What do you do?
Donna Heikes

Where do you work and what is your title?
       I work with my husband Jim at Thunder Mountain Trading Company in Old Colorado City. We retail specialty items such as antler chandeliers, Native American and contemporary jewelry, Native American artifacts, bronzes, taxidermies of all kinds and artwork in originals and prints.
What do you do there and/or what are you responsible for?
       I am an artist and most of my landscapes in oils are featured at our store. I also design and create jewelry. My main goal is to give the best customer service to our customers so they leave with a good experience.
How long have you been doing this kind of work (total)? How long on the Westside?
       I have dabbled in art most of my life but became more serious in 2000 when I started working in oils. I moved to Colorado in 2001 where I met my husband a year later. I learned to design jewelry from my mother-in-law, Tracy Heikes, who is a talented designer in her own right. I have been working at Thunder Mountain since 2002.
What do you like best about it (other than quitting time)?
       The best part of my job is working with my customers. I have met some of the most interesting and nicest people through our store that will be friends for the rest of my life.
If you could change one thing (other than pay), what would it be?
       I guess if I could change one thing about the job, it would be to have every customer that walks through the door to find something in the store they would like to buy. In this struggling environment people are looking for a bargain and we do our best to find it for them.
What part of your work did your training/education never prepare you for?
       When you work with the public, every human being is as diverse as the next. It takes all kinds to make this world go round. We are all special in our own way and dealing with people with "unique" ways can be challenging at times. I just treat people the way I want to be treated and usually all goes well.
What makes working on the Westside special?
       Working on the Westside gives you a feeling of a small hometown. You get to know the people around you and with some, they feel like family.

“What do you do?” is a regular feature in the Westside Pioneer. If you know someone who has an interesting job on the Westside (but doesn’t live here), he/she might be a candidate for this column! If you know someone who might qualify, give us a call at 471-6776.