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California Jeweler Started in Finance and Wound Up in Jewelry Retail

Fanya Hull finds inspiration in female empowerment.




Fanya Hull

Fanya Hull, an owner partner of Vardy’s Jewelers in Cupertino, CA, is a GIA Accredited Jewelry Professional and the store’s personal jewelry consultant. She has a bachelor’s degree in international business and finance from Loyola Marymount University. Fanya works with her parents, Vardy and Alice Shtein, and her brother, Misha Shtein. Vardy is a master jeweler and European goldsmith, trained in his native Estonia. Vardy’s Jewelers, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, has been named the Bay Area News Group’s 2021 Best (Jeweler) in Silicon Valley.


Q&A with Fanya Hull

What have you done in the past 18 months to boost your digital presence?

We definitely had to pivot in the last 18 months. We had a website that was pretty 18 months ago. Now we have a website that is ecommerce friendly. We sell a lot more online and we have financing on our website. It’s video friendly. It’s just a different beast at this point.

We made the leap into selling online at the beginning of the pandemic, investing in a special gem lightbox that allows us to capture still images and 360-degree videos using just a Smartphone. Now, customers can get a better feel for what our jewelry is like in real life. For a while we’ve offered texting capability via our mobile and desktop websites so clients can quickly chat with us. We try to be as responsive as possible, often outside regular business hours.

We’re also very proud of our “How It’s Handcrafted” videos that showcase our artisans at work. We feel it creates greater transparency for clients. How jewelers work can seem quite mysterious; we want to make it less so.

What do you like best about your career now?

I love the relationships that I built over the years and the friendships I’ve made in the industry and outside of the industry. I love working with people. I love getting to know them. I love building relationships. It’s been a wild ride over the last 20 years.


What is the working environment like?

Everyone has a great time here. We’re serious about our business but we also try to have a great time.

Have your daughters shown any interest in the business?

Not really. Not yet. I don’t want to push. That has to be their decision only.



When the Kids Have Their Own Careers, Wilkerson Can Help You to Retire

Alex and Gladys Rysman are the third generation to run Romm Jewelers in Brockton, Mass. And after many decades of service to the industry and their community, it was time to close the store and take advantage of some downtime. With three grown children who each had their own careers outside of the industry, they decided to call Wilkerson. Then, the Rysmans did what every jeweler should do: They called other retailers and asked about their own Wilkerson experience. “They all told us what a great experience it was and that’s what made us go with Wilkerson.” says Gladys Rysman. The results? Alex Rysman says he was impressed. “We exceeded whatever I expected to do by a large margin.”

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