‘Lily Rocks’ party celebrates 10-year anniversary
A large white tent will be erected this weekend in the parking lot of Lily & Co. Jewelers inviting the entire community to celebrate the business’ 10th anniversary of opening on the island during the “Lily Rocks” party.
“It’s our way to say thank you,” co-owner Dan Schuyler said. “It’s been magnificent. We are honored, blessed and grateful. It has gone beyond our dreams. We are so blessed after 10 years. What a joy!”
The business came to fruition after Schuyler helped Realtor Karen Bell pick out a piece of jewelry after she made a big sale on Captiva. After purchasing a pair of diamond earrings, Bell invited Schuyler out for dinner. A conversation that brewed over a cup of coffee, was followed by a phone call later that night, and ended with a scheduled meeting early Sunday morning.
The conversation over coffee stemmed from Bell asking Schuyler “Have you ever thought of owning a jewelry store?” followed by his response “That’s every jeweler’s dream.”
They both said “Why don’t we.”
After goodbyes were shared that Saturday night, Schuyler’s phone rang later that evening with an excited Bell on the other end. She shared that she found the perfect building and to meet her there at 7 a.m. the next morning.
“We opened the door . . . done let’s buy it,” he recalled saying. “I could feel the building.”
The building, at 520 Tarpon Bay Road, was built in 1915 and once housed the school for African American children.
Schuyler said they went on pure inspiration and decided to buy the building in the middle of the recession.
“We put our own blood into this,” he said.”I sold everything I owned to get this opened.”
Once the decision was made, a name was eventually picked for the business, the marketing theme including Bell’s labradoodle Lily, and a book of vision was created for Lily & Co. The vision went before 15 vendors, 14 of whom said they would like to be a part of the store.
“They knew me,” he said of the vendors. “Everything was done on a handshake. I promised them the relationship would build over the years. The vendors have been with us since day one. It’s been about relationships since day one.”
During the marketing phase Lily was invited into a photograph leading to a teaser ad of the labradoodle wearing a pearl necklace. Schuyler recalled power washing the parking lot when a woman rode up on her bike asking to see the jewelry the dog was wearing. Although the store was not officially open yet, he took the woman into the store to show her the necklace that was secured in the vault.
That initial question turned into $38,000 worth of jewelry sold and reassurance that the business was going to somehow make it even during a recession.
“She still visits and sends a card every year,” Schuyler said of the first sale.
Over the years, the store has continued to thrive on the concept of “relationships.” Schuyler said the jewelry has become secondary to the friendships formed over the years.
As a way to spread the wealth, Lily & Co. Jewelers will hold a celebration Saturday, June 25, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. to honor their 10 years. The festivities will include the Blu-Tones, a band from Naples, performing on a stage. Schuyler said a dance floor will be set up allowing kids, families and dogs to dance the afternoon away.
An assortment of barbecue from Sanibel Catering Company by Bailey’s will be available. The menu includes barbecue pulled pork and chicken sandwiches, Italian sausages with peppers and onions, hamburgers, kosher hot dogs, baked beans, macaroni and cheese, coleslaw and an assortment of chips and drinks. In addition an anniversary cake will be served, as well as other desserts.
“Eat, dance and have fun,” Schuyler said.
“Lily Rocks” T-shirts will be given away while supplies last to those who attend the event.
The true excitement of the party will be held from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. during “60, 60, 60.” A red tarp will be taken off the island jewelry cases for 60 minutes, providing individuals with the opportunity to shop 60 percent of the store for 60 percent off.
“It’s not really a sale because we won’t do it again. It’s a price consideration to say thank you. It’s a wow event saying thank you,” he said. “It’s going to be fun.”
Schuyler said individuals will have one hour to buy anything in those cases from Rolex watches to collections of jewelry from all over the world that have always been price protected. Individuals can pay with cash, credit card or checks. No layaway options will be available during the hour.
Follow Meghan @IslanderMeghan on Twitter.