Meet Jalisa, Shop Foreman

Jalisa began her career in jewelry manufacturing right after High School. One day she stopped into a sterling silver manufacturing place in Boerne. They made charms and the owner was behind on an order. He asked if she wanted to help him finish. She thought, “Sure. I don’t have anything else going on.” And that is how it started!  

While in Boerne, Jalisa learned the ins and outs of manufacturing and also met Roger Huckabee, our Master Jeweler. Medlars was starting their own manufacturing arm so she decided to see if they needed help. She was hired on the spot and after about a year she was managing the operation and producing about 7,000 pieces per day.  

Some of the companies Medlars production arm did work for included Knotts Berry Farm, Busch Gardens, Opry Land, Fiesta Texas and more. It was huge, and lasted for several years. When Medlars decided to sell this part of their business, it was to someone in Utah and Jalisa didn’t want to move. So, Roger talked Chapman into hiring her to run the shop at the store. She’s been here ever since. So, good or bad, Jalisa credits Roger for being instrumental in her development. 

Jalisa has been with Medlars since 1996. She says that, “When I first started on this bench, I thought it wasn’t going to work out. Then I thought ……. what am I going to do if this doesn’t work out! Lord only knows what Roger told Chapman I could do, and now I have to live up to that! Starting out, I would screw things up, but Roger had such a laid-back personality that we would figure out how to resolve it and then move on.” 

Being shop foreman combines skills that require Jalisa to be good with her hands, have strong organizational skills and be able to communicate well with both the jewelers and the customers. It is her job to make sure that the work is done right and on time. She has learned patience and the need to be flexible. To Jalisa, the more deadlines, the better. It’s a challenge that she likes because when the job is finished, and the deadline is met, it’s a great feeling of accomplishment. 

One of the great things about creating jewelry is that even after we are gone, it will still be around. Whether anyone knows you did it or not is not the point. It’s still something you created, and it still exists. And now, the industry is changing so fast. Medlars has already cornered the market on technology, but the youth is a lot different than they used to be and we need to gear some things toward them because that is the future. If you look around, you need unique and different reasons for customers to come in.  

To answer that need, Medlars jewelers will soon be producing their own lines and creating something called Mokume Gane. She says, “It’s not something that you see every day. It grabs people’s interest. It’s something that Medlars can make, and it is different. Roger is probably one of the best designers around. He’s very creative. This is also true for our other designers and our new direction opens the doors for them to do something refreshing. They get to express themselves in their designs and this gives them the excitement to put something out that they can say, Hey, that is my piece.” 

So, we are very fortunate to have Jalisa as our shop foreman and hope that you will come by and say hi.