As told to Wendy Bowman
When and how did you first develop a passion for jewelry and under what circumstances did you decide to pursue it professionally?
My passion started at age 15, when I worked for my uncles in their second-hand jewelry stores. We dealt with all pre-owned merchandise. I learned the value of buying and selling at an early age, dealing with anything from guitars and stereos to fine and estate jewelry.
In what way is your earlier work an asset to what you do now?
My earlier work taught me various skills that are key to keeping the business successful. Because I started working and was taught what hard work was at such a young age, being an active, hands-on business owner is what I am today.
When and where did you open your first store and how has it evolved?
At age 19, I opened Costa Mesa Jewelers, and operated the store for 11 years. After that, I sold Costa Mesa Jewelers and acquired Winston’s Jewelers on Newport Boulevard. Then Winston’s Jewelers built our new Winston’s Crown Jewelers in the Mariner’s Pointe Plaza here in Newport Beach.
Describe the experience of shopping at the store and how its environment enhances this feel.
The shopping experience is first-class. All clients are warmly welcomed upon arrival. Most of our staff have been here for years, and in turn, are very knowledgeable and helpful. Our clients have a relaxed yet regal, fun experience at our store filled with museum-quality pieces.
Talk about the range of jewelry the store offers. What brands do you carry that resonate with your clientele?
We have two stores full of inventory. I like to say there’s something for everybody. We carry a huge inventory of large diamonds to all colors of semi-precious gems, and an extensive pre-owned luxury watch selection. The brands that resonate with the clientele are Rolex and Cartier.
Elaborate on the store’s base. Who shops at Winston’s and what is their core concern?
The clientele we get want the best quality for the best price.
What is Winston’s signature?
We specialize in large diamonds.
What are some of the most amazing pieces you currently have in your inventory?
Some of the pieces that I find the most amazing are the larger, rarer stones—a Colombian emerald suite, a 30-carat diamond to a 100-carat tanzanite.
Describe how Winston’s custom design business responds to the market.
We always have people coming in who have seen something in a picture somewhere that we can re-create for them with the help of our master designers. Our master designers are savvy to the quickly evolving fashions.
Where do you glean inspiration for your designs?
One of my biggest inspirations for the custom designs is from my wife, Michelle. Our passion for jewelry and being unique lets us work together to come up with one-of-a-kind designs.
How has jewelry design changed over the years? Jewelry design always changes, but vintage looks always circulate back around again and become the hottest trends. Our master designers help us keep our customers satisfied with creating the designs they love best.
Are events a large part of your business?
Events have become part of what we do at Winston’s Crown Jewelers. Winston’s sponsors and donates to more than 30 charities in Orange County. We also host philanthropic events at our new Mariner’s Pointe Plaza in Newport Beach.
What are the most creative and also the most extravagant things you’ve done for an event?
One of the most creative things we do for an event is host it at our Mariner’s Pointe Plaza location, and totally transform the property into a red-carpet affair with a VIP Cabana.
What are the hottest trends in jewelry now?
More modern and simple things are the hot thing right now. For example, rings that have thin dainty bands accented with diamonds all the way around the finger. Wearing different color golds together is in too—the yellow, rose, white gold combination is popular.
How have you been able to maintain your business success all these years?
I can say our business has remained consistently successful through our whole team’s perseverance and hard work.
What’s next for Winston’s?
Winston’s has been branching off in our involvement in different charity organizations throughout Orange County. What’s next for us is finding more ways to better our community.
WINSTON'S CROWN JEWELERS
100 W. Coast Hwy., Suite 101, Newport Beach, CA 92663 ~ 949.642.5000 | WinstonsCrownJewelers.com