How KIM’S GOLD DUST Got Started
The seed for KIM’S GOLD DUST was planted back in June 1980 with my purchase of a 1960 Honduras Maroon Corvette. It was to be a “driver and fun” car. All it needed was a good paint job to be road worthy. My mom and I looked at each other and knew we were both thinking the same thing! We got to have that car. The next day we trailered the car home. We named it “Baby Jaws”. The grill and side cove spears reminded us of a shark.
A few changes were made to the car. Some of those changes included a 350 cubic inch engine, a stereo system and four-speed transmission. Fortunately, the previous owner kept all the original parts hoping to someday restore the car back to original.
After three weeks the doors, hood, trunk lid and body were removed from the chassis. We spent that winter removing layers and layers of paint from all the parts and body which sat on hay bales in the garage. After spending that winter removing layers and layers of paint and seeing how many original parts we had, we decided to take on the job of restoring the car.
The search for parts and correctness was on! After reading manuals and researching parts, my mom and I attended several Corvette swap meets and shows. At that time, there were few original parts to be found or used parts that were in restorable condition. Reproduction parts were just in their infancy. Those first reproduction parts were not of high quality or exact authenticity. Much of our time was spent walking around rummaging through boxes and searching on tables and tarps for just the right part. We met many friendly avid Corvette people who were willing to share their experiences and knowledge to help us along. Many of those people are good friends of ours.
My mom and I did about 60% of the restoration ourselves, leaving the outside body work, paint, chrome and soft-top installation to the professionals. Most of our time in this part of the project was spent on chrome and paint. Tragically, the car went through two fires. The body shop caught fire after putting on three coats of Honduras Maroon paint. Not long after, all the chrome parts were hauled out of a chrome shop fire. Luckily, all survived and only a couple of chrome parts were beyond re-plating. Plus, the spare tire wheel came up missing. See restoration photos below.
After eight hard years of work, “Baby Jaws” was ready for its debut. To our amazement and pleasure at its first show, it won the gold at Bloomington in June 1988. The car has won many awards. Some of those awards are the NCRS Duntov, NCRS Ladies Choice Award, AACA Senior Grand National, several preservation awards and Best of Show at Corvettes at Carlisle in 1989. Also, at Corvettes at Carlisle, it was selected for the 1999 Chip’s Choice Display, the 2002 Evolution Display, the NCRS Gallery in 2005 and the 1960 Reunion in 2010.
To reward myself for achievements at select shows, I would purchase a piece of Corvette jewelry from the Henry Paul booth. What’s closer to a woman’s heart?! Henry was an avid Corvette lover and the original Corvette jewelry maker. I loved the quality and amount of detail he put into his pieces. Over the years we became well acquainted. I have all the jewelry I purchased from Henry years ago.
In 2003, I was downsized from the company I worked for. I decided it was time to take a risk and combine my hobby and my love for Corvette jewelry. So, KIM’S GOLD DUST started as a distributor for Henry Paul’s jewelry. After a trip to Chicago to pick up inventory, my business, KIM’S GOLD DUST, was well on its way. The first show I attended was in June 2003 at the Corvette 50th Celebration at the National Corvette Museum. What a life changing experience that was for me.
In 2022, KIM’S GOLD DUST is celebrating our 19th Anniversary. My associates are my mom, Jane, and my incredibly good friends, Toni and her mom, Carolyn. We have a lot of fun wherever we go. We’ve traveled thousands of miles to shows all over the USA including North and South Carolina, Texas, Maine, Florida, South Dakota and Colorado to name a few. Our biggest and closest to home show is Corvettes at Carlisle in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. This is where we spent most of our time restoring “Baby Jaws”. Through our travels, we’ve met many nice people. Several vendors have been helpful with our endeavor as well.
My love for the Corvette continued to grow. I purchased a 2019 Grand Sport Corvette convertible. The color is Elkhart Lake Blue. It has a blue convertible top, black interior, polished wheels and red brake calipers. We named it “Blue Jewel”. Love driving it.
KIM’S GOLD DUST has become the leader of Corvette Jewelry. We carry an extensive line of products for men and women. Please check out the online catalog for rings, pendants, bracelets, earrings, ankle bracelets, snaps, Pandora-style beads, money clips and more. We have exclusive, limited-edition Corvette jewelry that you won’t find anywhere else. KIM’S GOLD DUST loves to make custom jewelry that exceeds your expectations in design, functionality and beauty. Be sure to check out our Show Schedule to see if we are coming to a show near you.
Kim and the Gold Dust Team (Jane, Toni and Carolyn)