Tag Archives: Kimberly’s Boutique

Kimberly’s, Brighton offer marching band donation

Half of bracelet sale goes to school


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.

Kimberly’s Boutique welcomes new intern

Kendall McConnohie

Kendall McConnohie, 17, is a senior at Rockford High School and is currently an intern at Kimberly’s Boutique in downtown Rockford. This fall, Kendall will be attending Grand Rapids Community College in the honors program and will transfer to Western Michigan University in 2014. She hopes to pursue a career in fashion merchandising.

“I love fashion because it’s a way that you can truly express your personality and have fun doing it,” McConnohie said. “Being at Kimberly’s has been such a wonderful opportunity to gain experience in every aspect of the fashion and retail industries. I’m learning a lot.”

“We’ve enjoyed Kendall’s positive attitude, winning smile and her eagerness to learn,” said Kim Smith, owner of the boutique. “She has been a real asset to Kimberly’s Boutique and we all wish her success in her next step in the fashion world.”

Rockford businesses partner in anti-bullying campaign

Call it what you want—it comes down to being nice!

Kim Smith of Kimberly’s Boutique, Be Nice organizer Kristen Bloem and Candy Lancioni of Aunt Candy’s Toy Company are excited to bring the Be Nice campaign to Rockford.

During the month of February, Rockford local businesses will be partnering with the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan (MHF) to spread the message of be nice. within the Rockford community. The be nice. campaign was initiated by the MHF in 2011 to create awareness surrounding the issues of bullying in schools, workplaces, and community-wide. Rockford community member, Kristen Bloem, became aware of the be nice. initiative when she attended an event for the Mental Health Foundation. Bloem states, “Just two simple words, I felt inspired to help and bring this Rockford.” With her help, Rockford businesses are jumping on the be nice. bandwagon by selling be nice. t-shirts, bumper stickers, and wristbands in their stores. First to jump on board are Kimberly’s Boutique and Aunt Candy’s Toy Company.  All proceeds from be nice. merchandise sold by Rockford local businesses will go toward bringing the be nice. Campaign as well as the Live Laugh Love Mental Health Education Program to Rockford schools.

Christy Buck, Executive Director, of the MHF started the Live Laugh Love Mental Health Education Program six years ago to combat the overwhelming statistic of high school students becoming victims of suicide in West Michigan. Buck reports that suicide is the second leading cause of death among high school students in Kent County. The Live Laugh Love curriculum is designed to educate adolescents about mental health illness, focusing on the themes of mental health stigma, the effects of bullying, recognizing signs of depression and anxiety, recognizing signs of suicide, and knowing how friends can help friends find help. Over the past six years the MHF has educated over 10,000 adolescents about mental health.

In its newest endeavor, the MHF is bringing the community together to increase awareness of treating people with civility community-wide by partnering with Rockford, Grandville, Grand Rapids, and East Grand Rapids to proclaim February 24 as be nice. day. Be nice. is more than just saying “don’t bully,” it is a strengths-based perspective and a positive way to minimize bullying in our schools and communities. It is also a proactive way to encourage kindness among kids, parents, coworkers, and community members.

By supporting the be nice. campaign, Rockford local businesses are showing their community how much they care about the growth and well-being of Rockford youth as well as their community as a whole. Community members can show their support of be nice. and their commitment to “being nice” by wearing a be nice. t-shirt or wristband and spreading awareness of the be nice. message.

Buck states, “It is important to be good role models in our communities by exemplifying behaviors that encourage kindness, respect, mindfulness, and civility so that our schools and communities are both safe and nurturing environments.” Whatever you call these positive behaviors, they all add up to being nice. The MHF is challenging Rockford schools, businesses, and residents to be nice. and support an initiative that will strengthen Rockford’s community.


Driver grateful for Kimberly’s

Dear Editor,

I wanted to encourage your readers to try the local shops and bring business here to Rockford. I am a Rockford resident and try very hard to give our local businesses an opportunity to get those hard-to-find gifts, etc., but really wanted to sing the praises Kimberly’s.

I was going to be competing with my horse in my very first carriage-driving competition and needed a show outfit. I had no idea where I was going to get an appropriate outfit and thought I was going to have to spend huge dollars on custom-made equestrian apparel. On a whim, I stopped in Kimberly’s to look at their scarves and ended up getting a lovely outfit there with the help of an employee I neglected to get the name of. I told her I needed to look like I was a lady heading to church in a buggy, hat, scarf, skirt, etc.

What came of my chance drop-in to a local store was praise from the judge at the horse show for our turnout, driving terminology for how my outfit complimented my horse’s harness and cart. So I wanted to thank Kimberly’s and the wonderful woman who helped me, while also encouraging others to give our local shops an opportunity to provide products many wouldn’t think they would have. Kudos to Rockford merchants.

Jane Williamson and Sophie the Clydesdale


Kimberly’s donates to NKSC

Kimberly’s Boutique, a specialty retailer in Rockford, announced that it is presenting a $2,000 donation to North Kent Service Center (NKSC) as part of Brighton’s Feed Our Friends fundraiser. Kimberly’s Boutique was among retailers across the United States that joined with Brighton last summer in selling a limited-edition collection of semi-precious jewelry designed especially to help feed struggling Americans.

Kimberly Smith of Kimberly's Boutique presenting check to Sandi Waite of North Kent Service Center.

“To help us decide where to direct our donations, we asked retailers who participated in the fundraiser to nominate their American Heroes—people in the community who lead tax-exempt nonprofit organizations that are feeding people,” said Laura Young, president of sales and marketing for Brighton, a Los Angeles-based maker of fine ladies’ accessories. “We selected North Kent Service Center from among hundreds of entries that we received because of the passion that Kimberly’s Boutique and the store’s customers showed for their work their ‘hero’ does in the community.”

Donating by design is a continuing tradition at Brighton, where founder and owner Jerry Kohl and his team of designers have created jewelry collections that have raised over $3 million for breast cancer charities and over $1 million to fight women’s heart disease. With the American Heroes collection, they focused their creative efforts on the growing number of people going hungry due to the economy.

“We all have people in our lives that we’re concerned about, so I decided to find a way we can make a difference in their lives,” Kohl said. “That’s how the American Heroes jewelry and additional Feed Our Friends programs came about.”

Known for excellent quality and broad-ranging assortment of finely crafted accessories, Brighton produces handbags, jewelry, belts, footwear, small leather essentials, luggage, fragrances and gifts which are sold in 142 Brighton Collectibles stores and over 5,000 specialty stores across the United States. For more information, visit www.brighton.com.

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