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March 14, 2018
Sandra Riper – The Women of West Chester
Sandra Riper – Owner of Sunset Hill Jewelers & Fine Arts Gallery
Years in business: Thirty-five
A woman who has influenced you: My first boss, owner of Merle Norman Cosmetics
“One of the great things about West Chester is that there have always been a lot of women-owned businesses here,” says Sandra Riper, owner of Sunset Hill Jewelers & Art Gallery. “Not to mention women attorneys and judges and so on. I don’t see that changing.”
Sandra spent her childhood in West Chester, with parents embedded in the jewelry industry, always dreaming of one day owning her own hometown jewelry store. And when she had the opportunity to take over her parents’ store, she took it. “That was a risk,” says Sandra. “My husband and I had to make the decision to make the place our own. I have no regrets.”
She’s now part of the fabric of the borough, like her store’s iconic red bow during the holidays. “I hope I’ve played a role in making people’s celebrations happy events,” Sandra says. “People’s trust in me, and in my business, is the greatest compliment.”
Established in 1983, Sunset Hill Jewelers and Art Gallery offers a unique selection of jewelry, from antique and vintage pieces to classic and contemporary designs. The store’s goldsmiths also provide design and repair services. Sandra is a graduate Gemologist, and channels her passion for jewelry into helping her customers. “Be dedicated – treat customers like they’re the most important part of your business.”
"We are all responsible for helping improve our community."
Sandra, like many others, has faced the familiar challenge of balancing marriage, motherhood, and work. “It’s so hard to be everything,” Sandra says. “Try to find balance. And sometimes your family just comes first and you don’t have to make an excuse for that.”
Sandra also feels it’s important to get involved in the community. “We are all responsible for helping improve our community and supporting each other and other local businesses,” she says. “Getting involved in what’s happening around town goes hand-in-hand with growing your business.”