Spotlight on




The 2004 Rotary International Free Enterprise Award was presented to The Karat Patch and owners Jay and Kim Phinney in November. 

The award is given in recognition of outstanding business performance consistent with the ethical principles of the Rotary "Four Way Test", and the recipient can not be a Rotarian. The award is given annually by the Rotary Club in each community and the recipients then qualify for the state and national awards respectively.

The Phinneys were presented as special guests by local club representative Dave Ring and recognized at the regular meeting held in the Cactus Room on the campus of Howard College.

The Karat Patch also received a "Salute!" from the Big Spring Herald.




Big Spring, TX - On Wednesday, March 2, 2005 local jewelry artist and craftsman Jay Phinney of The Karat Patch presented a program to the 1953 Hyperion Club. The event was held at the Displays of Splendor Art Gallery on FM 700 and was attended by more than twenty-five members and guests. Jay was introduced by program chairperson Clovie Shannon who also introduced Jay's wife, Kim.

Jay's program covered a variety of subjects concerning changes in the jewelry industry over the past ten years. Highlights of the topics covered were the popularity of white metals and the current interest in various colors of gold; the effects of the "Patriot Act" within the jewelry industry; the introduction of lab-grown diamonds into the marketplace; the "never-needs-a-battery technology" watches by Citizen; fashion and online jewelry sales.

The topic of most interest was a new website and Ebay store maintained by The Karat Patch. Jay explained that the Ebay store (The Karat Patch online) was opened in October of 2004 and is generating an average of one sale per week, with sales being shipped to over eleven different states and two countries. The Karat Patch online can be accessed through a link at and offers even local customers a way to view approximately 150 items of inventory, 24 hours a day.



Left photo - (left) Mark Vassar, owner of The Masters Touch Christian Bookstore (center) Nick Reyna, City of Big Spring Code Enforcement (right) Jay Phinney, owner of The Karat Patch.  Right Photo is of  residential winner Sharon Treadway (left) with Reyna (right).


August 24, 2005 - The Karat Patch and neighboring business The Master's Touch received Big Spring Code Enforcement's "Doing Your Part"  award for beautification of the grounds around their businesses located on FM 700 in Big Spring.  The award is given monthly and presented by Big Spring Mayor Russ McEwen during the regular meeting of the Big Spring City Council.




The Karat Patch received it's Blue Star Achievement Award from Ebay in July 2005.  This recognition is awarded when a member reaches a level of 50 transactions and maintains a Feedback Score of 100%.  This Feedback Score is what others use to rate the company (The Karat Patch online) on levels of trust and customer service in transactions throughout the Ebay community.





On Saturday September 3, 2005 the city of Big Spring, Texas began to receive evacuees from the storm ravaged area around New Orleans, Louisiana known as St. Bernard Parish.  Less than 2 days earlier plans were being made to take in some 400 people who were being bussed from Louisiana straight to Big Spring.  As the entire city began to mobilize, plans were announced that many volunteers would be needed to execute this most important task.  Merchants from across the city made donations of food, clothing, medical supplies, cash, medical treatment and other vital services not just for the human evacuees, but also for the pets that many of them carried.  The Phinney family is so proud, and feels privileged to have had a small part in this huge humanitarian effort.  From making sandwiches to serving meals, from sorting clothing to carrying out trash, from bussing tables to bagging cookies, everyone had a job to do.  Since most of these evacuees don't have anything to go home to, many of them will be in our community for a long time. 


Ashley Phinney bagging cookies                 Jay Phinney boxing cookies                  Zac and Kim Phinney serving at lunch

The scenes were truly surreal as these brave people made their way off the busses.  Some of them were injured and all were in a state of exhaustion and shock.  Many had not received any information at all about the devastation just 20-30 miles from where they lived, and had no idea why they had come all the way to Big Spring.  But in just a few short hours they understood why and were bewildered by the scenes on television and news reports from New Orleans and the surrounding areas, and at the same time relieved that they were now in such a caring place.

The effort to help these evacuees is ongoing, and much more hard work is to be done.  The Phinney family is proud to be a part of the work and proud to be part of a community that makes it happen.




to The Karat Patch online