In 1978, Perry’s Diamonds and Estate Jewelry started in the trunk of Priscilla and Ernest Perry’s Toyota station wagon.
For 9 years, Ernest and Priscilla sold and auctioned diamond and estate jewelry. In 1987, they opened their first storefront in Charlotte’s SouthPark Mall. During this time, Ernest worked with the local Charity League chapter to hold a fundraiser to purchase broken and unwanted jewelry. Perry’s Diamonds purchased the items and donated the funds to the Charity League. Perry’s went on to hold their first Charity League event which had over 100 people in attendance.
Seeing the success of the fundraiser, Ernest began reaching out to other local nonprofits and civic organizations. The early fundraising events established Perry’s Diamonds as the place to go to sell gold and jewelry in the community and developed Perry’s into a major source for antique and estate jewelry.
Donating to and attending large nonprofit events has established Perry’s over the years. Ernest estimates that approximately 15 to 20 percent of business comes through the participation in charitable events.
In 2009, Ernest created the “Silver for Soldiers” campaign, donating silver jewelry pieces to the USO of North Carolina. This campaign gave returning soldiers the opportunity to select a piece of silver jewelry from the USO office in the Charlotte airport. Today, this campaign has donated more than $1 million at retail value to soldiers.
Perry’s also holds sales promotions and campaigns throughout the year to give back to organizations that are important to their community and customers. Their most successful campaign included 10 Weeks of Giving. Perry’s partnered with 10 different nonprofit organizations to raise funds by donating 10 percent of purchases each week to the designated organization.
They also hold fundraising events and receptions in-store for nonprofit board members and supporters of various organizations, including St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Dream Home Giveaway, The Allegro Foundation, Patriot Military Family Foundation, and On Eagle’s Wings.
Ernest, a licensed auctioneer, also volunteers his talent for fundraising auctions. He has volunteered with charities such as Allegro Foundation, Make-A-Wish, Laugh for a Cure, and Second Harvest Food Bank.
In 2010, Hadley Perry, the daughter of Ernest and Priscilla, joined the Perry’s team to revitalize their business, bring in new technology, and give their storefront a fresh look.
Perry’s Diamonds and Estate Jewelry currently employs 27 associates who are more like family.
Ernest encourages others to give back to as many nonprofit organizations as they can. Whether it be through a gift certificate, donated jewelry item, or dollar amount, Perry’s has continued to prove that doing good is good business.