As we enter a new decade many of us are taking stock of where we are today and where we will be in 10 years from now, both professionally and personally. After years of dedication building our family business and seeing it through countless ups and downs it is with mixed emotions that I announce that our family will be retiring from the jewellery business.

It is difficult to be ending a three generation family tradition but it a comfort to my family to know we are leaving on our own terms and that we are leaving on a high. The last six months in the business have been great, the staff and warm atmosphere made it a pleasure to come to work every day, and the run up to Christmas was the most profitable in many years. The atmosphere in Waterford city centre was buzzing and we felt there was a much more positive vibe than the previous 5 years. It is ironic to actually be leaving the business at this point in time considering it has started to thrive once again but it is the right time for us as an extended family.

I am full of gratitude to my grandparents Horst and Marianne, my Mum Joanie, and my Dad Jannes for allowing me the opportunity to be part of a family business, to be part of the Kneisel tradition. I never once took it for granted when I opened up the shop door each morning. Our shop walls have seen generations come and go. They have seen couples get engaged, choose wedding rings, christening gifts and seen those children grow up and come in to purchase their own engagement rings and so the cycle of life continues. It has been a huge privilege to be part of so many lives. People say that working in retail and with the general public can be really hard however I personally feel it has continued to build my faith in humanity. Jewellery is often a very sentimental purchase and we would have heard many emotional stories from our customers over the years. The kindness, love and generosity people have for each other is quite amazing and I want to thank all those who shared their stories with me, my family and our staff. We will remember them, learn from them and never forget them. We will always be hugely grateful to all our customers for their constant support, trust and confidence.

The great news is that we are delighted to announce that our manager Lisa Statham and her husband Lee will be taking over the business and that trading will continue as normal. Lisa has been trained in all aspects of the business by my mum Joanie over the last 15 years and this feels like a natural progression for us. She gained invaluable experience in the diamond industry during her time in Australia, and over the last few years with us has specialized in Diamond Eternity Rings, Wedding rings and custom ring designs.

She is already well known by the majority of our loyal customers and has been running the business alongside me over the last three years. We feel it is very fortunate for Waterford city centre that Lisa and Lee will be taking on this new and exciting challenge and for our shop doors to remain open, especially in the recent event that 3 locally owned businesses have closed in the centre of town in the last 2 months.

We as a family, fully endorse Lisa and Lee and support them in their transition of ownership. We are entrusting our heritage in Lisas capable hands, as she upholds the reputation as the South Easts premier jewellers, continuing our legacy of quality workmanship, professionalism and unique jewellery designs.

To our loyal customers, be assured when you arrive in store you will find the same quality brands, luxury jewellery and the professional service and knowledge you have come to expect. Ally and Heather will be here too and will continue to work beside Lisa.

We will always be grateful to our customers for their support over the years and in an age where shop local is a priority to people I am confident people in Waterford will continue support Lisa and Lee. It is of great comfort to know we are handing over our family business to another local family and hopefully it will be as good to them as it has been to us over the years. We wish Lisa and Lee every success in this new and exciting era of Kneisel jewellers.

Most importantly I would like to thank our loyal staff throughout the years who have helped make our family business a success, especially our current staff who have been on the floor working alongside me the last 6 months. Lisa, Ally and Heather, you have been the dream team! Your efficiency, camaraderie, patience and constant good humour (even in the long shifts up to Christmas) made our decision to leave all the more harder. Mum and I will always be grateful for your time, loyalty and dedication not only to the business but to our family.

Georgie Kneisel