Melissa Quick has been a retail store owner for more than 25 years, a path she found somewhat by accident while in pursuit of a career in journalism. Running a store suited her need for challenges of both a right-brain and left-brain nature, and she has leveraged her acute attention to detail and ability to see the big picture into a respected designer retail brand.
Melissa, together with her husband and business partner Steve, is a member of several jewelry industry organizations including American Gem Society, Jewelers of America, and Women’s Jewelry Association. The Quicks also support jewelry industry initiatives like Gem Legacy, Mercury Free Mining, and the Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference, and in the past five years Melissa’s merchandising focus has been increasingly on responsible jewelry, motivated by personal experience visiting East African mine sites.
Melissa first visited East Africa, where many of the jewelry industry’s color gems originate, in 1998 on a visit to the plains of the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater. She fell in love with Tanzania & Kenya on that trip. In 2018 she returned, traveling with the founders of Gem Legacy to visit gem mines and meet the miners. This offered Melissa a fresh and holistic perspective on the gems often used in the designs she sold. It was during that trip that she saw the positive impact the industry could have in these communities, and she felt compelled to join the effort to make gem supply chains safer, healthier, and more equitable.
Melissa’s activism extends beyond the store, participating in LGBTQ and social justice activities like Chicago Pride. She looks for opportunities to engage with her local community, her industry community, and the international community in positive, productive, and joyful ways.