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A Jeweler’s Personal Touch

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Posted: Thursday, November 16, 2017 10:20 am

Jewelry is something that should be very personal, and that is one feature that Craig Aaron, owner of Craig D. Aaron Designs, does not shy away from doing.

Aaron, who has been in the jewelry-making business for approximately 35 years, has had his business in Lake Arrowhead Village for 28 years and has been in his current location above Pendleton for 10 of those years.

“It is the perfect location for me,” Aaron said, while explaining why his business works perfectly with the community up here.

Aaron is not a retail jeweler, and his designs cannot be found elsewhere. It is something that he takes pride in because “jewelry is meant to be personal — and special.”

Ever since he was 17 years-old, Aaron has had a fascination with jewelry. He attended the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), where he specialized in jewelry arts. That is where he was able to develop the skills that he still uses today. When he was finished at GIA, he began working at jewelry stores around his hometown, but later decided that he wanted a change of pace. This is how his journey to Lake Arrowhead began.

For 15 years, Aaron worked for a local jeweler in the Village as an independent contractor but, when the owner decided to close down his store, he knew that would mark the start of his own path in jewelry making.

As he dove more into the business, he discovered that his real passion was in custom work. It is about “doing something for the customer and not just pulling it out of a case,” he explained.

This is why Aaron is involved in the process from start to finish — he is a one-man team — creating every single piece of jewelry from his studio.

He begins by making a wax mold and, from there, it is an experience not only for him but for his clients, as well. Aaron listens to the specifics of what people desire, and then works closely with them to make sure that the finished product is exactly what they envisioned when the design process began. Most of the time, Aaron mentioned, he will make the wax and show the client the pattern prior to its completion.

Aside from his custom jewelry making, Aaron also provides his clients with services that include working with most watch batteries, earring-back replacement, quick-sizing ring guards, alterations, cleanings, and more.

Aaron noted that he can take an old piece of jewelry and make it look brand new. Take a wedding ring, for example. After a long time of wearing this ring every single day, it becomes dirty and worn out, and loses its shine. By steam cleaning and polishing it, Aaron said that he can make the ring “come alive again, and look as if it is brand new — something that makes for a special gift.”

In terms of alterations, Aaron can take an old piece and make it fit the client’s taste and personality. For example, a piece of ‘grandma’s jewelry’ will have a special value to it, but someone may want it to be updated or used in another way. Aaron can alter rings into pendants, or take out pieces of that specific jewelry and turn it into something new and delightfully different.

“There is so much that you can do with alterations,” Aaron commented. “But communication is key.”

Although he is passionate about what he does, Aaron clarified that his business may not be for everyone. He is very much interested in having a personal relationship with his clients, because that is how he can fully understand their vision and what they are ultimately looking for in the design. Aaron’s relationships are heavily based upon trust, especially as he is working on something so unique.

For more information on Craig D. Aaron Designs, visit www.craigdaarondesigns.com or call (909) 337-0189. Business hours are Wednesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“If traditional jewelers are not for you, I recommend that you try a personal jeweler. It makes a world of difference,” Aaron concluded.

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