Small Business

Colorado culture ingrained in All That Glitters

Cretee Nemmer (right) owns the Westside jewelry store, which she operates with the help of employees such as Carol Falls.

Not all that glitters is gold. It can also be silver, platinum or adorned with a handmade rendering of Pikes Peak.

This is what All That Glitters, a locally owned jewelry shop located on West Colorado Avenue in Old Colorado City, specializes in.

“We work in all metals — gold, silver, platinum, yellow gold, white gold, rose gold and combinations of different metals,” said Cretee Nemmer, owner of All That Glitters.

Nemmer has owned the shop since 1996, after buying it from her ex-husband, who owned it the six years prior. The shop was previously owned by Tom Tyma, who established it in 1976.

Jewelry was a family business for Nemmer, who had a small family-owned shop in Texas before buying All That Glitters. When Tyma wanted to retire, a door opened for Nemmer in Colorado Springs.

Now, All That Glitters specializes in a variety of bracelets, earrings, pendants and necklaces, rings, as well as their signature mountain bands, which range in price from  $855 to $2,200.

The bands are created by local jeweler Steve McHone, who has designed a dozen variations of mountain scenes  on the bands, including Pikes Peak, the Boulder Flatirons and depictions of elk and bears, according to Nemmer, who said that the rings are the shop’s most popular pieces.

“We’re unique in the fact that we do focus on artistic talent in our jewelry,” she said. “We tell a story of someone’s life.”

All That Glitters has two master jewelers — Mark Covington and McHone — who work out of studios separate from the shop. Jewelry designs cater to every customer from Millennials to older buyers, said Nemmer.

“We try to focus on more youthful designs; a lot of brides don’t want diamonds. They want something not as precious. A lot of girls are going with gems that are not as expensive,” she said.

The shop specializes in gemstones like amethyst, opal and sapphire, which the shop buys from gem cutters from around the world. There are a variety of designer cuts and colors from which customers can choose.

According to Nemmer, the shop sees 200 customers per week. Not everyone is purchasing a mountain band or ring though — most people come through to look at what the shop has to offer.

“We’re kind of a destination. Some buy, but a lot don’t,” said Nemmer.

Recently, the shop moved into a smaller space and cut back on employees. Prior to the move, Nemmer had five full-time employees working in the store, and a couple jewelers working at other studios. Now, along with Nemmer, there is one other employee who works in store. The two jewelers and a watchmaker make up the rest of the employee base.

“We don’t need the personnel we had before,” said Nemmer.

Aside from All That Glitters’ handmade jewelry, it attracts the attention of the community through its family-friendly atmosphere and charitable business practices. Nemmer said that while the shop does have competition, they’re able to set themselves apart.

“Our difference is that we do handmade, one-of-a-kind jewelry. A lot of stores have products that are readily available. We start with a drawing, to the wax model, then the stone, taking customers through the whole process,” she said.

All That Glitters also gives back to the community, donating to organizations like TESSA (which offers support to victims of sexual assault and domestic violence), the Wounded Warrior Project and children’s advocacy groups. The shop is also regularly called to donate to silent auctions.

The one aspect of her business that Nemmer would change if she could go back, however, is how her business is represented online.

“I would be more computer-savvy and build a better website,” she said. “We do Facebook, and we have an Instagram, but I’d like to be a little bit more knowledgeable because that’s how young people shop; they certainly do their research.”

For Nemmer, the business is really about making lasting memories and experiences for the people who come in.

“We’re in a tourist location; a lot of people like to buy jewelry to remember where they were,” she said. “We get to participate in a lot of family milestones — weddings, babies, Mother’s Day, things that relate to individuals. We get to participate in people’s lives; we get to see a lot of happy people.” 

All That Glitters
Location: 2616 W. Colorado Ave., Ste. 18

Established: 1976

Employees: 5

Contact: 719-475-7160

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