>I hate to say it, but sometimes it seems like role models are gone these days. Maybe not. Maybe it’s just the really gracious role models are a rare breed. Joan Horner, the co-founder of Premier Designs High Fashion Jewelry, was a gracious and truly inspiring role model who made you want to aspire to be better. She passed away on Sunday, December 5, 2010. I have decided to make her a Wednesday’s Woman.
In addition to being an amazing business woman, Joan was a wife and mother who took those jobs seriously. She was a kind friend, an excellent speaker and writer, a baseball enthusiast, and someone who made you feel important.
In the summer of 2007 I almost didn’t go to Premier’s national Rally (conference) in July. I did, and on the last day, at the last drawing, Joan drew my ticket to win the entire line of new jewelry. This was in the amount of thousands of dollars. I could not believe it! I made my upline, who sings at these conferences, take me backstage to find Joan so I could thank her. I was pregnant with my second son and was such a blubbering mess that I could hardly say “thank you” to Joan. She probably wondered what was wrong with me! My upline explained, and Joan graciously gave me a hug and congratulated me.
In 2009 I sent Joan a note with a picture of my youngest draped in jewelry he had gotten into while I was training another jeweler. She sent me back a handwritten note thanking me for the picture. She explained that she added his picture to her wall of Premier kids. All of these children were precious to her. They were the reason she started Premier!
Another jeweler shared this tribute by Dave Burchett, a television sports director and public speaker. I was touched to read such sweet words from someone outside the Premier family. Inside Premier Designs most of us knew how special Joan was. But to read an “outsider’s” perspective was wonderful. This made me decide to go on a scavenger hunt and see if I could find anyone else who was leaving tributes about Joan on the worldwide web. Now, as I write that, it seems rather ironic since Joan was always imploring us jewelers to “keep it personal.” She encouraged us to step away from technology to make people feel special and important. However, I don’t have the funds to travel the world hunting for Joan’s friends, so this will have to do.
I didn’t find much out there from people who weren’t jewelers, at least not in the first ten pages of search results. I did find this article by the Direct Selling Association from when Andy and Joan were inducted into the DSA Hall of Fame. I think this says a lot about both of them. My guess is that if I were to do this search after Joan’s memorial service this Saturday I might find more.
Finally, you can read a note from Joan’s family here. One who didn’t know Joan may be tempted to think it’s sugar-coated. It’s not. Everything this note says is true.
This leads me to the end of my post and the beginning of yours. If you’re reading this, and you were somehow touched by Joan’s life, would you be so kind as to pause a moment and leave a comment? It can be short or long or anywhere in between. Just take a moment and share how Joan influenced your life, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant. Thank you.