Tribune Tribute: Patricia ‘Pat’ Prim

By Anthony Gonzalez Staff Reporter

September 14, 2013

For 21 years, Patricia Prim has been developing smiles out of her customers, even though she’s too humble to admit it.

Prim is the co-owner of Elkin Jewelers located at 544 CC Camp Road. She manages the store with her husband, Randy.

She also designs engagement rings. The store has its own brand called Prim Time, designed specifically for fathers.

According to the Prim, each day a countless number of customers spamming from several counties make their way to the family-owned jeweler.

During The Tribune’s impromptu visit, a total of eight customers arrived into the jewelry store. Patricia Prim knew at least six of them by name.

“Customer service is everything. That’s why people probably come here. They appreciate the value. They know we’ll listen to them and try to steer them to a product that best fits their price point,” said Prim.

“We have a lot of people who come in and are thinking about dates that are important for them. Getting the right item for Christmas may be important. Maybe they’re ready to get engaged. Maybe people want something special for someone’s birthday,” she said.

Not everything comes in the same size.

“Diamonds are not necessarily one size fits all. You have to have a relationship with the diamond. Sometimes a small one fits the moment. Sometimes a larger one does,” said Prim.

“We have a lay-a-way option too. Lots of companies have done away with that, but that’s something that’s very traditional necessity to many of our customers. Many times customers come in a pay a little each month just to work toward something that might have a higher price point,” she said.

When asked which demographic mostly enters her store, she said that the age varies.

“We have younger ages who come in. They usually come with a well researched idea on a piece of jewelry they want. They’ll pop in with their phone and scroll down to something they saw over the Internet. We’ll look at the item and go from there,” she said. “On the other hand, we’ll get someone older who may be traditional and want to see the product in their hands before a purchase.”

Prim revealed that the jewelry store is capable of having anything designed. She also stated that customers like the ability to show up at a jewelry store and touch and feel items.

“We’re here to cater to our customers,” she said.

Prim said that she also gets a ton of customers who come in who’ve made a practical mistake.

“Lots of married couples have joint accounts. People are becoming more savvy with the Internet and checking bank records online. Debit purchases show up immediately online. So if you are trying to surprise a special someone, it’s something to consider. Your best bet is to find another payment method, like cash,” she said. “Kind of takes away the surprise element.”


They’re expected once again to be the jewelry store’s best seller this Christmas season.

“Yes, traffic begins right now for the holidays. People are starting to eye Christmas shopping early. Trends are changing. People are not impulse purchasing as much as they’ve done in years past. Shoppers are more sophisticated too. That’s always a positive,” said Prim.

The jeweler stated that when people plan and think through their purchases, it leads to a satisfied customer.

“I see so many of our customers every few months. They’re all special to us and part of our lives. My husband and I are a true family business. We are absolutely humbled by the support from the community. We are very fortunate,” she said.

Experience counts.

“I have seen this industry through many economic climates. I started 37-years ago working as a kid at Jewel Box,” revealed Prim. “It was a chain store located downtown. They eventually were in the process of being bought out. We opened our store 21-years ago. We were in a prior location for 16-years. When this shopping center opened, we were one of the first retail stores.

“You have to go to where the traffic is,” continued Prim. “We love everywhere in Elkin and we love downtown too, but our business depends on visibility just as much as repeat business.”

According to the jeweler, her husband is the jewelry repairman. They do most repairs on-premise.

Reach Anthony Gonzalez at 336-835-1513 or email at agonzalez@civitasmedia.com.