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For one local couple, "TLC" is more than a simple phrase

Cathy Mathews is the proud owner of TLC Jewelry on Main Street in Tilton, where she not only sells beautiful jewelry, Citizen watches and other elegant gifts at wholesale, but offers top dollar for gold and unwanted jewelry. (Donna Rhodes) (click for larger version)
November 30, 2011
TILTON — The letters "TLC" are familiar to most people as shorthand for the phrase "Tender Loving Care."

To one Gilford couple, however, TLC means "Tom Loves Cathy," and to shoppers along Main Street in Tilton, it also means a wonderful store Cathy Mathews owns where people can buy gold, silver, jewelry and watches at great low prices.

"I offer jewelry at wholesale prices, so everything is affordable for anyone. We even have layaway," said Mathews.

TLC Jewelry opened a year ago in downtown Tilton, and has become a popular stop along a street lined with florists, gift shops, hardware and other specialty shops, where Christmas shopping can be a pleasure.

Mathews grew up in a family of jewelers, and has spent most of her life assisting her father and uncle in their stores. Married to Tom Mathews last August, she has enjoyed having her own shop, where she can offer so many services to her customers.

"I learned this business by doing it, and I really enjoy it. The shop offers everything from engagement rings and wedding bands to pendants, earrings, bracelets…you name it. We can also order anything someone requests," she said.

A popular item is her Reflections charm bracelets. The same as Pandora bracelets, the Reflections line allows customers to select individual beads and charms to string on the bracelet and create a truly one-of-a-kind, personalized gift. Charms of fairies, butterflies, dogs, gems, birthstones and much more are available from three catalogs and, if not in stock at her store, are shipped immediately to create the perfect bracelet for a loved one's lifestyle and interests.

For men, there are stainless steel ID bracelets, which Mathews can have engraved to a customer's specifications.

A unique and wonderful watch collection is on display in her front window, all from Citizen Watch Company and sold at TLC for 20 percent off the retail price. The watches are "Eco-Driven," powered by solar energy, and never require battery replacement.

"They can run for six months without being in the sunlight. There's all types of designs, and the bands are stretchy, cloth, rubber — whatever. It's a classy watch that you can wear every day," said Mathews.

Another great gift idea is her "Add A Pearl" necklaces. With a choice of five or six millimeter pearls to select from, people can create a keepsake pearl necklace, one pearl at a time. Beginning with the initial purchase of the chain and a pearl to string on it, over time, a complete strand can be put together.

"I did this for my niece. You always have a present you can get someone for any occasion. Just buy a pearl to add to the necklace for Christmas, birthdays, graduation or whatever," said Mathews.

With pearls starting as low as $32, over no more than 16 gift giving occasions, the recipient would then have a full strand of quality pearls.

"It's a nice thing to start a young girl out with. By the time they graduate high school, they'll have a complete pearl necklace," Matthews explained.

Mathews said new items come into her shop weekly. The glass cases of TLC are full of an ever-changing array of diamonds, classic estate jewelry, rings, gemstone bracelets, gold crosses and beautiful earrings that all sparkle in the sunlight. Besides her store, she also sells items on the Internet, and is quick to restock her showcases to keep a large selection available for her customers. And should someone not see what they're looking for, Mathews is always able to find just what they want, at a price that's hard to beat.

"There's no need for me to charge retail prices because I have a low overhead, so I just want to make items I sell affordable," she said.

Besides selling jewelry and gold, Mathews also purchases items, and said she guarantees she will not be beat on her buying prices for old jewelry and other gold items.

"People bring in a jewelry box they inherited, or old jewelry they no longer want, and walk out of here with the top dollar price. Even the littlest of items add up to a lot," said Mathews.

TLC sells watch batteries, sends items out for engraving and offers repair services for jewelry. Mathews also carries great gift ideas like classic pens, some with money clips included as a set, engraveable business card holders and adorable keepsake silver baby rattles. Some previously owned jewelry is also sold on consignment. Customers also have the opportunity to register for a weekend get-away to the luxurious Hotel Glace in Quebec, Canada from Jan. 11 until Valentine's Day.

TLC is located at 279 Main St. in Tilton, next to the Tilton Hair Cuts for Men, and is open Tuesday-Friday from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. on Saturdays, and, until Christmas, from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. on Sundays. Monday hours may be arranged by appointment only.

Martin Lord Osman
Salmon Press
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