How did I become a jewelry designer with a jewelry store of my own?
I found myself in the jewelry business kind of as a fluke more so than being a lifelong dream. In the late 70’s living at the north Jersey shore I was more interested in music and the idea that maybe this was my life’s calling. I was playing guitar and singing in local bands in pubs and bars at the Jersey shore while paying my bills by working at Sam Goody’s when a friend stopped by to ask me if I would have any interest in working at a small custom jewelry store. My friend was leaving his job at the custom jewelry store, and he recommended me to his boss as someone who might be a good fit as his replacement. I wasn’t making any money playing music, and not making much at Sam Goody’s so I figured that maybe the jewelry store might pay me enough to allow me to keep pursuing my dream as a musician. One thing I did know about myself was that I derived satisfaction from creating something new from nothing. However, I never thought that I would be able to satisfy that need with something other than music. Well, I found that creating jewelry was every bit as satisfying as making music.
“Music is played, and then it’s gone, while a well made piece of jewelry is worn and appreciated for generations”
At the custom jewelry store, I learned the craft from a Russian Jeweler, who was very new to the US. In the USSR, he was a trained master jeweler as well as a bass player in a band that played at resorts on the Black Sea. We became fast friends very quickly with me helping him learn English, and he teaching me the art of making jewelry.
On top of learning to make jewelry, I also learned that I had a knack for learning from the customers who came in the store, what it was that they wanted in jewelry design. And so I learned to enjoy custom design and making that special piece of jewelry that someone would wear and appreciate their whole life. Music is played, and then it’s, gone while a well made piece of jewelry is worn and appreciated for generations. This aspect really appealed to me.
By the mid 1980’s I was working for another jewelry company who asked me to move to Maryland and open stores for them. It was a great opportunity for me, and so I ran with it. However this wasn’t a custom jewelry store so after opening two stores for this company I realized that while the pay was good, I wasn’t getting the satisfaction of designing and making something from nothing. My father was retiring and my wife and I had our first child, and my dad offered to help me open my own store. So my parents moved to Maryland, and we started Everett and Sons fine jewelry in the Owen Brown Village Center in Columbia. As it turns out after being open a few years my old Russian Friend came down to Maryland to work for me and we really made a name for ourselves as the place for custom designed jewelry in Howard County Maryland.