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Our Champaign Owners

John & Lisa Flora are the 4th generation owners of Flora Gems. Flora Gems has been on the same street corner in Decatur since 1856, and we opened our second location in Champaign-Urbana in November, 2015. Valerie Swain has been with Flora Gems since 2011 and together, we love providing beautiful jewelry, outstanding customer service, and a professional staff to serve your jewelry needs.

Champaign Team

  • Valerie Swain

    Valerie Swain

    Position: President & Co-Owner

    Credentials: Graduate Gemologist; Bachelor of Science from EIU


    About Me: "I enjoy being a part of our customers celebrations and special occasions. From engagements and anniversaries, to graduations and is meant to be celebrated! I enjoy spending time with my family and friends-this is by far my favorite hobby! I enjoy raising my amazing kids and spending time watching them learn and grow!"

  • Mark Fandel

    Mark Fandel

    Position: Personal jeweler, appraiser, lead buyer

    Credentials: Graduate Gemologist, Jewelry professional since 1982


    About Me: "Although selling diamonds is a great way to earn a living, and I love it, my favorite part of our business is my role as the estate and vintage jewelry buyer. I find it fascinating, and I enjoy very much talking to the fine people in the Champaign/Urbana area who seek my advice. I live near Allerton Park, so I am lucky enough to be able to run on the roads out there, entering an area 5k or 10k a few times a year, especially the Decatur Shoreline Classic in the fall."

  • Anna Watson

    Anna Watson

    Position: Personal Jeweler

    Credentials: Graduate Gemologist; Associates of Art Degree Specializing in Jewelry Design, GIA Jewelry Design Certificate


    About Me: "I have been a gemologist for over 20 years and feel very fortunate to work for Flora Gems.  I started my career in diamond wholesale and enjoy working with diamonds but colored gemstones are truly my passion.  I love developing relationships with my customers and feel honored when they share and  celebrate special events with us. I live in Monticello with my husband and three children Olivia, Liliana and Everett."

  • Scott Wulff

    Scott Wulff

    Position: Bench Jeweler

    Credentials: 32 years experience as a jeweler


    About Me: "I did not choose jewelry, it chose me. I like the challenge of each repair that comes through the shop. I like to hear that someone else has said that it can't be done. I will do my best to prove them wrong. I enjoy traveling with my wife, spending time with my 9 grandchildren, and reading old books."

  • Katie Chenoweth

    Katie Chenoweth

    Position: Personal Jeweler

    Credentials: Bachelor of Sciences in Merchandising

    About Me: "I have been enjoying the fast-paced retail lifestyle for the last seven years. My main goal is to not only fulfill my client’s expectations, but to give them an emotional experience that builds the foundation of a lifelong relationship. I love traveling, riding in the combine with my husband, and cooking for my friends and family."

  • Christina Smith

    Christina Smith

    Position: Inventory Manager

    Credentials: Associates of Science in Accounting

    About Me: "Having 20 plus years managing inventory and supplies, I am excited every day to support our sales team with their customer's projects. In my down time, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, crafting, and reading."

  • Sarah Frederick

    Sarah Frederick

    Position: Personal Jeweler


    About Me: "After the exceptional customer service I received at Flora Gems while shopping for my engagement and wedding rings, I knew Flora’s possessed the type of fun, high-energy work environment I wanted to be a part of!  What I love most about my job is interacting with and getting to know my customers.  In the years to come, I look forward to being educated and trained by some of the finest gemologists in the industry.  I enjoy cooking, visiting local wineries, playing trivia games with my husband, and spending quality time with friends and family."