We had the good fortune of connecting with Jillian Hornik and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jillian, what’s your definition for success?
Success has a different meaning to every person. My interpretation is that of a well-balanced life in which nothing is a constant struggle. When successful, there is enough financially to get comfortably by without worry, yet we are not overworked and have free time. This also includes physical and mental health, a strong support system via family and friends, and an outlet for creativity and learning. My outlets are nature, SCUBA diving, and dancing.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My family’s 75 year old business is Jae’s Jewelers. We are your typical neighborhood jeweler who focuses on personalized service, but with decades of friendly expertise. Over the years, we have developed a well-respected reputation by focusing on ethics and education. We are now an American Gem Society member store. With 2 GIA educated Gemologists on staff full-time, we strive to fully-inform our clients and visitors before making any purchasing decisions. We go out of the way to make our clients feel at home, as many become life-long friends. We are most proud of our ability to continue to celebrate all of life’s special occasions with our customers, and the trust that comes along with it.
Over the years, there have been many struggles. There have been both good years and difficult years, where the business almost didn’t survive. My father worked 6 day weeks with 12+ hour work days for decades. We are lucky to work together now, which allows for him to maintain a more normal weekly schedule with extended vacations. Even now, we cant just open the store each day and hope customers will walk in. Our consistent marketing efforts include an omni-channel experience to attract both newer, younger clientele, and maintain our existing patrons. The most important lesson I’ve learned over the years is to work smarter, not harder. Find your niche, and work at exposing it. At Jae’s Jewelers, our specialty is vintage and estate jewelry in addition to custom engagement rings. A visitor can mix and match their favorite diamond with any of our rings for a one-of-a-kind experience.
If there was one thing I wanted the world to know about our family owned and operated business is that we are hard working and honest people. More often that not, jewelers are portrayed in the media as sleazy opportunists looking to make a quick windfall off one sale. If that were the case, my father would not still be working after so many years! Our goal at Jae’s Jewelers is to make a client for life by providing the best combination of service, selection, and value.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
My friends joke that I am like the unofficial Mayor of Coral Gables. In fact, I currently sit as the vice president of the Business Improvement District. Therefore, it is a personal goal to support the locally owned businesses in our area. On any given night, you can catch me dining on Giralda Plaza. Some of my favorite restaurants in the area include Miss Saigon Bistro, Threefold Cafe, Clutch Burger, La Taberna Giralda, and Fratellino. The area has such wide sidewalks, making for an appealing stroll while shopping on Miracle Mile or Ponce De Leon Boulevard. There are so many unique shops, where the owners will often provide a memorable shopping experience.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My shout out is dedicated to those who encouraged and prepared me for a successful life. Above anyone would be my parents, Bruce & Shelley who raised me to be an independent and strong-willed woman. Next, would be my sister, Jennifer Johnson, who has always been a shining example of success at almost everything she does. Finally, would be my sorority, Alpha Chi Omega, which prepared me for adult life by focusing on the following 5 areas: academic interest, character, financial responsibility, leadership ability, and personal development. By learning best practices in these areas, I have been able to lead at work, and in volunteer positions throughout the community.
Ada Stevens, Nicole Diez