Just like his father before him, Ayden Maggio, 12, is already learning the tools of his family’s trade. In his case, those tools are used for creating beautiful, fine jewelry.
“I like going to the store with my dad,” says Ayden. “Dad has me cut pennies with the saw blades so I can learn to be precise. I’ve already learned how to change batteries on watches and to take the links out of the watch bands.”
Ayden’s father, Tony Maggio, learned these same things from his grandfather, Tony Maggio, Sr., when he was Ayden’s age, working in the business his grandmother Liz founded--Venice’s fine jewelry boutique Reflections In Gold--more than thirty-eight years ago. The younger Tony is now responsible for Reflections In Gold’s everyday operations, and enjoys bringing Ayden into the business, as well as hanging out together when the workday is done.
“Ayden’s at such a great age, we get to have so much fun together,” says Tony of his son. “My grandfather was pretty strict with me, he was stern, he had a business to run so he had to be. Now with Ayden, it’s a little different, more relaxed. It’s like I get to have the childhood I always wanted through him.”
Together, Ayden and Tony share a passion for Japanese manga and anime, as well as playing video games.
“People aren’t sure what to make of manga and anime,” explains Tony, who has been a fan of the storytelling art forms for years. “I had to explain to my grandmother what it is, how intricate and deep the storylines are, how complex the characters can be. It’s not just superheroes. Anime stories go very deep into a character’s upbringing and what makes them who they are.”
Among Ayden’s favorite manga and anime titles are Fullmetal Alchemist, One Piece, Fairy Tail, Naruto and Dragonball.
“My dad is the one who told me about One Piece,” Ayden says. “I watched my first episode with him. I love anime because every episode is exciting.”
Aside from watching anime, Ayden and Tony also like playing video games together, including Legend of Zelda titles. On his own, Ayden plays Minecraft and Yoshi’s Crafting World.
“Ayden gets good grades and my fiancée Khia and I don’t really have to discipline him,” says Tony. “He’s a great kid. I just adore him.”
“My dad’s way better at video games than me,” Ayden says and grins. “I like all the things he’s taught me and that he’s always fair to me.”
Ayden and Tony are both fans of One Piece, an animated Japanese series by Eiichiro Oda that follows the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy and his crew of pirates—the Straw Hat Pirates. Luffy and his crew search the world for the ultimate One Piece treasure. “Every episode is exciting,” Ayden says.
Ayden and Tony enjoy gaming, especially playing any titles in the fabled Legend of Zelda series. “I really like Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time,” says Ayden. “My dad and I play and hang out together. He’s way better than me!”
Ayden enjoys drawing himself, taking his inspiration from Japanese manga art. The style of art was developed in Japan in the 19th century, and the term ‘manga’ refers to comics and cartooning. Taken together, manga and anime are among the leading forms of drawn artwork in the world.
Reflections in Gold
1975 Tamiami Trail S, Venice