DALLAS TWP. — As an elementary teacher, Elva Valentine made kindergarten students at Dallas Elementary School shine.
Today, she continues to provide glimmer as the owner of Valentine’s, a fine jewelry store on Route 309.
Valentine earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Wilkes College. But her path took a turn toward entrepreneurialism when she established Valentine’s in 1982.
Today, her store offers a variety of jewelry lines, including Alex and Ani, Charles Garnier Paris, Cordova, Diadori, Edward Mirell and Hearts on Fire to name a few.
As she grew her business, Valentine held tight to a firm commitment to support her community through involvement with over 100 charities, including, but not limited to, the Back Mountain Food Pantry, Geisinger’s Children’s Miracle Fund and Community Cares for Kids.
Where did you go to college?
I earned a bachelor’s degree in art and a master’s degree in science from Wilkes College, now known as Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre.
What was your major?
English with a minor in Elementary Education and a Master of Science as a Reading Specialist and Elementary Supervision.
What was your first job out of college?
I was a kindergarten teacher at Dallas Elementary.
What has been the best advice you received in business?
Treat both employees and customers as you would like to be treated.
If your business had a limitless budget, what would be three things you would do differently?
1. Expand our internet business with website enhancements and increased exposure.
2. Build an addition so we could better showcase our inventory.
3. Contribute more to the community, both financially and with my time.
What are our area’s biggest strengths and weaknesses?
Our biggest strength is the warmth and friendliness of the people. Combine that with a strong work ethic and a relatively low cost of living and we have a great place to live.
Weaknesses that impede our progress are a lack of well-paying employment opportunities for young adults and the lack of adequate public transportation in suburban and rural areas.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in the Back Mountain. My parents, Evelyn and Bob Costello, still live in the Back Mountain.
Tell us about your family.
I am married to David Green, a sculptor. We have three children and four grandchildren between us.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
I turn on the “Today” show, have coffee and chat with Dave.
What’s the last thing you do at night before you fall asleep?
I read, mostly novels. I love historical fiction best, but I am open to almost anything.
Where’s your favorite place to go on vacation?
We love Europe, have visited many countries, but there are still more on our bucket list.
What’s your biggest fear?
I usually say, ‘I am not afraid of anything’ since being fearful and worrying don’t change a thing.
What’s your favorite restaurant and/or meal?
Costello’s, in Edwardsville, of course. (She is related to the family who owns the restaurant. I love seafood with pasta, especially spicy.
What do you want to do when you retire?
I love what I do so I doubt I will ever completely retire. However, I would like more time to read, exercise, travel, volunteer and spend more time with my family.