Jae’s Jewelers: The Entrepreneurs

06/05/2013 12:00 AM

05/29/2013 5:25 PM

By Keith W. Strandberg

As the owners of Jae’s Jewelers, Coral Gables’ oldest jewelry store, the Hornik family is deeply proud of its Florida roots—and they are quick to tell you all about them. “When my grandfather, George Hornik, came back from World War II he went to watchmaking school in Colorado on the GI Bill,” Jennifer Hornik-Johnson nostalgically beams. “After graduation, he and his wife opened his first store in Miami in 1945, and they moved to Coral Gables shortly after. We’ve been in this location since 1956.”

Part of the third generation of Horniks operating the store, Hornik-Johnson says what she loves most is how her job is much more than selling diamond and gold. “I like being a part of something momentous in people’s lives,” she says. “We help mark important occasions in many families and that is a special thing for us.”

Something else that’s remained special? The store’s name itself. Bruce Hornik, son of the founder and Hornik-Johnson’s father, named all of his children with names that start with the letter J: Jennifer, Jason and Jillian. Hornik-Johnson is following in similar steps: her daughter is named Gia, after the Gemological Institute of America (acronym, GIA) the training school she attended after graduating from the University of Florida and where she met her husband, who now also works in the family business. Indeed, the entire family remains active at the store, from dad to daughters. “And now there’s even a fourth generation,” says Hornik-Johnson. “My own daughter.”

Join the Discussion

Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service