> Out and About: Kerry Ruiz, Owner of Ashley's Distinctive Jewelry and Gifts

Out and About: Kerry Ruiz, Owner of Ashley's Distinctive Jewelry and Gifts

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Kerry Ruiz is the owner of Ashley's Distinctive Jewelry & Gifts that has been in business since 1989. It's located at the Day Hill Village Shoppes at 555 Day Hill Rd. Kerry is a member of the Chamber of Commerce.

Kerry was born in New Foundland, Canada, on a St. John's Air Force Base. His father was in the service. His family did a lot of traveling as he grew up. "We moved about every year." His father retired out of Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee, MA. Kerry stayed in Massachusetts where he went to a two-year college to learn about management. After graduating, Kerry worked for Aetna Insurance, but that proved to be a little mundane for a restless soul. Around the same time he was contacted by someone he had worked for while studying at college in the shoe business. He started as a district manager for Prague Shoes for a while. It was one day that an unhappy customer stopped by the shoe store Kerry was at. Being district manager, Kerry was able to resolve the problem so much so that the customer was fully impressed and offered him to work for Diamond Showcase. He knew nothing about jewelry but was willing to learn. That is when Louis DellaVeccia mentored him and out of it came a long business partnership for years to come. Kerry eventually left Diamond Showcase and went into manufacturing for jewelry. He learned manufacturing with those that dealt with manufacturers (i.e. raw materials and stones.)

In 1988, Kerry had by now moved to Windsor, CT. when three tobacco barns that were on Day Hill Road were being taken down. A sign announced they would be building a little plaza. Kerry lived a short distance away. He would drive by every day and see it. It was during then he thought he would try and open his own retail store. He brought in business partner Louis DellaVeccia. Ashley's opened in June of 1989. The name was inspired by Kerry's first niece and a wanting of an "A" name. It would be a store that specializes in retail jewelry, custom made sterling silver, 14K, 18K, and platinum jewelry diamond engagement and wedding bands. People could come in and get a one-of-a-kind piece, fabricated from scratch. Ashley's would accommodate them with napkins to draw out their plans.

In 2002, Louis became ill and passed away the same year. Kerry's wife, Carissa joined the staff that was certified from the Gemological Institute of America on Diamond and Diamond Grading. Two years later, Annette O'Meara joined the staff as Store Manager. Eventually, they would hire Master goldsmith, Kurt, who along with the rest of the staff, started out at Diamond Showcase.

When it comes to his adopted town of Windsor, Kerry was offered up a bit of advice from older famed jewelers, Bill Savitt and Bernie Fields. It was Mr. Savitt who said to Kerry, "If you want any advice, you need to give back to the community that gives to you." Kerry continues, "That's been a philosophy of mine right along. We're pretty involved especially if it has to do with kids. You'll always see us involved one way or another." He himself has done volunteer work with Project Santa, and The Diamond Club. His involvement with non-profits extends to the Windsor Elks Club, Masons, Chamber president for two years, and served ten years as Shad Fest Bureau president. On his off time, Kerry loves to go to the concerts held at Northwest Park, which he calls, "A gem in the rough."

Three words that describe Kerry: generous, honest, hard working.


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Events

Kiwanis Shad Derby Road Race
May 21 at Elm and Broad Street
Second Annual Clothing Drive
May 21 at CT Cat Connection, 40 Stevens Mill Lane, Windsor CT 06995
Shad Derby Day
May 21 at Windsor Town Green
Snap Back Fitness Boxing
May 21 at Stony Hill School
Tickborne Illness Support Group
May 21 at LP Wilson Community Center, 599 Matianuck Ave. Windsor
Open Classroom at the WAC Studios
May 22 at Windsor Train Station Studios
Hypertension Workshop
May 23 at Video Conference via Zoom
Intermediate II Art for Adults
May 23 at Windsor Train Station Studios
Windsor Toastmasters Club
May 23 at Zoom meeting, possible in-person meeting
Bring Your Gadgets to the Geeks
May 24 at Windsor Public Library 323 Broad Street Windsor, CT
May Business After Hours
May 25 at Windsor Chamber of Commerce office, 261 Broad Street
Advanced Adult Art
May 26 at Windsor Train Station Studios
Book Buzz Event
May 26 at Windsor Public Library 323 Broad Street Windsor, CT
Monthly Veteran's Coffee Hour
May 26 at Senior Center Cafe
Yoga Strong
May 26 at Wabi-Sabi Yoga and Wellness Center, 88 Day Hill Road, Suite 203
First Town Chat
Fridays at 161 Broad Street, Windsor
Second Annual Clothing Drive
May 28 at CT Cat Connection, 40 Stevens Mill Lane, Windsor CT 06995
Snap Back Fitness Boxing
May 28 at Stony Hill School
Open Classroom at the WAC Studios
May 29 at Windsor Train Station Studios
Intermediate II Art for Adults
May 30 at Windsor Train Station Studios
Bring Your Gadgets to the Geeks
May 31 at Windsor Public Library 323 Broad Street Windsor, CT
Advanced Adult Art
Jun 2 at Windsor Train Station Studios
Yoga Strong
Jun 2 at Wabi-Sabi Yoga and Wellness Center, 88 Day Hill Road, Suite 203
First Town Chat
Fridays at 161 Broad Street, Windsor
Second Annual Clothing Drive
Jun 4 at CT Cat Connection, 40 Stevens Mill Lane, Windsor CT 06995
Tickborne Illness Support Group
Jun 4 at LP Wilson Community Center, 599 Matianuck Ave. Windsor
Open Classroom at the WAC Studios
Jun 5 at Windsor Train Station Studios
WAC Portrait Painting Workshop
Jun 5 at WAC Train Station Studios
Gardens in the Hudson Valley
Jun 6 at Windsor Public Library 323 Broad Street Windsor, CT
Hypertension Workshop
Jun 6 at Video Conference via Zoom
Intermediate II Art for Adults
Jun 6 at Windsor Train Station Studios
Join our new Men's Club!
Jun 6 at Windsor Senior Center
Bring Your Gadgets to the Geeks
Jun 7 at Windsor Public Library 323 Broad Street Windsor, CT
Advanced Adult Art
Jun 9 at Windsor Train Station Studios
Virtual Book Club
Jun 9 at Windsor Public Library 323 Broad Street Windsor, CT
Yoga Strong
Jun 9 at Wabi-Sabi Yoga and Wellness Center, 88 Day Hill Road, Suite 203
38th Annual Chamber Cares Auction
Jun 10 at Mill Brook Clubhouse, 147 Pigeon Hill Road
First Town Chat
Fridays at 161 Broad Street, Windsor
Second Annual Clothing Drive
Jun 11 at CT Cat Connection, 40 Stevens Mill Lane, Windsor CT 06995
Open Classroom at the WAC Studios
Jun 12 at Windsor Train Station Studios
WAC Portrait Painting Workshop
Jun 12 at WAC Train Station Studios
Intermediate II Art for Adults
Jun 13 at Windsor Train Station Studios
Learn How to Lead Like a Pro
Jun 13 at Windsor Public Library 323 Broad Street Windsor, CT
Windsor Toastmasters Club
Jun 13 at Zoom meeting, possible in-person meeting
Bring Your Gadgets to the Geeks
Jun 14 at Windsor Public Library 323 Broad Street Windsor, CT
Board of Directors Mtg
Jun 14 at online
Advanced Adult Art
Jun 16 at Windsor Train Station Studios
Camino de Santiago Lecture
Jun 16 at Windsor Public Library 323 Broad Street Windsor, CT
Yoga Strong
Jun 16 at Wabi-Sabi Yoga and Wellness Center, 88 Day Hill Road, Suite 203
First Town Chat
Fridays at 161 Broad Street, Windsor
Second Annual Clothing Drive
Jun 18 at CT Cat Connection, 40 Stevens Mill Lane, Windsor CT 06995
Tickborne Illness Support Group
Jun 18 at LP Wilson Community Center, 599 Matianuck Ave. Windsor
Windsor House Tour is Back!
Jun 18 at Windsor Historical Society
Open Classroom at the WAC Studios
Jun 19 at Windsor Train Station Studios
Intermediate II Art for Adults
Jun 20 at Windsor Train Station Studios
Join our new Men's Club!
Jun 20 at Windsor Senior Center
Programs Committee Mtg
Jun 20 at online
Strawberry Festival and Vendor Fair
Jun 20 at Brown's Harvest 1911 Poquonock Ave
May Business After Hours
May 25 at Windsor Chamber of Commerce office, 261 Broad Street
38th Annual Chamber Cares Auction
Jun 10 at Mill Brook Clubhouse, 147 Pigeon Hill Road
Board of Directors Mtg
Jun 14 at online
Programs Committee Mtg
Jun 20 at online
Kiwanis Shad Derby Road Race
May 21 at Elm and Broad Street
Second Annual Clothing Drive
May 21 at CT Cat Connection, 40 Stevens Mill Lane, Windsor CT 06995
Shad Derby Day
May 21 at Windsor Town Green
Snap Back Fitness Boxing
May 21 at Stony Hill School
Tickborne Illness Support Group
May 21 at LP Wilson Community Center, 599 Matianuck Ave. Windsor
Kiwanis Shad Derby Road Race
May 21 at Elm and Broad Street
Second Annual Clothing Drive
May 21 at CT Cat Connection, 40 Stevens Mill Lane, Windsor CT 06995
Shad Derby Day
May 21 at Windsor Town Green
Snap Back Fitness Boxing
May 21 at Stony Hill School
Tickborne Illness Support Group
May 21 at LP Wilson Community Center, 599 Matianuck Ave. Windsor
Open Classroom at the WAC Studios
May 22 at Windsor Train Station Studios
Hypertension Workshop
May 23 at Video Conference via Zoom
Intermediate II Art for Adults
May 23 at Windsor Train Station Studios
Windsor Toastmasters Club
May 23 at Zoom meeting, possible in-person meeting
Bring Your Gadgets to the Geeks
May 24 at Windsor Public Library 323 Broad Street Windsor, CT
May Business After Hours
May 25 at Windsor Chamber of Commerce office, 261 Broad Street
Advanced Adult Art
May 26 at Windsor Train Station Studios
Book Buzz Event
May 26 at Windsor Public Library 323 Broad Street Windsor, CT
Monthly Veteran's Coffee Hour
May 26 at Senior Center Cafe
Yoga Strong
May 26 at Wabi-Sabi Yoga and Wellness Center, 88 Day Hill Road, Suite 203
First Town Chat
Fridays at 161 Broad Street, Windsor
Second Annual Clothing Drive
May 28 at CT Cat Connection, 40 Stevens Mill Lane, Windsor CT 06995
Snap Back Fitness Boxing
May 28 at Stony Hill School
First Town Chat
Fridays at 161 Broad Street, Windsor
Kiwanis Shad Derby Road Race
May 21 at Elm and Broad Street
Second Annual Clothing Drive
May 21 at CT Cat Connection, 40 Stevens Mill Lane, Windsor CT 06995
Shad Derby Day
May 21 at Windsor Town Green
Snap Back Fitness Boxing
May 21 at Stony Hill School
Tickborne Illness Support Group
May 21 at LP Wilson Community Center, 599 Matianuck Ave. Windsor
Open Classroom at the WAC Studios
May 22 at Windsor Train Station Studios