In the year and a half since his father locked the door for the last time and closed Readers Fine Jewelers, Avedis “Avo” Guerboian has been busy making a name for himself.
Celebrities wear his one of a kind pieces, his custom engagement ring business is now International and images of his ready-to-wear pieces for his line Edward Avedis go viral. A dazzling diamond halo ring called Astra he designed has been blogged and reblogged thousands of times.
But even with his star quickly rising, Avo needed a place to meet with clients in his hometown of Santa Monica. It’s the city where his father, Edward “Eddie” Guerboian ran Readers for more than forty years before retiring in 2015.
To Avo, the Fairmont Miramar Hotel was the perfect backdrop to meet his clients.
“We would just meet in the lobby and I would show them my designs and then I started working with the hotel and came up with the idea: why don’t we do something here permanently?” Avo said from his new storefront in the hotel, sipping a cappuccino with his father Eddie who beamed from ear to ear.
“People would say let’s meet at your home and they were talking about the Fairmont,” Eddie said, happy to see his son carrying on the family tradition. Eddie closed Readers in part because he realized the jewelry industry was changing. Requests for custom orders were growing, reducing the need for a large brick and mortar storefront.
That reality is reflected in the first location of Edward Avedis, Atalier, which carries some hand-picked vintage items from luxury brands like Tiffany’s and Rolex as well as some of Avo’s ready-to-wear line. However, the main focus of the store is a sitting area and a large screen where Avo uses computer software to design engagement rings for clients right in front of them.
“Ideally, we sit down and I do a rendering for them. We go through ideas together,” he said. “I give them an estimate and usually they say yes right then.”
Eventually, Avo will even be able to 3D print a model of the ring instantly, allowing a client to slip it on their finger before fully committing. Before the new technology, it would take his father up to five hours to hand carve a wax version at Readers. The new concept is perfect for the latest generation of couples walking down the aisle.
“They are both heavily involved,” Avo said, explaining that millennial women are typically just as involved in picking out the ring as the man. When it comes to popping the question, “when” may be a surprise but women want to know exactly what’s in the box.
“I agree with the new concept. There is still some romance,” Eddie said, adding it’s the woman after all who ideally wears the ring forever. “The woman is very smart. She acts surprised but it was her idea.”
Avo says his new location inside the Fairmont brings prestige to his brand. The hotel prides itself on bringing the community inside its five acres. To the property manager, Ellis O’Connor, the young entrepreneur is filling a niche guests from all over the world can appreciate.
“Nobody else is really doing it,” O’Connor said of the store’s concept, “and to marry that together with the history of Readers … It’s a story that Santa Monica is all about.”
It’s a marriage the two see lasting for many years.