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Life & Work with Avedis Guerboian

Today we’d like to introduce you to Avedis Guerboian.

Hi Avedis, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
My name is Avedis Guerboian of Edward Avedis in Santa Monica. I am of Armenian descent, born and raised in Santa Monica, California. I am the 6th generation of my family business and raised in the jewelry business my entire life. I am lucky to be married to my amazing and beautiful wife, Christina and have a two year old son, Edward.

Working in the retail jewelry business for almost my entire working life, I always felt wanting more. There was always a dream I had to be an animator or designer because I would constantly sketch all day. I tried my “hand’ at animation school and computer design but got rejected often. All while working with my father in our retail store and he suggested I should try designing jewelry.

This is where the tides turned, as I started offering custom design jewelry from our shop and customers were really taking a liking to my creations.

I was rather successful at making jewelry dreams come true, so when the time came for us to close our retail space, I felt confident in going on my own. The year 2015 was a tough time for my Dad, we were facing big changes in our industry, losing customers to online sales, having a large retail space and a very expensive lease to renew.

After the retirement sale, I told my dad I wanted to take time to figure out the next generation of our business. He was willing to take a step back and let me lead the way. He wanted to semi-retire and understood it was time.

For six months, I navigated my industry and decided to stick with my plan of only creating custom jewelry. The demand was there, and I was confident I can make it happen.

I opened my boutique, The Atelier, inside the Fairmont Miramar Hotel and Bungalows in 2016 and here we are at my best year in business to date.

I wanted to share a short bio of myself:

It starts with a story. With an instinct for creating effortless, luxurious pieces that has been fine-tuned over six generations of jewelers. “Edward Avedis Fine Jewelry” is the culmination of that lineage, a brand that joins designer Avedis Guerboian’s bespoke artistry with the technical excellence of his father, master jeweler Edward “Eddie” Guerboian. For over forty years, Edward has been passionate about serving the Santa Monica community and beyond, notably within his legendary stewardship of Readers Fine Jewelers.

Once again, at the heart of that cherished artisanal legacy in Santa Monica, the Edward Avedis brand continues to realize the unique visions of its clients, from Lady Gaga to Arnold Schwarzenegger; Bryan Cranston and Laura Dern, by offering a collaborative, personalized experience in its atelier at the storied Fairmont Miramar Hotel and Bungalows.

“I’ve always gravitated towards a kind of warmth with my pieces” says Avedis, who trained under the prestigious tutelage of Tiffany and Co.’s subsidiary Iridesse Pearls in his emerging years. “I see that warmth in part as a matter of material choice,” he says, “and as a standard of relationship building with clients” in his work, which includes not only bespoke pieces but classic and bridal collections. There’s a shared, intuitive nostalgia, for example, “in the pairing of warm, rose gold with a peachy center stone” for a bridal piece, and a sense of empowerment instilled in a client who knows they can work one-on-one with Avedis to perfect their vision for romantic and commemorative pieces, from an engagement ring to a brooch, they become embed into a family heritage. “The occasions and reasoning may change,” he says, “but if there is a constant in our atelier, it’s that you can always expect us to highlight and elevate the natural elegance of the materials. It’s all about the ease of everyday luxury.”

In that vein, he believes in incorporating precious materials not only for their aesthetic but for their strength and individuality. It’s a conviction the designer inherited from generations past, and when combined with his own nuanced background in the Fine Arts, has pushed the brand to the forefront of bespoke American jewelry design.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It has been the most curvy, bumpy road to success for me. and I wouldn’t change it for the world! One of my biggest struggles was navigating my transition from working with my father to going on my own. In 2015, we had to close our retail shop after 40 years of being in business. It was a time for me to figure out what I wanted to do and believe in myself. I wanted to be a designer and focus solely on bespoke (custom) pieces. For six months, I worked out of home and when I had requests to meet with a customer, I went to the Fairmont Miramar lobby and reserved a table. This is where I had the idea to pitch ownership a studio concept. Thanks in large part to Ellis O’Connor for believing in me and wanting to support independent businesses. He gave me a chance to start up my dream. We are now five years into the Atelier, and it’s been the best decision.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
My specialty is creating fine bespoke (custom) jewelry. Clients come to me for their one of a kind jewelry requests with most of them wanting my engagement ring designs.

I’ve had the honor to create unique designs for Lady Gaga, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Molly Sims, Bebe Rexha, Conan Obrien, Bryan Cranston and Ben Affleck. My most proud moments involve specifically three bespoke designs I created. One was for Bob Iger, CEO of Disney, that was a BB-8 lapel pin he wore at the launch of Star Wars: Force Awakens. The second is when my diamond feather earrings were featured on the Oscars Red Carpet with Molly Sims. The third was a Chromatica Sine necklace I created during the Covid closures, that was for Lady Gaga!

I am the 6th generation in my family business of jewelry creations with a new studio Atelier inside the Fairmont Miramar Hotel and Bungalows. I design and create each piece that leaves my Atelier. It’s important for me that clients understand I am fully vested to make the most beautiful piece of jewelry they own.

What do you like and dislike about the city?
Likes? I love the beach and our community! The weather is also perfect. I love the food scene as well. Dislike? TRAFFIC! I know it kind of goes hand in hand because everybody loves Santa Monica and flocks here. But, there’s hope!! I am really interested in some of the plans in the city, to expand more outdoor dining with street closures, for more of a walkable city.

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