Realizing a dream with help from the Lord
Kelli and Barry Beck became the official owners of Rheams Diamond Shop on Jan. 8 after the retirement of Ken and Stephane Rheams. But the story to become owners is more than just signing papers and exchanging keys.
Like a large majority of the world, 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic presented challenges to the Becks. Barry lost his job in the oilfield during the pandemic and began working as a truck driver for a friend in Amarillo.
On top of that, Kelli’s mom had passed away during the pandemic and Kelli was literally only seeing her husband at times, 24 hours, a week.
“Our prayers during that time were that God would open doors that man could not close and close doors that man could not open,” Kelli said.
When Kelli saw a post on Facebook from Deb Koontz about Rheams Diamond Shop being for sale she suggested to Barry that they buy the store.
“I look at Facebook all of the time,” Kelli said. “But this time it was different. This time it felt like it resonated inside of my soul. That’s when I told my husband we have to buy this store.”
Barry thought Kelli was joking about it and four weeks later Kelli called Barry while he was working in Missouri and mentioned that Rheams had called her.
“She had said, “The guy from the jewelry store called me and wants to talk about it,’” Kelli read from a journal Barry wrote chronicling their journey to buying Rheams Diamond Shop. “I had pretty much forgotten the conversation (about buying the jewelry store) and Ken asked Kelli if she wanted to come in and see how things are ran, obviously she said ‘yes.’”
Barry, who actually wanted to be a jeweler and graduated from Texas Institute of Jewelry Technology in 1996 and worked as a jeweler at Hickerson Jewelers in Spearman and Perryton, felt God re-igniting a flame of his old passion.
“God has been working on me for a year, telling me he wants more from me,” Barry said in the journal. “He has been telling me he doesn’t want me working for somebody my whole life.”
Barry had told Kelli about a time he was working for UPS, he had made a delivery to Rheams, and felt like he should be the one owning the store.
“This was about 10 or 11 years ago,” Kelli said. “He (Barry) remembered everything about the store. When he walked in here he said all he felt was that he shouldn’t be the one delivering the package. He should be the one in the back working on the jewelry. He said he didn’t think he should own this store, just that he should be owning a jewelry store.”
In the entry, Barry admits that owning his own business had always been a scary thought. But the day before Ken called Kelli, Barry had sat in his chair and prayed, asking for guidance.
Kelli’s father, a retired CPA, helped the couple crunch the numbers and see if it was possible.
“All of these doors would just start flying open,” Kelli said. “Every time we thought something wouldn’t work, it did. God is there. He created a way and I couldn’t see through (the challenges) at the time.”
Kelli said the timing of the store couldn’t have been better as the family was faced with challenging times.
“We were at huge crossroads,” Kelli said. “I had only been seeing my husband for 24 hours a week, my son moved in with us with our three-year-old granddaughter, my active 15-year-old son is living with us. My mom had just passed away. It was one of the hardest times in my life.”
Barry grew up in Spearman while Kelli grew up in Perryton. The Becks moved to Pampa three-and-a-half years ago to move closer to their grandchildren.
“We lived in Amarillo before and went to Trinity Fellowship,” Beck said.
“We go to the Trinity here. Pampa just became [home]. We have been happier since we’ve been in Pampa than we have been our whole lives. We were home in a way that didn’t make sense.”
Looking forward, the Becks intend to keep the Rheams Diamond Shop name for the time being.
“Ken built up a long history over time, work and trust in the community,” Kelli said. “Keeping the Rheams name for a time is the best thing for us to do to honor what he built.”
Just like their predecessor, the Becks want to establish that personal relationship with their customers.
“We want them to know that we care about them and appreciate their business so much,” Kelli said. “I want to be out there working with them one-on-one just like Ken was.”
Kelli said they intend to keep a lot of the products that Ken carried, but also add some product that appeals to younger customers. They plan to bring jewelry repair and adjustment work in-store within the next couple of years.
“In no way do I think that Ken did anything wrong in running this store,” Kelli said. “I don’t want to change a lot of things he did, but there are some areas I want to put our own touch on it. We want to reach out to the younger demographic in town, too. We’re still going to have our really nice, expensive jewelry, but we want to have product everybody can afford.”
Kelli added they have changed the point-of-sale system to digital and will be building a web-page for online sales.
“If customers move away or something happens they can still go online and be able to shop with Rheams,” Kelli said. “With the way the pandemic changed everything, I just felt really strongly you need another way of conducting business in case this ever happens again in the future.”
With Valentine’s Day around the corner, Rheams Diamond Shop will have Sterling Silver and Gold-Dipped Roses, as well as specials. Valentine’s jewelry will be 10 percent off and the already discounted inventory remaining from Ken will be discounted an additional 10 percent.
The grand opening for the Becks will be next week, Friday, Jan. 29 at 2 p.m. with Sweet Street Patisserie providing refreshments.
“We want to do what we can to support all of the local Pampa businesses,” Kelli said. “I think Pampa has an amazing downtown and retail community. We’re happy to be a part of that.”
Kelli and Barry have been married 23 years in March and have three children, two sons and a daughter, and two grandchildren.
For more information, call 806-665-2831.