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Photo by Dante Fontana
Describe your business. Did you find it, or did it find you?
I’m an old-world style goldsmith who uses the latest technology to give my clients the best possible service. If they can dream it, I can create it using any metal and any stones. Besides my custom jewelry design work, I love the restoration of classic and heirloom pieces. It’s more than just a “repair.” It’s about bringing that sentimental or historical piece back to life for the owner and making sure those legacy pieces truly last for future generations to enjoy. And behind the scenes, I run as green a business as I can, looking for metals from “green” sources and eco-friendly suppliers complemented by my sources of fair-trade gems and conflict-free diamonds. Customers should have a good feeling about their jewelry from every aspect and angle – not just the beautiful aesthetics, but to know with confidence that it was made ethically.
After 27 years of working as a metalsmith and goldsmith, I’m still enthralled with it. I’ve done over 10,000 repairs over the years for the people of El Dorado County and it’s exciting to finally have my own shingle hanging outside the door. For now, we’re a small shop, but we’re doing big things that no other jewelry store in the area does, and that makes it exciting for me. Using an extremely complicated computer-aided design software system, the technical facets of bench work seamlessly work with our clients’ imaginations; the sky is the limit.
What’s your biggest job perk?
My biggest perks on the job (besides working with my beautiful wife Renee Bernard) are being able to visit with and get to know my customers as they share the stories behind some of their jewelry pieces – joyful and sentimental memories of times gone by, or they’re planning their futures – a wedding, a gift, a child. And there I am, spending way more time with them than most businesses would consider “economically prudent.” But that’s not what this art form is about and I’m honored to be on hand to listen so that I can make sure their emotions translate into each piece and last a lifetime.
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