Burkes Fine Jewelers

This month's business blog features Karen Burke, owner with her husband, Fred, of Burkes Fine Jewelers in Kilmarnock. I met Karen about 15 years ago when we were on the Festival of the Trees committee at the Northern Neck Y. I was impressed with her creativity, style, attention to detail and her sense of fun. There is no doubt she brings these same qualities to the business she and Fred have lovingly run for over almost 30 years. Enjoy our interview here.

Tell me about Burkes Fine Jewelers

We are a family owned and operated retail jewelry design boutique three generations deep.

How long has the business been there and when did you first become a part of it?

We were established August 25, 1969 by Dorothy and Fred Burke, Sr. Fred joined the business at age 15 and went to his first jewelry school in New York. I joined the business in 1988.

What ignited your passion for this particular line of work?

Both of our parents always worked together in retail so it was very natural for Fred and me to do the same.

How many employees do you have?

7 full time and 2 part time

What do you like most about your work?

Making memories for our customers with the jewelry we design and make for them.

Excluding yours, what local business/organization do you admire most and why?

Noblett, Inc.; W.F. Booth & Son, Inc.; and Noblett, Ware & Peoples Oil & Propane. All three are family owned and operated and they all give a lot back to the community.

What advice would you give to someone who would like to start a business?

Be ready to have no life other than your job for a very long time. It is consuming, but if it's your passion it is so worth it!

What do you do in your non-work time?

I sing in a praise and worship band, Fred loves to do landscaping and we both enjoy our beautiful grandson Fin.

How do you manage stress?

Plain and simple: PRAYER.

Please give your website address and contact details.


Karen and Fred Burke, Owners

86 South Main Street, Kilmarnock, VA 22482



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