Rare Find - Alex Khvalsky
Tucked away in the corner of some cobblestone side street in eastern Europe there is a jewelry shop where a man has stationed himself for decades sizing people up with a glance and quick conversation. They walk in looking for a watch or a ring or necklace and walk out with something that lets every first impression come off exactly the way they want it to.
“I always loved when I walked into a shop in Europe and there was that old man who has been dutifully doing his job forever and is so full of passion about what he does still,” says Alexander Khvalsky, owner of Alexander’s Jewelers in the Short North. “He goes to the back and brings up his pieces and pulls the cloth off of them with so much pride.”
Khvalsky has successfully emulated this type of shop in his space on High Street after initially getting into the business of jewelry, mostly watches, in college to make some extra cash. After a stint in business school and a brief try at pre-med, he realized that he wanted to do something that he was passionate about and opened his store up to customers who learned quickly that he doesn’t pull any punches.
“I think if you asked most of my customers that they would likely tell you that I have a great deal of passion and pride in what I do,” says Khvalsky. “I try to do something different here, give them something that they will fall in love with yet may have never thought of.”
Khvalsky doesn’t try to sell his customers the most expensive piece in the shop or a cookie-cutter ring; he gives them what they want, even if they don’t know what that is before they enter his store.
“A lot of people come in and have this brain-washed idea of what kind of mount or what kind of ring that they want because that is what they saw on television or what someone else has,” says Khvalsky. “Sometimes, something different can be better, especially for something that you are going to be wearing for the rest of your life.”