Family’s jewelry business sparkles
By Pat Kumpan
Local residents looking for that special sparkling gift might find themselves browsing the many possibilities at Unicorn Jewelry, 16781 Bernardo Center Drive in Rancho Bernardo.
Since the store’s inception in 1981, owner Fred Nasseri said that he and his family have attracted 7,000 customers, many of whom have returned several times to purchase jewelry from top manufactures, such as Tacori, ScottKay, Mont Blanc and others, or another timeless gift, top quality watches by Piaget, Gucci and others.
For those who want a custom-designed item, such as a wedding or engagement ring, or a redesign of a family heirloom, Unicorn is up to the task, Nasseri said.
Rancho Bernardo resident Tammy Walsh says of Nasseri, “He knows my taste, what I want before I know it.”
Unicorn jewelers designed a custom wedding ring for her, a “real treasure,” Walsh said, which was reason enough for her to remain a valued client and return for additional purchases.
“He’s vital to this community, not only due to his business ethics, but his support for local causes,” Walsh said.
As to helping Rady Children’s Hospital, Shriners and other organizations, “We do it because we want to,” Nasseri said.
Nasseri and his sister, Minoo Anvari, operate the RB store with other family members, such as Fred’s wife Mitra Nasseri, with assistance from a competent staff of jewelers, gemologists and watchmakers, he said. Providing the best in customer service, along with top-of-the-line jewelry, watches and vintage items has remained the owners’ goal for 31 years, he said.
Brother-in-law Joseph Anvari operates a Unicorn store at 11865 Carmel Mountain Road in Carmel Mountain Ranch.
The significance of the Unicorn name, Nasseri said, is that the word, “which is mystical in nature — means good luck.”
During the first few days prior to the store opening in 1981, Nasseri said his father, Dr. Said Nasseri, and a few others thought it was a crazy idea to open the store at the Bernardo Center Drive location.
“We were building the store on the same street with seven banks,” Nasseri said. “I thought to myself ‘how could that be a bad thing?’
“We were foreigners, but the community opened their arms to us,” he added.
His mother, Mary Nasseri, who came from a family of jewelers, was the only one who backed him up in his goal to open a jewelry store, he said.
Nasseri’s father, now a retired physician, had hoped his son would one day follow in his footsteps, but that was not to be, however future generations of young Nasseri men have now become doctors, keeping that tradition alive.
When the Nasseri family immigrated from Iran, “where we lost everything,” Nasseri said he was 16 when they settled in Florida.
They later moved to San Diego, where he focused on improving his English language skills, taking a specialized course at United States International University (now Alliant University in Scripps Ranch).
With a passion for jewels, he set his sights on learning the trade telling himself he was willing to work as many hours as possible to bring his dream to fruition.
His tips for other business owners, especially new owners, is “define your business in your own mind.”
For those experiencing problems, “regroup, focus on your customers and give them the best you can in service and merchandise.
“You want customers to think ‘I like this place, I’ll be back,’” he added. “We know that 97 percent of our customers come back and we have a very successful way of reaching out to them.
“All I know is that I like working hard,” he added. “Having satisfied customers means a lot to me — and my family.”
Unicorn offers appraisal services, custom designs and provides replacement quotes, among other services. For details, call 858-487-6454.
Thursday and Friday this week will be a special promotion for Tacori, a well-known engagement and wedding ring company, at Unicorn in RB. Unicorn customers will receive 10 percent of the sales price in cash after their purchase. Also, a cooking class will be offered outside the store from 4-6 p.m. today (Thursday), while radio station KFMB will have a remote broadcast outside the RB store this Saturday.
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