Buy Local Profiles is a series of interviews designed to connect local merchants and service people with the local residents.
On a sunny day last week I was on my way to Billy’s Board shop to meet the owners and schedule a Buy Local Profile. On a complete whim, I stopped into Mardo K’s beautiful, if slightly intimidating, shop. What I met was HIM. I. Did Not. See. That. Coming. Based on the shops formal, old world European exterior, I expected to meet an older, more formal, tie and suit wearing gentleman. One who might sniff a bit at my casual jeans and decidedly costume jewelry earrings.
Mardo is a third-generation jeweler who opened the retail shop as an extension of his families thriving wholesale and manufacturing jewelry business. Educated at the foremost gemological institute in the US (possibly the world), Mardo understands quality and great design. He is charming, energetic and earnest in every way. Not intimidating in the slightest. He sat down for an interview on the spot.
Without further ado….. meet Mardo.
What is your name, your business and where are you located?
Mardo Kiladjian. My store is Mardo K Fine Jewelry located on Honolulu Ave right off of Ocean View.
Tell me about how you started.
I was born into this business, my father has been in it since 1968. I would visit him at his jewelry factory in LA. I was little Curious George and through his experience, through his evolution inside this business- I acknolwledge that and I want to carry it on, continue the legacy.
Why does your business exist?
This is a natural extension of our wholesale business. It is a ton of fun! I get to make people happy, one on one. It is completely different than a faceless business transaction as it is in wholesale. Our family is known for quality. My dad has worked for fine jewelers in Europe and he brings the techniques and tools that bring a level of sophistication not seen in American jewelry.
Describe your fan.
We appeal to everyone because we have every price point. I just want to work with good people. You don’t have to have a lot of money to shop here. I think my ultimate goal, with my caliber of jewelry and this caliber of store, is the high end clientele, but it doesn’t stop there- because I have everything from under a hundred dollars, on up. I want to help the community with quality, craftsmanship, design and great prices. The value is just tremendous. We can do this because we are wholesalers. If you were to buy this product in a normal retail store it would be 40% – 50% more. We have had celebrities wear my Dad’s designs!!
What do you do that a big box biz can’t?
You mean like Robbin’s Brothers and Ben Bridges? Well, they are our customers! We are the source for their product. We also do custom design which is nonexistent at the big guys.
What is one thing about you that no one really knows about?
Well- I aspire to be a model. A lot of people don’t know that. Also, I am half Armenian and half Spanish. That is an unusual combination, but I see more of us coming along. The world is becoming a very small place.
Would you like to live near Mardo K Fine Jewelry?!
Here are homes available in the area. My company, DIGGS, helps connect Cool People with Cool Homes. Let us know how we can help you! (818) 482-1885