by Caroline Gabsewics
The jewelry is in the display cases and the door is open, but the owners of Hemming Plaza Jewelers say they have more to add to the store’s new location on the corner of Hogan and Monroe streets.
Hemming Plaza Jewelers recently moved two doors down from their old location along Hogan Street. They are currently in the space previously occupied by Underwood Jewelers many years ago.
Brothers and owners of Hemming Plaza Jewelers, Juan and Kirk Gonzalez, thought about opening a second location, but couldn’t resist the urge to stay Downtown and move just two storefronts.
“We had been thinking about moving and when we found out this was available, we decided to move two doors down,” said Gonzalez. “This is a great location and it worked out for the best.”
Hemming Plaza Jewelers’ old location at 231 N. Hogan St. isn’t going to stay vacant for long. Gonzalez said an orthopedic shoe store will be moving in by the end of this year.
The new location offers four times the space which means the Gonzalezes are displaying even more jewelry.
“We were so cramped before,” he said. “We have a little more breathing room now.”
There are several display cases already, one along the back of the store and one half circle near the front of the store. They have also added display cases in the windows. But, Gonzalez said, they will be adding even more display cases along the windows facing Monroe Street.
“We have much more to chose from,” he added.
There is also a second story to the store that is not yet complete. A diamond salon — something that is hard to find in Jacksonville, but plentiful in cities like New York and Miami — is planned for the upstairs.
“There are a few in Jacksonville, but not many,” he said.
Gonzalez explained that the diamond salon is similar to the atmosphere a person would find when buying a high-end car.
“You will be catered to,” he said. “We’ll serve espresso, champagne, tea. It is a different way of shopping and it will be by appointment only.”
Customers who are seriously looking to purchase diamonds can utilize this space and be in a one-on-one, plush atmosphere with one of the store’s four jewelers.
Gonzalez said they are hoping to have the salon complete by late 2008.
This is Hemming Plaza Jewelers fifth year Downtown and they have no plans to go anywhere but Downtown.
“It (Downtown) has just been growing and growing,” said Gonzalez. “Location wise for the business, this is a great up and coming location and great foot traffic.”
Aside from selling jewelry, they also do repairs and custom repairs, custom design work and hand engraving. They also have a gemologist on staff.
“We all specialize in something different,” said Gonzalez.
Hemming Plaza Jewelers also opens its doors for Art Walk. During December’s Art Walk they will be giving away gift certificates to the jewelry store to the first 100 Art Walkers.
Gonzalez added that they wanted to get their doors open for the holidays, and after the new year they will have a grand opening.