Karen Hollis – Owner and Designer
If you would have told Karen Hollis 17 years ago that we would own a jewelry store she would have laughed out loud. Karen had been teaching children with learning and behavior disorders for 14 years when life led her in a different direction. Born and raised in Aurora Illinois, Karen attended Eastern Illinois University, married in 1987, and began raising 2 children. After a few years in Tucson, Arizona, Karen and family moved back to Illinois eventually settling in Batavia in 2001.
Karen began making beaded jewelry as a hobby and found that people loved what she made – stopping her everywhere she went to comment on her jewelry and frequently buying it from her on the spot. Karen started doing home shows and 3 years later had almost 800 customers and a revolving door of customers visiting her home.
Karen and her husband, Rob, explored the possibility of purchasing a jewelry store before deciding that if they were going to open a store, they wanted to do it their way. They opened K.Hollis Jewelers in 2005 in 1,800 square feet of retail space. Their vision was to create a warm, welcoming environment where everyone that walks through their doors feels like they are being welcomed as a friend into their home.
They filled their cases with “From Fun to Fine” jewelry from dozens of jewelry designers as well as Karen’s own designs. They hired a fantastic group of people without jewelry sales experience; instead they hired “people-people” that share their enthusiasm for life and people. They strive to make every customer a customer for life. The recipe for this is simple… treat every customer like family, no gimmicks or never-ending sales, provide great products and great service, don’t be afraid to be different, and stand behind everything we do or sell 100%.
Karen’s personal marketing plan was to meet 3 new people a day. That simple plan along with great product, smart marketing & PR investments, constant networking, a great staff, and a great shopping experience has resulted in constant 20%-30% year-on-year growth over the past 10 years - even in some tough economic times.
Today, K.Hollis Jewelers is a destination shopping experience for thousands of people each year and was voted Daily Herald’s 2014 Top Jewelry Store in suburban Chicago. Karen is a member of INSTORE Magazine’s Brain Squad and a frequent speaker at business and marketing events. K.Hollis Jewelers expanded to 4,200 square feet of retail space in 2012, currently employs 16 people, has over 8,000 inventory items, specializes in turning old jewelry into new, has built a strong engagement and bridal business, and sees a very bright future ahead.