I love the fact that Lexi Kern tells me that her most marked characteristic is honesty, because that’s the word that comes to mind when I think of her. My dad loved Rolex watches and I wanted to own one to remind me of him. For months, I repeatedly visited the Churchill Jewelers on State Street, the store that Lexi owns with her father, but I was indecisive and apprehensive for this purchase. Time after time, she patiently and warmly showed me all the timepieces they had on display, and never once seemed annoyed that I couldn’t make up my mind.
Her dad, Dick Kern, was an employee of Churchill Jewelers when he went off to fight in World War II, where he was involved in the Battle of the Bulge. But the store’s founder, Roy P. Churchill, kept Kern’s job open, rehired him when the war ended, and, in 1951, helped Kern buy the store. In honor of their friendship, Kern kept the original name. Lexi, who was born and raised in Santa Barbara, carries forward that tradition of integrity and loyalty.
Here, she answers the Proust questionnaire.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
My 42 years at Churchill Jewelers.
What is your most marked characteristic?
What do you like most about your job?
I love meeting new people and seeing their joy when they find the perfect piece of jewelry or watch.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
A day off with no commitments. Sitting on my deck reading and then cooking a fine meal.
What is your greatest fear?
Heights and edges.
Who do you most admire?
My sisters. They have both dedicated their lives to helping people with disabilities.
What is your greatest extravagance?
What is your current state of mind?
Grateful. I’m grateful that both my parents are alive and in good health.
What is the quality you most like in people?
Integrity and humor.
What is the quality you most dislike in people?
Dishonesty and rudeness.
What do you most value in friends?
I have some special friends, and it doesn’t matter how long we have been apart, but when we reunite, it feels like we just saw each other yesterday.
Which talent would you most like to have?
I wish that I had an incredible singing voice.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
All the years in the sun without sunscreen.
Where would you most like to live?
I was born in Santa Barbara and it is the only place I have lived. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else, although a second home in Italy would be nice.
What is your most treasured possession?
My wedding ring.
Who makes you laugh the most?
What is your motto?
This was my grandmother’s motto and she lived to almost 100: Live Well. Laugh Often. Love Much.
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Julia Childs. It was wonderful to meet her. I loved her passion for food.
On what occasion do you lie?