Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend But Watch Batteries Are Kids’

By Patty Wetli | Monday, August 6, 2012

A girl can dream, and then get her watch battery replaced. Credit: Patty Wetli

Time for me stopped at 6:45 and 12:27. I’ve been relying on my cellphone clock ever since my watches ticked their last second, too ashamed to slink into a fine jeweler’s and hand over my $20 Target timepiece for a battery replacement. I mean, you don’t make a reservation at Goosefoot just to order a glass of water.

“We don’t judge people,” says Sara Wortman, manager of Steve Quick Jeweler, 4710 N. Lincoln Ave. “We strive to be the neighborhood jeweler who can accommodate a watch battery or an engagement ring. We’ve had customers come in for a watch repair and turn into lifelong clients.”

As an added incentive, Steve Quick is running a battery benefit during the month of August, donating 100 percent of the proceeds of all replacements to Friends of McPherson. Similar promotions have netted hundreds of dollars for neighborhood charities like Gigi’s Playhouse (3948 N. Lincoln Ave.); a typical battery replacement costs $10.

“We do things that are near and dear to our heart,” Wortman says of the McPherson partnership; the connection comes from an employee who’s friends with a teacher at the elementary school.

For the jeweler, giving back to the community is one way of thanking neighbors for their continued support, particularly in a tough economy. “We’ve been blessed, knock on wood,” says Wortman. “Our clientele keep coming back.”

One attraction has been the store’s clever displays, which, if your eyes are drawn to bright and shiny things, are impossible to pass without stopping. “Everyone loves our windows, it gets a lot of attention,” Wortman says. (When locating in Lincoln Square, Steve and Melissa Quick wisely held out for a corner location.) In fact, a number of people have inquired about purchasing not the jewelry but the actual displays.

Not for sale, says Wortman. Apparently some things are more precious than gems.

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