Our current staff of jewelers, located at our Indianapolis store, encompass a variety of talents and expertise, which combine to make an impressive team whom embrace and carry on the finest of all custom design jewelry traditions.
Gary Thrapp, Owner firstname.lastname@example.org
Born in Indianapolis, raised in Kendallville, Indiana and educated at Indiana University, Gary Thrapp was a state and national high school pole vault champion and attended I.U. on an athletic scholarship. From there, Gary found new roots in lovely, artsy Santa Barbara, California where he learned the art of design composition through an association with retired Jewelry Workmaster, Willy Hanzi. Mr. Hanzi was shop master at Rusk’s of Beverly Hills and later, Van Cleef and Arpels. It was through this association that Gary was immersed in the fine art of model making and fabrication styles and methods as they relate to the exceptional skill set of recognizing and creating world-class jewelry as an art form. Although not a craftsman, Gary’s knowledge of jewelry making methodology is the basis for design navigation and the crux of assisting clients to realize their custom objectives. What sets G. Thrapp Jewelers apart is our advanced working knowledge of achieving expectations. G. Thrapp strives to inspire client confidence, while establishing a relaxed atmosphere. Gary has driven the G. Thrapp Jewelers philosophy that the store’s goal, above all else, is to achieve the client’s objectives.
Ellen Bower, Vice President and Head Designer email@example.com
Ellen Bower began her journey into jewelry design while still in high school. After graduating a year early, Ellen began study as a Fine Arts Major in Sculpture at John Herron School of Art. During her tenure at Herron, she began working for a jeweler and her true passion was ignited after being exposed to the detail and scale of jewelry design. After eight years, she transitioned to a new position with a major manufacturer where she learned the complete manufacturing process, her focus being in Research and Development designing and creating the master models for their jewelry lines. In 1993, Ellen began her career at G. Thrapp Jewelers. At that time there were two jewelers and much of the design and manufacture work was out-sourced. Ellen was promoted to the Head of the Design Studio and, within five years of her start, all of the work was being done in-house and a full Design Studio was established. In 1999, she became the Vice President of G. Thrapp Jewelers and embraced the challenges of integrating new technologies, management, design, and old world tradition. Ellen thrives on a strong work ethic and a true belief that competition is from within, always striving to reach her personal best. Ellen has remained at G. Thrapp for fourteen years because she believes the organization to be an art form in itself. It allows her to grow and learn in a limitless fashion, always pushing the boundaries on what is comfortable into new and exciting possibilities. In her career, Ellen has become a nationally recognized Master Jeweler with a true passion for design as beautiful as the pieces that she creates.
Dana Friedman, Head Buyer and Management Team firstname.lastname@example.org
Dana Friedman is an Indiana girl. She grew up on a lake just outside Indianapolis and is still feeding and nurturing her quest for adventure and fun, but Dana’s drive goes well beyond the lake life. Since 1990, her passion has also found a home in the jewelry business. That is when she began to realize how jewelry can be such a significant part of people’s lives.
In 1999 Gary met Dana after she had been highly recommended by a business colleague. It didn’t take long for the two of them to recognize the synergies between Gary’s goals for G Thrapp Jewelers and his philosophy for servicing his clients, and Dana’s experience, enthusiasm, and personal commitment to help people get what they want.
From births to birthdays and from weddings to anniversaries and all the personal celebrations in between, Dana has seen the importance fine jewelry can play in the milestones of life. Dana says, that unlike other gifts or bits of memorabilia, jewelry “stands the test of time and the value of legacy — because of what it stands for, what it represents.” While Dana believes jewelry is something to be valued, treasured, and handed down from one generation to the next the experience should always be a fun adventure—never intimidating and NEVER boring! “My greatest joys come in finding that perfect fit for someone, whatever the occasion. For me there is no more gratifying reward than when I help find that perfect piece that represents that special moment, and each time it is looked at and worn, they will remember exactly when they got it and why……and that they had a fantastic experience at G Thrapp Jewelers and want to come back!”
That’s what G Thrapp is all about—the experience. Dana and all at G Thrapp constantly strive to provide the experience people deserve, not just what they expect.
Julie Wilson was born in California and made her way to the Midwest when she decided to attend college at Purdue. During her time at Purdue she realized her love for fashion and design translated to a true passion for jewelry. Julie took classes in metalsmithing as well as enameling while at Purdue, which helped her to learn the basics in jewelry making and design. After having a summer internship with Nordstrom in their jewelry department and internship with Whitney Abrams, a goldsmith in Chicago, Julie went to work full time for Whitney Abrams after graduation. During her time with Whitney she improved her skills at the jewelry bench and understanding of jewelry design, with opportunities such as attending the Tuscon Gem Show she really broadened her jewelry knowledge and her love continued to grow. After moving to Indianapolis in January of 2012, working at G. Thrapp seemed to be an obvious pairing with their top design studio and ability to provide the finest custom work. Julie also spends her free time blogging about jewelry, watches, and everything fashion, check out her blog at www.julersrow.com.
Michelle Farmer Brogan, Sales Associate, Graduate Gemologist, GIAmfarmer@gthrapp.com
I am an Indiana girl as well. Grew up a mile and a half from here. Meridian Kessler is my stomping grounds. My parents still live in the house I grew up in. Always have had a love for gemstones, jewelry, and personally creating any art of 3-dimensional design. Attended Indiana University, Bloomington and graduated with a Bachelors in Fine Arts specializing in Jewelry Design and Metalsmithing. Afterwards attending the Gemological Institute of America in Carlsbad, CA. First job in the business was in the Diamond District of NYC. Came back to Indpls and have worked for a few stores doing sales, management, and custom design. Took a few years off to have my kiddos and worked from home designing and making jewelry. Glad to be back in the swing of things. Feel I am back in my deep rooted, close-nit family community and loving it!