The quaint shop of Van Adams Jewelers has a history that dates back to 1975, when a mother and her three children moved to America as Vietnamese refugees. Owner Van Adams, is thankful for all of the blessings hes received, as well as his mothers influence over his career path and moral compass.
When Van and the rest of his family first came to America, they arrived in California. Once they received an American sponsor, they moved to the Gwinnett area.
“My mom came over here when she was 22 years old. She had three kids in her arms and no idea of what was in store for her future,” Adams says. “Her first job was working at McDonald’s, and she had to walk three miles every day to her job. She did everything she could to provide for the family.”
As a second generation jeweler following in his mothers footsteps, Adams learned a lot of what he knows about the jewelry business from watching his mother. His mom made friends in the jewelry business and would wear her favorite pieces around town for people to see. When people would ask where she got her jewelry from, she would tell them she got it from her friends’ store. Soon, Adams mother learned the jewelry business inside out and began to grow an affinity for jewelry.
His mother opened the first jewelry store in the Adams family. It was located in Snellville off of Killian Hill road and HWY 78. Adams bought the store from his mom after he came home from serving four years in the Air Force. He moved the store to its present day location, off of HWY 124, with the gamble that one day the area would become more commercial. When Adams bought the store, he had no prior experience in the jewelry business other than when he was in high school and used to sell a few jewelry pieces here and there to his friends for a quick buck.
“I used to accompany my mom to her friends jewelry store and would take the leftover necklaces and bracelets that no one wanted,” Adams says. “I would put those in little suitcases and take them to Brookwood High School with me during the holidays. If students had a girlfriend or wanted to purchase something for someone special, they knew to come and find me.”
The new store that Adams bought allowed for new pieces, and more collections. The new store had 2,900 more square feet than the original. The new store also allowed him to be closer to the community he grew up in.
“What sets me apart from other jewelry chains or retailers is that I grew up in this area and I went to school here,” Adams says. “I am invested in the interest of this community and because of that, I hold myself at the highest standard. I know that if I’m a bad businessman or if I don’t treat people right, my future is shaky. In other words, my future is defined by how I treat my customers, and how my customers perceive me.”
Over the years, Adams passion and motivation has stayed the same. He enjoys making his customers milestone moments special.
“The most important love story is the one that you’re writing. Your love story, your life story and Van Adams Jewelers being part of it from the beginning and for many generations to come is my favorite part of being in the business,” Adams says. “It gives me such great satisfaction knowing that I helped mom and dad when they first got married, and then helped mom and dad on their 20th anniversary.”
When Adams is not behind the jewelry counter, he’s out in the community giving back. Hes given to CURE, an organization that raises money for children battling cancer, and Annandale Village, a nonprofit organization in Lawrenceville that provides assistance and housing for adults with developmental disabilities and injuries.
Adams also gives back to his home country of Vietnam. When he visits he brings noodles and rice for families and children in need. Giving back to the community is extremely important to Adams because of the circumstances he grew up in.
“Throughout my life I’ve tried to be as charitable as I can because I know if it weren’t for the good will of the American people, giving me the opportunity to come to the U.S., that I would not have the success and the life that I have,” Adams says. “Therefore I have to give back. And if I don’t, then I don’t know what God’s love is.”
Van Adams Jewelers is the place to shop for exceptional service, quality and value. They offer the special collection Galatea of hand carved pearls, Gabriel and Co. the number one jewelry designer in the country and, Pandora the second most popular jewelry designer in the country. For more about Van Adams Jewelers and its special collections, go to vanadams.com or call 770-982-2950.
Van Adams Jewelers
1870 Scenic Hwy. 124 North
Snellville GA 30078