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Timco Jewelers Inspires Creativity & Community

Local Goldsmith Teaches and Supports Creativity in Rutland

Story by Lauren Fabian | July 31st, 2019

From a young age, Tim Schneller, owner of Timco Jewelers and Goldsmiths, found inspiration to create his own jewelry. While many people go through life struggling to find a career that excites them, Tim found a passion with jewelry early on thanks to a neighbor who helped him learn how to hand polish opals and make settings in sterling silver. Today, he uses that passion to not only run a successful business in downtown Rutland, but to inspire others as well.

Tim Schneller crafts a ring at his workbench in Timco Jewelers at 59 Center Street.

Tim Schneller crafts a ring at his workbench in Timco Jewelers at 59 Center Street.

In addition to running the business, Schneller teaches jewelry making classes at the local makerspace in Rutland, The Mint. The Mint is a community workspace where people can share ideas and knowledge of their interest in creating. Members have access to not just the space, but the many tools it provides for working in a wide variety of mediums.

“I’ve been teaching classes there for a year now and it's been great to share what I know with other people. That’s how I learned,” Schneller said.

In two short hours, you can leave one of Schneller’s classes with a finished ring and the start of a bracelet and earrings. Schneller provides his years of expertise and skills with attendees, just as his neighbor did for him when he was a young boy.

When he grew up, Schneller studied with the Gemological Institute of America and worked with goldsmiths in Germany to continue learning about the art of jewelry making. After doing repair work for a local business, Schneller opened his first store in 1984.

In Vermont, learning how to make your own jewelry is a skill you can’t learn in many places. Luckily, the classes at The Mint are accessible and affordable to the public. The Mint provides all of the materials and allows attendees to leave with a feeling of accomplishment, in addition to their very own ring.

“People taking the jewelry classes have been all over the map; older and younger, single and couples, families, MINT members and non-MINT members. ” Said Karen McCalla, a board member at The Mint. “Tim is an extremely talented craftsman, but can also teach others to do what he does.  Those skills together are what sell out his classes!“

Schneller not only contributes to the maker movement in Rutland, but also the local arts community too. Timco Gallery is located on Center Street next to Schneller’s jewelry store.

Artwork on display at Timco Gallery on Center Street

Artwork on display at Timco Gallery on Center Street

The gallery features paintings, photographs and other media created by mostly local Vermont artists, creating a space for local artists to show off their work.

Schneller opened the gallery with a mission give back to the local arts community. The gallery makes donations from a portion of its sales to local arts programs like The Mint, The Carving Studio in West Rutland, and local area schools for art supplies.

“The artist community is really important. It’s difficult for arts programs that get discontinued, and we want to help.” Schneller said.

The gallery is open Monday through Saturday and Schneller said he encourages those who want their art on display to come in and have their work shown.

Schneller’s love for the arts transitions into his own work at Timco Jewelers and Goldsmiths. The act of hand making jewelry is truly an art within itself, and Schneller creates his own masterpieces right there in the store.

Diane Bassalin, Schneller’s sister, has worked with in the shop with him for the past 23 years. She proudly wears a necklace made by her brother each day.  

Siblings Diane Bassalin and Tim Schneller of Timco Jewelers and Goldsmiths

Siblings Diane Bassalin and Tim Schneller of Timco Jewelers and Goldsmiths

“Tim made this necklace out of my dad’s wedding band. After he passed, I had the diamond and Tim custom made the pendant and set the diamond for me,” said Bassalin.

As with his sister’s necklace, Schneller uniquely offers the ability to personalize jewelry to reflect something meaningful in a customer’s life. He loves recycling jewelry to make a piece personal to someone’s story and create family heirlooms to be passed down for generations.

Some of Schneller’s first customers remain customers today and over the years Schneller finds customers new and old holding trust with their business.

“We’ve established a big trust in the community being here as long as we’ve had. We really have a community base and parents tell their kids to come here now too.” Schneller said.

Schneller encourages Rutland residents to shop local, as he wants to inspire others to support local businesses as he supports the arts. He believes that shopping local gives the unique ability to have an experience with your purchase, and not just having a package arrive on your front porch.

You can find Tim Schneller at Timco Jewelers and Goldsmiths located on 59 Center Street, Rutland, Vermont. The store is open Monday through Thursday from 9:30-5:30, Friday from 9:30-7:00p.m and Saturday from 9:30-5:00p.m.

To find out more about the store or art gallery visit their website at http://timcojewelers.com/ , and for information about classes offered by The Mint Makerspace, visit  https://rutlandmint.org/classes . You may just find a class taught by Schneller on the schedule!