A Story of Perseverance

Stories from friends

Stories of perseverance

So many of our Customers, friends and Associates were affected by Hurricane Harvey. A year later, much of the Gulf Coast is still rebuilding. We are humbled that our jewelry was able to help make a difference to some of those in crisis, just as we are humbled by the $1.8 million donated to Harvey relief charities from your purchases of our Deep in The Heart of Texas Charm. We know there is more to be done and we, like you, want to support our neighbors in staying #TexasStrong.

Renee - Houston, TX
Renee and her daughter, Lauren, captured many happy memories made at summer camp on a necklace full of James Avery camp charms. Renee dreamed of passing it on to her granddaughter when she goes to camp one day. When Hurricane Harvey hit, it took so much from Houston, the Gulf Coast and from Renee and her family — it almost took that heirloom necklace too.

Renee’s family made it safely through the storm, but their home was uninhabitable. She and her husband repaired what they could and hauled the rest to the curb for removal. Renee was at work when her daughter called asking if she had been able to save the necklace. Horrified, Renee realized it was still in the drawer of a dresser they’d hauled to the curb!

Renee immediately left work, rushed home and (still in her work clothes) used an axe to break through the trash and debris until she could reach the dresser drawer and the necklace still inside.
Renee was beyond relieved and overwhelmed by emotion at this one, precious piece of normalcy she was able to salvage.

The necklace did need some repair due to water damage, and her local James Avery Artisan Jewelry store was able to help. Renee and her husband are still putting their new home together.

Millie - Baytown, TX
Hurricane Harvey landed a year ago, but High School Sophomore, Millie, remembers it like it was yesterday. School had just started, and she and her family prepared for this hurricane just as they’d done in the past.

“But this wasn’t a hurricane,” she says
“It was an epic flood, and once it started, it happened very fast.”

At 2am, Millie's dad called a friend with a boat to see if he could pick them up. About two hours later boats came, but they couldn't get through. Millie's family—dogs included—had to wade to the boats with all of their belongings floating beside them.

When they finally reached the boat, Millie broke down crying. She got in and remembers it felt like being on a wild ocean. “It was the scariest experience of my life,” she recalls. Millie's family, with help from friends, family and their church community, is now on their way to rebuilding their home. Life is slowly returning to normal and Millie is thinking more about things like the charms she would like to add to her collection in memory of her experience and the blessings that came with it.

“The Heartfelt Cross Charm just feels like what we have gone through. My family and our home is ragged and torn, but our faith knows that the Lord always has his hands on us. The Texas is “HOME” Charm reminds me of how Houston pulled together, and everyone helped everyone else – and still is. The “For I Am with Thee” Scroll Charm represents the faith that I have held on to for the last year. Even though our home is still being repaired, I know there is good coming and when I saw all the bluebonnets growing again in the spring, the Bluebonnet Charm reminded me that God will always help us regrow from hard times.”

Rachel - Pasadena, TX
Twenty-two Associates at the James Avery Artisan Jewelry store in Pasadena were directly impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Our Associates’ homes ranged from moderately damaged to completely destroyed. Many cars total losses and personal possessions lost forever. We quickly realized the biggest blessing of all was we were safe, we were together, and the outpouring of support from our loved ones was a blessing from above.”, says Rachel, the store’s manager.

“James Avery Artisan Jewelry was something we all had in common,” she continues. “Helping others is not only a part of who we are as a company, it is simply engrained in our culture and core values. Donations of all shapes and sizes poured in for our Associates and community members in various areas impacted along the Gulf Coast Region.”

This support was a huge help in both tangible and emotional ways. The gratitude felt was truly life-changing. “Several of us are still displaced and dealing with rebuilding our lives,” she says, “but all of us bound by this experience. Now we focus less on the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Instead we reflect on the connections made and the support from each other, our communities, those known and those unknown that gave from their heart to care for someone else. We are #HoustonStrong.”

Helping others is not only a part of who we are as a company, it is simply engrained in our culture and core values.

We couldn’t agree more and are moved beyond words by the strength and resilience we’ve seen in our Associates, their friends, families and entire communities.

Sharon - Beaumont, TX
Sharon and her husband did not have flood insurance. In their neighborhood, they never expected to need it. So when Hurricane Harvey hit, they lost everything—except Sharon’s jewelry collection.

“My family photos were ruined,” says Sharon “but I saved my James Avery jewelry

Sharon loves her James Avery jewelry, but even more that that she appreciates the sense of community that she experiences at her local store. When she went shopping she would always bring along two neighbors who loved to shop at James Avery, but were physically unable to drive themselves. The threesome was always excited to see new styles and visit with the Associates they’d grown to be friends with over the years.

Hurricane Harvey destroyed many things, but it did not even make a dent in that sense of community and friendship. In fact, it may be stronger than ever.

Though Sharon’s time and resources are now focused more on rebuilding her home than adding to her jewelry collection, it hasn’t stopped her from visiting her local store to check on Associates also impacted by the storm and enjoy the special fellowship that has kept her coming back, through thick and thin.