Reflective Images Celtic Jewelry Celebrates Nine Years of Growth With Unique Employee Philosophy

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Celtic Jewelry by Reflective Images demonstrates a workable way towards double digit growth for small business.

Reflective Images unique employee philosophy has been the key to nine straight years of double-digit growth. “We do everything we can to support our employees so they can do excellent work, including treating them generously. Happy employees assure customer satisfaction, the key to our businesses’ growth,” said Marc Choyt, president.

Reflective Images manufactures contemporary celtic jewelry based upon ancient celtic motifs found around the world. Each piece is heirloom quality and hand made in their Santa Fe, New Mexico studios. Reflective Images has always been dedicated to the perception that celtic art and design is a living, breathing form of expression. Their designs reflects this attitude.    

The company employs twelve people, paying each well above Santa Fe’s living wage. Five employees have purchased homes in Santa Fe over the past two years. Company benefits include health care, paid sick leave, vacation time, holidays, an IRA and a wellness plan, which covers anything from a gym membership to yoga classes. Tom McGuire, Santa Fe’s Culture, Arts and Tourism Planner, called the company, “a poster child for the type of businesses Santa Fe wants.”

The company works on a bottom up/top down leadership model. Both employees and the company’s officers work equally to creatively initiate critical new ideas that increase productivity and sales.

The company’s continued success during the recent economic slowdown has also been due to their diversification of income streams. Over thirty percent of retail sales are from their website, celticjewelry.com, which is top rated on Google, out of over a million sites. Sales also come from over two hundred galleries, jewelry stores, mail order catalogs, retail shows, corporate incentives companies, and their Baca Street showroom in Santa Fe.

The company was founded by Helen Chantler in 1995. She grew up in England and the Far East and graduated with a degree in South East Asian Studies at the University of Wisconsin before learning to make jewelry in Santa Fe. Her work has been internationally recognized as one of the most innovative, contemporary Celtic inspired jewelry designers in the world. Working with 18K gold and sterling, Ms. Chantler draws inspiration from museums and archeological sites world wide.

Marc Choyt, Helen Chantler’s husband, joined the company in 1996 after teaching high school locally for several years. He handles the marketing and business component of the company. He is a graduate of Brown University and has a Masters degree from St. John ’s College. “One of the great things about empowering employees and giving them ownership is that it frees us up,” said Choyt. “Not only to focus on the company’s growth issues, but Helen and I left for seven weeks to Asia last year and came back to find a day of work on my desk and the company running like a Swiss watch. That’s unusual for a small business.”

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Marek Sutherland