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Lecil Henderson, Jewelry Designer, Has Died

He founded Henderson Collection by Lecil.

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Well-known jewelry designer Lecil Henderson has died at age 62.

Lecil Henderson

Lecil Henderson

Henderson’s death was announced on the Facebook page of Henderson Collection by Lecil, the Charlotte, NC-based company that he founded.

“He was a true road warrior – the most generous man who treated everyone like family, regardless of how long he knew them,” according to the post. “Gregarious, fun and always ready for a good belly laugh, he will not only be an immense loss to our office/family, but also to our industry and his many friends across the nation. A ‘bigger than life’ personality that we all loved so much.”

Henderson’s passing reportedly followed a heart attack. A member of the industry since 1990, he was a familiar face to many jewelers, making a point of visiting client stores personally rather than relying on regional sales representatives.

He told INSTORE in May 2012: “I got into the business the old-fashioned way: I grew up in it! My father was a national sales manager for a jewelry manufacturer. After a few months on the road with him, I found I loved the idea of mixing sales, marketing and human relations. My mother was also a big influence. She’d say, ‘Son, no one needs jewelry. However, it makes us very happy when we get it.’ Her ideas remain the core ideals of our business.”

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Of his products, he said, “I would not want to design a work of art that is out of style the following season. Comfort is also critical. If a bracelet is too tight or too loose, then it will probably not be worn very often. I strongly believe that jewelry should be put on often and enjoyed. That is why we offer a lifetime guarantee on our product.”

Numerous retail jewelers expressed their grief as word of Henderson’s death spread throughout the industry this week. A post on the Facebook page of Allen’s Jewelers stated: “You have been highly respected and loved in our community and our industry… we will miss you here in Charlotte and the jewelry community has lost an amazing designer.”

And Christine Emmah of Malloves Jewelers in Middletown, CT, wrote: “He’s my favorite designer and a good friend. He was just at Malloves Jewelry & Gift of Middletown 3 weeks ago for a trunk show.

“Gosh, this shook me to my core.”

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Alex and Gladys Rysman are the third generation to run Romm Jewelers in Brockton, Mass. And after many decades of service to the industry and their community, it was time to close the store and take advantage of some downtime. With three grown children who each had their own careers outside of the industry, they decided to call Wilkerson. Then, the Rysmans did what every jeweler should do: They called other retailers and asked about their own Wilkerson experience. “They all told us what a great experience it was and that’s what made us go with Wilkerson.” says Gladys Rysman. The results? Alex Rysman says he was impressed. “We exceeded whatever I expected to do by a large margin.”

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