This past February I was informed of a new business that had moved in to Old Town San Diego, a short drive from my house. So I reached out to the new tenants and quickly learned of their recent move to San Diego via Ireland.
While visiting with Lisa and Neil Ward I quickly learned that they are glad to have found the shop on Juan Street, because it has lots of foot and motor traffic and has relatively low overhead. They like the idea of meeting and serving lots of customers and also providing a value and a benefit, in terms of the jewelry they sell and repair.
Neil said he started the business when he took early retirement from a 36-year banking career three years ago. Initially in Ireland, he had a hybrid business selling online and direct sales to an extensive network of friends and professional contacts. In August of 2016 he received his new green card and transferred the business to San Diego.
Since opening in late January 2017, Neil says sales have exceeded their preliminary expectations and that they are receiving consistently positive feedback with regard to the quality and pricing of the jewelry offered. He also spoke of working closely with a local graduate gemologist, Ben Mester, whose love of gemstones, “aligns wonderfully with their jewelry offering.” He added that Mester’s gemstones in the store are typically priced below normal retail.
On the subject of jewelry repair, Neil said that they work closely with skilled and experienced bench jewelers so as to provide quality repairs and jewelry maintenance at competitive pricing.
When asked about what motivated him to join the jewelry business, Neil commented, “I love what I do, I am passionate about fine jewelry and gemstones. And, I get immense pleasure in searching out classic, designer and unique pieces of jewelry at prices that pleasantly surprise my clients.
He added, “At the very young age of seventeen I purchased a small jewelry business in Ireland. On the weekends I sold silver charms and items such as Cladagh rings, many to American tourists. I loved the jewelry business from day one but given my family background it appeared I was destined to be a banker. During my satisfying 35 year career in banking I continued to study gemstones and jewelry. Over the years I became the jewelry buyer for family and friends and in the process I honed my skill at finding value and quality pieces and learning the hard way how to avoid mistakes. The purchase of a piece of jewelry for a loved one or for oneself is normally a joyous occasion. I get immense pleasure in being a part of the celebration.”
I can personally attest that Neil is in to making his customer’s happy. I am already someone who has made a purchase. That’s because I’ve learned that Neil will not purchase any piece of jewelry that does not have a good quality-price ratio. He only purchases pieces that are manufactured with precious metals, 14 karat, 18 karat and platinum are the metals used in over 99 percent of his close to 500 pieces.
If you are a lover of fine jewelry, whether it’s modern and classic, then you will surely find something at Trillion Jewels that will suit your taste.
To celebrate their new Old Town location, Trillion Jewels is holding an open house from 5 to 8 p.m., Friday, March 24. They are inviting local residents to see their shop, meet with Lisa and Neil Ward and enjoy free refreshments. Trillion Jewels is located at 2802 Juan Street, Suite 19. Their neighbors, Salon Santo Tomas, are joining the effort and will be offering free, mini-salon treatments. Hope to see you at the grand opening. For more information and store hours, call (760) 828-8683.