PROUD WINNERS: Laidley Jewellers owner Rick Vela and his staff Del Morton and Paige Pearce.
PROUD WINNERS: Laidley Jewellers owner Rick Vela and his staff Del Morton and Paige Pearce. Francis Witsenhuysen

Jewellers dazzle at gala awards

LAIDLEY Jewellers have proudly taken out the Retail (small) Award at the Lockyer Valley business, Business, Training and Apprenticeship Awards.

Owner Rick Vela is no stranger to such a prestigious honour, taking out the Best Business Award in 2011.

"It felt good to win again and to be acknowledged within the community,” he said.

"The categories were different back in 2011. They didn't run the retail category, they just did business, so it was probably a larger category then.

"It's a good reward for myself and the staff too. A lot of effort goes into running a business ... and winning the award gives you a bit of a guide as to how you're trekking along.”

Mr Vela said Laidley Jewellers was always looking ahead as a small business.

"With the way the business climate has been over the last few years, you either innovate or die,” Mr Vela said.

"Good staff is also imperative to running a successful business. I've always had long-term staff members.

"I've been operating for 12 years and you need someone who fits in and gets on well in a small environment like this. If there is tension in the air in a retail environment, customers sense it straight away.”

The regular support of Mr Vela's customers was the one thing he said helped to keep the business flourishing.

"It's those people who are happy to shop local and see the value in shopping locally,” he said.

"If you want to have jobs for your kids, it's important to support local businesses.

"Amazon Online in America won't employ your kids, but your local jeweller or baker will.

"If you have got successful local businesses and the community supports them, then the businesses support the community - that's through employment and through being part of the community. Small businesses are a vital part of well-functioning communities.”

Mr Vela said the Lockyer Valley business awards were another chance to reflect on businesses' management and practices.

"The event itself is a great night out too,” he said.

"In a town like Laidley we are a very tight-knit community. I know all the other business owners in town and we chat regularly when we can, so it's really nice to catch up in a more social environment.

"I'm thankful for the LVRC for putting on the event again.”


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