Ashley’S Jewelry by Design

Ashley’S Jewelry by Design

From steelworker to jeweler . . .

If you would have asked Craig O’Brien a few years ago if he ever imagined himself being a jeweler, the former steelworker would have laughed out loud.

But the owner of Ashley’s Jewelry By Design for the past 18 years has seen a lot of changes – both in the steel industry and the jewelry business.

“It was a fluke,” says O’Brien of his plunge into the jewelry business in downtown Chesterton. “I’m first generation jewelry. I happened to be out of work, and another store, the Jewel Gazebo, asked me if I needed work. I fell into that job and I loved it.”

Since then, O’Brien has gotten a gemologist degree and uses the latest CAD-CAM techniques to design his own jewelry. He also has become proficient as a goldsmith and platinum smith.

“People are very surprised when they come in here, especially from out of state. We’re in a small town, but the designs we have and make are unique. And they’re all reasonably priced,” says O’Brien.

“We do anything that anyone wants us to do,” says O’Brien. “We do everything in house, even laser welding. We’re very proud of the kinds of services we can provide.”

O’Brien says he never realized that he would become as passionate about jewelry as he has.

“We’re unique because of the full-service commitment we make to our customers. We have a good team here and they’re all very well educated about jewelry. Their passion is the same as mine,” says O’Brien.

He says it’s that passion to produce quality, affordable jewelry, along with providing good service, that keeps customers coming back.
“What makes us special is that I think we’re the type of store that is built on an idea that what we do is special. We’re also built on the idea that service to our customers is most important.”

O’Brien admits that Ashley’s Jewelry wouldn’t be the success it is today if not for the teamwork that has been built among its five employees.

“No one person can control everything in a business like this. You have to have help in order to do what you set out to do,” says O’Brien.

A store like Ashley’s Jewelry, says O’Brien, helps make downtown Chesterton unique. “We’re just one of many stores in downtown. A lot of people like to come to local stores, and frankly, I think a lot of people like the old-fashioned hometown feel.

“There’s a sense of identity here, and I don’t think people get that when they go to shop in the suburbs,” says O’Brien. ?

Ashley’s Jewelry By Design is at 221 Broadway, Chesterton.
Hours are 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
It is closed Sunday. For information, call (219) 926-9039 or
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