When I stepped into Diamonds and Designs for the first time, I was impressed by the light, sparkle, color, and beauty that filled the store. But, surpassing all was the woman behind the scenes, owner LeeAnn Nelson.
Although she owns and operates a successful business, LeeAnn radiates humility and thankfulness, as well as a quiet confidence.
Her entrepreneurial journey began about 23 years ago.
“When people ask me, ‘how did you do it?’ I tell them, by the grace of God, this has worked out,” she said.
By many standards, she was an unlikely candidate for starting a business. She had an old car, two little girls, and half a house. When she tried to get a bank loan, she was turned down. She despaired and almost gave up, but friend and mentor Bob Ekeren suggested she try another bank. She was successful in securing financing from a second bank and was off and running.
Now, after 23 years, she has more than proven herself, having grown the business from a fledgling startup to the successful jewelry store that Diamonds and Designs is today. Her store, located on LaBree Avenue in downtown Thief River Falls, MN, is filled with treasures, including a wide variety of fine jewelry, clothing, gifts, and home decor.
When I asked her what she loves most about her business, her eyes sparkled as she replied, “the people!”
Proof of LeeAnn’s love of people is provided in her loyal customer base and employees. Customers come from all over the U.S., seeking the high level of customer service and design skill that Leann provides. The employees who work in the store have been with LeeAnn from the very beginning.
For more information on Diamonds and Designs, visit their Facebook page.