Meet the team

 

C. Kirk Root Designs has been in business since 1989. We are always here and happy to assist you in finding or creating that special piece of jewelry.

Root Family

 

Lori Root
Lori Root
Lori Root earned her Bachelor degree in Business Administration in 1983 and works as the company’s bookkeeper. Kirk and Lori raised three boys.  As owner of C. Kirk Root Designs, she will continue the dream that Kirk worked so hard in establishing within the jewelry profession and our community.

 

Christopher Root
Chris Root
Chris Root, a goldsmith and salesman for Kirk Root Designs, helms the store’s public relations efforts as well as manages its social media marketing. Chris was born in the summer of 1989 in Austin, Texas to Kirk and Lori. Much like Kirk, Chris was quickly drawn to creative pursuits, claiming two national design awards and congressional recognition for his original works by 17. During his youth Chris also advanced through the ranks of the Boy Scouts of America, achieving the rank of Eagle Scout, which is the highest rank an individual can attain. Between semesters at Texas Tech, Chris earned his Jewelry Technician Diploma from the Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts, and received two more state design awards before completing his Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) in studio art, organizational leadership, and mass communications from Tech. After college Chris underwent some of the most rigorous training the United States Military could offer and now serves as a First Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps Reserves.

 

Cub Root
Cub Root, G.G.
Cub Root grew up in the jewelry store, watching his father work and making his own wax creations in the shop. He was always amazed with the jewelry and processes to create it. In High School, he began working by cleaning and running errands. Cub began pursuing a business degree at Texas Tech University in 2010. During any break he had, he would come back and help out at the store. Over the years he became more involved, helping with appraisals, photographing the jewelry, then to sales and creating marketing materials. Late 2013 he made the decision to attend the Gemological Institute of America and earn his Graduate Gemologist Diploma in residence. While there, he also earned his Graduate Pearls and Accredited Jewelry Professional Diplomas. He most recently completed having Kirk Root Designs titled as a Registered Jeweler through the prestigious American Gem Society. In August of 2016 he completed his degree at Texas Tech in Marketing and Management and joined the team full time.

 

CaseyRoot
Casey Root
Casey Root is the youngest Root. He is currently attending Texas Tech University and is studying engineering. Casey received a gold seal in art and is an Eagle Scout. When home he works with the jewelry photographer and helps as a website technician.

Larry Root
Larry Root
Larry Root has worked at Kirk Root Designs for over 20 years. He helps cover all aspects of the jewelry design and manufacturing. Larry works on customer’s computer aided design (CAD) projects, and formats the designs for the computer aided milling. He creates the waxes, and casts them in the metal of choice.


Store Personnel

 

Tisha Koerner
Tisha Koerner, G.D.
Our resident Longhorn, Tisha graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelors of Science degree with a concentration in the Retail and Textile Industries. Originally from Fort Worth, Texas, she married her college sweetheart & stayed in Austin after graduation. Tisha began her career in the jewelry industry at Saks Fifth Avenue. After 3 years there she joined Kirk Root Designs where she has handled many of the back office details & assisted Kirk with appraisal services for the US Marshals Service for the past 14 years. Tisha has 2 children & is an avid fan of pets & travel. She has completed the Graduate Diamonds certification through the Gemological Institute of America, and is pursuing the Graduate Gemologist degree.

Linda LaPorte
Linda LaPorte, G.G., A.S.A
Linda LaPorte has been working in the jewelry industry for over ten years with a certificate in jewelry manufacturing, wax carving experience, and a graduate gemologist degree. She has been with the company nearly that long, and apprenticed under Kirk Root for over five years learning the appraisal business, and is now central Texas’ only Master Gemologist Appraiser. She has a love of rare colored gemstones and Art Nouveau design.

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Virginia Schneider
Virginia has had a fascination with rocks and minerals from an early age but became interested in gemology and jewelry at the age of 13 when she went on a tour of H. Stern in Rio de Janeiro while on a family vacation. Since then, her fascination with rocks, minerals and gems has only increased and she received her Bachelor’s in Geological Sciences from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. Virginia started working at C. Kirk Root Designs shortly before her graduation and is one of our sales people and appraisal apprentice. She has continued to pursue her gemological interests and is currently completing her gemologist certification through The Gemmological Association of Great Britain.


Shop Personnel

Stephanie Budde
Stephanie Budde
Stephanie graduated from the Texas Institute of Jewelry Technology May of 2011, and moved to Austin to work as a jeweler for C. Kirk Root Designs August of the same year. She does in-store ring sizing, repairs, custom designs and is the main jeweler of our wildflower collection. Stephanie hopes to expand her abilities by learning the art of hand engraving in the near future.

 

Ben George
Ben George
Throughout his life Ben had an interest in art. He began with recreational drawing classes and in middle school was introduced to basic metalworking. After high school he chose to go to college to learn how to make jewelry, finding that it provided the perfect balance of creative expression and technical skill. He graduated from the Texas Institute of Jewelry Technology in 2011 after taking classes in Computer Aided Design, Gemology, and Jewelry, receiving a Level 2 Bench Jeweler certification from Jewelers of America. After completing school he was promptly hired at C. Kirk Root Designs where he works at the bench doing repairs, stone setting, and custom fabrication. Ben also continues to develop his skills as an award winning designer working in CAD to create one of a kind pieces for competitions and sale at the store.