs who keep everybody happy: Ozzy, who is a rock star wherever he goes, and Pickles, also known as Princess Pickles.
“Family is everything,” says Melissa, adding that it is their responsibility to instill the same ideals that guide them through life into the younger generation. That includes being present in your child’s life and the lives of other kids.
“We all need to support our kids,” Melissa says. “There are a remarkable number of children looking for someone to whom they can relate. I am so grateful we have been able to be present during Anna’s junior and high-school years when she has really needed us, and also for the friends who’ve needed us.”
Lance and Melissa often remind Anna of another expression to guide her through life: “To whom much is given, much is expected.”
“I tell her to remember we are custodians of the moment,” says Melissa. “And remember to be kind. Kindness makes the difference in everything one does.”
Melissa is a staunch believer that everything happens for a reason – and she has the ideal anecdote to back it up: When Lance was growing up, he always wanted a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. The day finally arrived, and he ventured into the dealer only to encounter a rude salesman who would not give a kid with long hair the time of day. Lance decided there was no way he was giving this guy his business or his hard-earned cash, and he left. Lance then used that money to attend the Gemological Institute of America.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Be sure to visit Pierce Custom Jewelers and say hello to the Pierce family. The annual Simon G trunk show will be held on November 8 and 9 this year, when you can explore the entire Simon G line in a single location. For the third consecutive year, Simon G himself will be in attendance.