Kimberly’s, Brighton offer marching band donation

Half of bracelet sale goes to school

by BETH ALTENA

Anthony Martinez, an RHS graduate who played in the marching band, models the beautiful Brighton bracelet. Half the cost of this patriotic jewelry item during the month of July will go to the marching band.

Brighton is a company that does things the old-fashioned way and is always finding creative ways to give back to communities where their items are sold. This July, half of the sale amount of a beautiful red-white-and-blue bracelet with “I heart America” etched on the back will go toward the Rockford High School marching band. Brighton is pitching in $12 of the total purchase price of $48 and Kimberly’s Boutique is donating another $12.

“We have 36 bracelets to sell, so the band could potentially receive a check for $864,” said Jane George of Kimberly’s.

Staff at the store are excited about the one-month promotion, but owner Kimberly Smith isn’t surprised. She said Brighton is a company with which she is very familiar and such an act of generosity is not out of line.

Kimberly’s has carried the Brighton line for over a decade and said the jewelry and handbags are always top of the line in quality and all carry a guarantee. She said the business, based in California, is family owned by Jerry Kohl and his wife, who were high school sweethearts. All items begin with a designer and a detailed sketch, and many are created in wood prior to actual production to make sure all specs are perfect.

BOATLOADS OF BRIGHTON—Kimberly’s Boutique in downtown Rockford is the largest Brighton department in the area. Owner Kimberly Smith even received an all-expenses-paid trip to the Brighton factory in California to see their quality work in person.

BOATLOADS OF BRIGHTON—Kimberly’s Boutique in downtown Rockford is the largest Brighton department in the area. Owner Kimberly Smith even received an all-expenses-paid trip to the Brighton factory in California to see their quality work in person.

“The company actually started out over 30 years ago as a hand-tooled men’s belt company and just exploded out into purses, bags and jewelry,” said Smith. “Brighton charms are now becoming one of their biggest categories, with over 400 charms in stock.”

She said Kimberly’s is the largest Brighton department in the area, so she is very familiar with the many products.

Smith is so well known to Brighton as well that she was among vendors flown out for a personal tour of the facility and enjoyed a dinner out with the couple and some of their staff as well as enjoying a dinner at their own home during the all-expenses-paid visit.

“They did that so I could appreciate the quality of their work,” she said.

Each piece of Brighton jewelry undergoes a 12-step process from the zinc-based core. The base undergoes a ceramic core tumbling, two copper platings, a nickel plating, two silver platings, is bathed in an oxidation bath, receives two additional ceramic cone tumbling, is hand-polished and finally finished off with two clear lacquer coats. The result is that each piece of jewelry looks new and beautiful for its lifetime.

“You’d think these should really cost ten times what they do,” said Jane. “This would be a fabulous piece for anyone, but would especially make a good gift for anyone with a loved one in the military.”

The bracelet has matching accessories available as well.

Recent Rockford graduate and former marching band student Anthony Martinez was kind enough to come down to Kimberly’s to model the bracelet and show his school support. He said in addition to supporting a great cause, the bracelet shows patriotism with the lovely red, white and blue theme.

Smith said Brighton is known for such generous promotions and recently one allowed her store to present a $1,000 check to North Kent Community Services. She noted that Brighton also offers frequent special promotions such as trunk shows with a representative from the company present.

Smith said Kimberly’s will also allow any customer to special order any Brighton item through the store and Kimberly’s will pay the shipping for that purchase.

To see the patriotic bracelet in person, stop by Kimberly’s this month. If you choose to purchase one, feel good that half the price goes straight back to our community and a very good cause—the Rockford High School marching band.

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