As a respected retailer of fine jewelry, Classic Creations in Diamonds & Gold’s Evan Duke has long been complimented on the beauty of his store and its offerings by manufacturers hoping he will carry and feature their jewelry lines. But because his taste is so discerning and his standard so high, he almost never invites a new line into his store. However, Evan has recently been featuring jewelry from the New York based Gabriel & Co., a line that has earned a devoted following among Venice jewelry aficionados.
“Gabriel & Co. is an immediately recognized brand within the country,” Evan explains. “They have been selling very well in Fort Myers and Tampa, and their representative kept coming into our store and telling me that they needed a marquee shop for their jewelry in our region. He did his due diligence with us, getting to know us and our standard for jewelry, and his persistence was the key. When I saw the quality of the jewelry and the dedication of the company’s staff, I decided to give Gabriel & Co. an opportunity here at Classic Creations In Diamonds & Gold. It has turned out to be immensely popular and has made many of our customers very happy.”
Evan says that the Gabriel & Co. line has been so well received in Venice because the quality of the workmanship is phenomenal—truly second to none—and the materials and finish are of the absolute highest quality.
Gabriel & Co. was founded in 1989 by brothers Jack and Dominick Gabriel, sons of master New York jeweler Elias Gabriel. The Gabriel brothers believed that the jewelry industry needed to have fresher designs and modern styles, and they set themselves to the task of creating just that. Now, they are renowned around the world.
“They use the highest quality diamonds in terms of color and clarity,” says Evan. “They don’t cut any corners at all. Their diamonds sparkle and their setting work is very ornate, which takes an especially skilled hand to do. Each piece has a serial number that can be tracked in their system. It’s gorgeous jewelry. It has been a wonderful relationship for both of us.”
Another line featured at Classic Creations is none other than Nau-T-Girl, Evan’s wife Pam’s personally designed jewelry line that was featured last year in Venice Lifestyle Magazine.
Pam’s line is inspired by sea life, and captures her love for everything coastal and the great times she spends with Evan and their kids on the water on their boat. When we last checked in with Pam and Nau-T-Girl, the line was carried by 22 stores nationally, but that has only increased over the past year to the point that now Nau-T-Girl is carried by more than three dozen fine jewelry stores located all over the country. A shop on Marathon Island in the Florida Keys sells more Nau-T-Girl than any other, but stores from Maine, to California’s Catalina Island, to jewelers on the Great Lakes also carry the line.
“I have been working on a new design for Nau-T-Girl based on a customer request,” Pam says. “She wanted a Nau-T-Girl design based on a shark’s tooth, and that is really perfect for our region since that’s what Venice is known for. One thing that has changed at Nau-T-Girl is that I am not just doing stand-alone rings or other pieces, but designing whole sets. Most of my newer designs have whole matching sets: necklaces, bracelets, earrings, anklets, toe rings. My next collection is titled ‘Seahorse.’ I try to design two to three collections a year.”
Covid-19 caused a long closure at the store, but Classic Creations In Diamonds & Gold is back open to the public. Evan and Pam have been taking the pandemic and their customers’ concerns very seriously. They require masks and social distancing in the store itself, and have hand-sanitizing stations at the store’s entrance. Despite the closure in April, Evan decided to pay all of his employees their full wages, even before he knew that the business had successfully received a PPP loan from the government.
“Part of what has always made me proud of our business is the jobs that we create, the people who we call family who work for Classic Creations,” Evan explains. “There was no way that we could leave our employees to deal with lost wages during the pandemic, so we made that decision to pay them regardless of how the loan turned out.”
Now with safety measures in place, Evan and Pam again invite the public to Classic Creations, to see the ever-changing offerings of jewelry they have on hand.
“We are a busy store with a devoted following of loyal customers,” Evan says. “What we have changes almost every day. We certainly want everyone to do their best to protect themselves and the people they love from Covid-19, just as our employees and we are doing. But we cannot stop living our lives. We have seen a lot of sales recently because people have spent so much time at home not spending any money. They have been coming in to Classic Creations because they have money to spend and they want a little sparkle in their lives. In difficult times like these, nothing tells a loved one how much they are cared for, worried about, thought about, or missed than a gorgeous piece of jewelry.”
Pam and Evan want to remind everyone of the nonprofit organization they devote much of their time and energy to: the Child Protection Center. Deeply supportive of the CPC’s mission to protect and help abused children, Pam and Evan have been supporters for years, leading fundraisers annually.
“Come into Classic Creations In Diamonds & Gold and check things out,” Evan says at last. “We have worked hard to make things safe. The jewelry we have for you to shop through is always changing and our store is as nice as any fine jewelry store in the country. We would love to see you!”
2387 S. Tamiami Trail, Venice. 941.525.4459. Nau-T-Girl.com. ClassicCreationsJewelers.com