By Keith W. Strandberg
Morays Jewelers may be a fixture in downtown Miami, but its roots stretch all the way back to Austria, where the shop’s current owner, Sandy Hequin’s, great grandfather was born.
In the early 1900s he emigrated to New York City and made a life for himself and his family by selling pocket watches from a pushcart off legendary Orchard Street. Determined to pass his success on to his children, he gave each of his two sons $10,000 so they could open their own respective businesses.
One of those sons, Hequin’s grandfather, took his small fortune and moved to Florida; the rest is Miami history. Hequin’s grandfather opened Morays Jewelers in 1944; his son, Hequin’s father, took it over in 1958. Now, Hequin the great grandaughter of the original owner, is getting ready to pass it on to her son, Beau, who will be generation number seven. “We all grew up working in and listening to talk about the business all the time,” Hequin says. “It’s in our DNA. My son knew that he wanted to be in the business when he was 12 years old.”
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Hequin says that even now the sense of legacy is with her every day. “I have my great grandfather’s clients’ great, great grandchildren buying from me,” she says, in awe at the connections. “It’s very exciting because we become part of each other’s families.”