As fashions are changing, jewelry plays an important part in the lives of Indians, particularly among women. There is jewelry for all occasions at Lakshmi Jewelers and Vitha Jewlers on Devon Avenue here. These two jewelry showrooms are popular not only with Indians, but also with all communities, including mainstream Americans. Their popularity runs high because they have huge stocks of latest fashion gold, diamond and precious stone jewelry. One can chose from the stock readily available or order custom-made jewelry for any special occasion. With marriage season is already here, these showrooms have stocked a huge collection of jewelry for all communities.
In fact, these two showrooms are the part of seven such showrooms owned by the eight Vitha brothers located in various cities across the US.
While Lakshmi Jewelers is owned by Nilesh Vitha, Vitha Jewelers is owned by his elder brother Ramesh Vitha.
Vitha Jewelers is the flagship of the chain, which enjoys the distinction of being the first Indian jewelry shop ever to be opened in the US by senior Vitha as early as in 1971. Senior Vitha, who himself was a gold craftsman, immigrated to the US from Nairobi. In fact his father was also an artisan of gold jewelry.
“We are the number one in all respects of the jewelry business and we still maintain that number one position all through. We have a huge collection of fashion and traditional jewelry and our prices are very competitive. We tell our customers that they get what they pay for with our full guarantee of quality and workmanship. We are all trained jewelry craftsmen. It is in our family and two of our children, who graduated some years ago, are also in the jewelry business,” Nilesh tells India Tribune.
Asked what is special about Lakshmi Jewelers, Nilesh says that he has huge stocks of latest and traditional jewelry for all for all occasions. “While other shops only concentrate on heavy jewelry, we go with the latest trends particularly to meet the needs of our youth. Most of them like simple and elegant jewelry. They do not like heavy gold jewelry that was the trend in the past. They now like jewelry made out of diamonds and precious stones with less gold, and we can confidently say that no one else has such wide variety that we have stocked. If we do not have a particular jewelry that our customer wants, we make all attempts and get one for him or her,” he says.
He says most of the stock is imported from India, London, Singapore, Dubai, Italy, Pakistan and Malaysia. “Our prices are very competitive because we purchase directly from the manufacturers across the world. As I told you our two youngsters — Bhavesh and Pranil — who own Devon Investment, shop around the world and make bulk purchases for all our seven showrooms. The two have joined the family business,” Nilesh adds.
Nilesh says that Lakshmi Jewelers are the exclusive agents on the Gandhi Marg for Rado and Movado watches.
Giving details about the progress of the family business, Nilesh says that as the business developed, they opened two more showrooms – one Zaveri Jewelers in 1990 and the other Lakshmi Jewelers in 1991. Now they have two showrooms in Chicago, one in New York, one each in Orlando and Atlanta, and two in Los Angeles. There was a time they had 12 showrooms, but as they became unwieldy, needing constant attention, they had diversified into motel, restaurant and real estate businesses, which do not need direct supervision.
He says: “We strongly believe in quality of all the jewelry we sell. We are experts in evaluating any piece of jewelry because we have been trained in the craft and business. We can make exclusive and customized jewelry for our customers. We can make unique ornaments that are needed for weddings and celebrations like Diwali, Eid and Christmas.
As the mainstream Americans have begun to appreciate and started buying Indian jewelry of 22 KT gold and other diamond and precious stones, “we have contracted with some American companies as suppliers as part of our wholesale business expansion. We are supplying them exclusively created custom jewelry to them.”