Making jewelry is in Fernando’s blood: he comes from a family of jewelers in Acapulco, Mexico. He learned the jewelry trade at the early age of eight. His older brother taught him all the skills that a professional jeweler should have.
Araceli was working in a radio station at San Francisco when she met Fernando. Fernando was smitten by her bubbly personality.
Three years ago, an opportunity to move their household and business to San Francisco came up. Fernando’s older brother was retiring, and wanted him to continue the 40-year old family business. Fernando and Araceli took the opportunity, became the third generation of jewelers, and continued their family tradition.
Araceli and Fernando started their jewelry business in 1995, in Oakland. California. They called it Thalia’s Jewelry in honor of their first daughter Thalia at that time. Fernando learned the jewelry trade at the early age of eight in Acapulco, Mexico from his family and is now the third generation to continue the tradition. For decades, local patrons have been visiting their store to repair family heirlooms or memorialize special life events with jewelry for graduations, quinceañeras, weddings or special gifts.
Unfortunately, in January 2015, a dead fire in the Mission District displaced Thalia’s Jewelry from their store on 22nd street. On the night of the fire, Bueno had closed the shop early and was enjoying dinner at home when his sister called to tell him his building was on fire. Showcases, jewelry, tools, and, most importantly, customer contacts were all lost to water and rot. The loss of their merchandise and customer contacts was painful, they said, but Bueno said losing his tools was the hardest, which he considers to be like his babies.
Now, months after the incident, Araceli and Fernando are working hard to rebuild what they lost, but are grateful for the opportunity to continue being a part of the Mission District, serving the local community, and doing what they love. The weeks following the disaster and the path to restoration were not easy, but after several months of looking, Thalia’s Jewelry was able to secure a new location at 2859A Mission Street in San Francisco, California. Their rent is more and their customers don’t yet know their store, but Fernando and Araceli need the support of the Kiva community to rebuild their business.
With a $10,000 loan:
– $2000 will go to rebuilding their shopfront and purchasing signs to attract more customers
– $3000 will help them purchase second hand displays and showcases which were entirely destroyed in the fire
– The remaining $5000 will go to purchasing inventory such as chains and rings