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J.H. Young Jewellers continue to build a family legacy

BusinessJ.H. Young Jewellers continue to build a family legacy

When it comes to custom jewellery, luxury watches and jewellery repair, the team behind J.H. Young Fine Jewellers is no stranger to providing quality craftsmanship.

The Young family has been serving Brantford and its surrounding communities for 124 years, back when jewellers and optometrists still used similar tools and often shared the same space.

After purchasing an existing jewellery store called “Jones & Co. Opticians,” James Henry Young first opened “J.H. Young and Sons,” downtown Brantford on Colborne Street in 1900.

After 86 years on Colborne Street, J.H. Young opened mall locations in both the Eaton Market Square Mall and in Lynden Park Mall. In 2002, they established their current showroom at 126 Lynden Rd.

Staff members from J.H. Young pose for a team photo on Friday, April 12, 2024. Pictured in photo, from (l-r): Eve Lauren Delong, Cole Armitage, Vanessa Young-Assel, Graham Young, Sheena Woytaz, Dianne Young, Hanna Chang, Sandra Nagy-Girardi, Chrissy McConkey and Paul Young.

For more than a century, ownership of the store has remained within the family. David, Dianne, Paul, and Graham Young, who have received education in the jewelry industry and training from the Gemological Institute of America, became the fourth generation to take over the business in 2009.

Dianne, a graduate jeweller, GIA-trained gemologist and diamond grader, said that for her and her siblings, the process of following in their family’s footsteps and continuing their legacy was a natural one.

“Starting from the time when we were all very young, we would come into the business to visit for a few hours, and we would open the door for clients or stand beside our father or grandfather to watch them make the sale. We were always in and out and I think that’s partly how you develop a love for it, it just becomes a part of you,” she said. “In high school we would work on Fridays and Saturdays and then later we all ended up taking the same path where we went off to get educated, worked at another jewellery store to gain experience and then eventually we all chose to come back into it. It was just natural for us.”

Dianne Young shows off one the many necklace options available at J.H. Young on Friday, April 12, 2024.

Paul’s daughter, Vanessa Young-Assel, has now gone through extensive training in order to join the team while Graham’s son, Grayson, who is still in high school, also works in the store on weekends. David’s daughter, Lauren Vaccaro, also works part-time as a sales associate. The three are now the fifth generation of Young family members, to work in the business. 

Inside of their recently renovated 3,000 sq. ft. storefront, J.H. Young Fine Jewellers offers a range of in store services such as restoration and repair, appraisals, engraving and custom designs

Graham Young expertly sketches a ring design on Friday, April 12, 2024.

In addition, the store stocks an array of brands and styles at a variety of price points so that every customer has the opportunity to invest in a special and unique piece of their own.

The siblings have even designed and curated their own brand, the James Robert bridal collection, named after their late father.

From timeless classics to contemporary designs, their selections feature pieces that have been crafted with the finest ethically sourced diamonds, gold, silver and precious gemstones that will stand the test of time.

Vannesa Young-Assel, a fifth-generation jeweller, works on a repair on Friday, April 12, 2024.

Another essential element of the business is watches. With brands like Longines, Seiko, Tissot and Movado, their selection blends functionality and function. For the team, they’re more than just a timepiece but a potential heirloom that can be passed down through generations.

“When it comes to jewellery it’s not just about the monetary value, it’s often given for a reason or to mark a special memory and or event; it can hold a lot of emotional value especially when it’s passed down from different family members,” said Dianne.

At J.H. Young, the long-standing staff, some who have worked there for years, make up a team of knowledgeable sales associates, GIA-certified gemologists, master goldsmiths, diamond setters and graduate jewellers.

“A lot of our staff has been with us a very long time, anywhere from five to 20 years because it’s a nice family atmosphere to work in,” said Dianne. “Because they’ve been with us this long, they have the experience, and they know the product that they’re selling. All our staff are dedicated to providing the best customer service possible.”

Dianne said that her and the team often curate a gift guide for events like Christmas to help make for a smooth shopping experience.

The staff of J.H. Young Fine Jewellers have curated a Mother’s Day gift guide to help customers choose the perfect gift for their loved one.

 With Mother’s Day just around the corner, J.H. Young has chosen several pieces to help partners and children find the perfect gift for their special person.

“We have a variety of silver and gold jewelry, at different price points. We have plenty of earring options like huggies which come in white, yellow and rose gold as well as silver,” said Eve Lauren Delong, a J.H. Young staff member. “We offer a range of styles, from modern to vintage, such as the croissant hoop earrings that you might have spotted on social media. Further, we have designs that incorporate pearls, which are always a classic for Mother’s Day, and these designs are available in necklaces, bracelets, studs, and hoops.”

The gift guide also features several interlocking necklaces, stackable bracelets and a Movado two-tone watch.

The recently renovated 3,000 sq. ft. J.H. Young Fine Jewellers showroom awaits customer arrivals on the morning of Friday, April 12, 2024.

Delong said that while many people often choose to wear either silver or gold, mixing metals has become increasingly popular and is a fun twist to mix up a look, especially when it comes to curating the perfect bracelet stack over the years.

“We really have something for everyone’s budget, which is great for ocassions like Mother’s Day,” she said. “Once the piece is selected, we offer complimentary gift wrapping, to complete the service.”

Overall, Dianne said that the dedicated staff at J.H. Young Fine Jewellers are always ready to help with whatever a customer needs. She mentioned that serving their community is an integral part of their identity as a brand. 

“Because this is a family business, we’re invested and we care deeply about not only our generational customers, but our newer ones too,” she said. “We’re very pleased to be able to keep this business going and to serve our customers in Brantford and the surrounding areas. We are incredibly grateful for the ongoing support from the community. It’s truly an honor for us to reciprocate that support.”

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