Wendy (left) and Tracy (right), the competent, creative and friendly front-of-store team at Ballantynes Showcase Jewellers in Oamaru, in New Zealand’s deep south.

It’s always nice to find a small business where the mindset doesn’t see the size of the smile and the quality of the service dictated by the scale of the sale.

I found such a mindset when I returned to my “writer’s cave” in the small regional town of Oamaru, in New Zealand’s South Island.

I returned determined to have a fix-or-biff fest in order to streamline the functionality of my abode.

One generally tends not to put jewellery in the biff category, so – over the past few months as I carry out this ongoing purge – my local jeweller of choice has been the recipient of a regular supply of little bits and pieces that need new clasps, new threading, or other forms of fix best performed by someone who knows what they’re doing.

Any other jeweller might consider this constant procession of low-value jobs and no related purchase, something of a pain, frankly. So it has not escaped my attention – and has not been without my appreciation – that I am always met with a broad and welcoming smile whenever I’ve entered the doors of Ballantynes Showcase Jewellers with my latest out-of-order trinket.

Goodwill & A High Care Factor

And the goodwill hasn’t gone amiss, either. In a number of instances, there’s been no charge. And where there has been a charge it’s always been very reasonable.

And then there’s the attention to detail that’s gone into every little job. It’s always been repaired or re-engineered with the greatest of thought injected into it. When I’ve gone in to collect it, the nature and logic of the applied solution has been fully explained, and they’ve checked that it now fits or functions as it should before I leave the shop.

And, further still, there’s been the care with which even relatively low-value items are handled, stored and re-presented. A far cry from another jeweller to whom I once took my expensive wristwatch (for a new battery or some other form of minor repair) and who plonked it, sans bag or any other form of protection, into a box of others, and rummaged around in said box to find my valuable piece when I went back to collect it.

So, add that to the very enticing and up-to-date range of jewellery on display (which has taken the greatest of willpower not to have succumbed to at least once), and I reckon the locals of this small town are jolly lucky to be able to claim “Ballantynes Showcase Jewellers” as their own.

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