When three storefronts at the corner of Main Avenue and Second Street in the Lyons District burned down in 2008, Sheralyn Bartels and her husband, Dan, saw an opportunity for growth.
On that same spot, they later constructed a building and moved their long-time Lyons business, Don’s Jewelry, into the new location.
“Since we just built a new building 14 years ago (and it still smells new), I love the experience we can give our customers,” she said during a recent interview with the Clinton Herald.
A Miles native, Sheralyn graduated from Iowa State University in May 1982 and began working at US Bank. In 1994, she and Dan married, bringing her professional focus to Don’s Jewelry in 1995.
Dan’s parents Donald and Marvel Bartels first opened Don’s Jewelry in 1959. After ownership of the business was eventually turned over to Dan and Sheralyn, they were faced with the need to make changes. The ever-growing repair department needed more room and a parking issue needed to be addressed, yet the new owners of the store didn’t know whether they should remodel, move to another existing building, or build a new one altogether.
After the fire occurred, it was decided that’s where they’d build anew. The grand opening at 200 Main Ave. was held May 2, 2009, also in celebration of the business’s 50th anniversary. The first customer arrived that day at 7 a.m., preceding a line that stretched three blocks. Customers were eager to visit the new half million dollar building that provided 40 percent more square foot than the previous location had.
The business continued to grow, earning a Small Business of the Year award for 2018-2019 and a Progress award just last year.
Sheralyn has not only contributed to the community via the banking industry and the growth of the Don’s Jewelry family business, she’s also been a part of her church praise team and mission board, has held various positions with Clinton’s chamber of commerce and is involved with the Lyons Business and Professionals Association.
She enjoys joining forces with other businesses to take part in events but finds visits from lifelong customers of Don’s Jewelry to be the most rewarding.
And, of course, there is her work: “Who doesn’t love jewelry? I get to design one-of-a-kind pieces every week!”
Aside from the beauty of the pieces she designs, Sheralyn also loves getting to see the river everyday. She finds the size of Clinton to be just right for her, always providing something to do.
Sheralyn feels honored to be recognized as a woman leading change in the community, but declines to accept all credit.
“I like to think that it’s not just me leading change,” she says, “but rather all I bring with me. It does take an army, and I am surrounded by the best.”