Interview: Karen Feldman of KFK Jewelers
Want to meet a real LA jewelry expert? We spent the morning talking with Karen Feldman of KFK Jewelers, where you can buy vintage and modern jewelry and even custom design your own piece of jewelry or have a piece repaired. Best of all: Karen — and the store — has been a part of the West 3rd Street neighborhood and community for decades.
Q: I truly don’t know how KFK started, will you share the story?
Karen: Well, we’ve been here over twenty years and our family – it’s a brother and sister company – gas been in the jewelry business our whole lives. Our grandfather, uncles, aunts – everybody’s in the jewelry business. And so my brother opened and I came aboard and twenty years later!
Q: What makes KFK so special and how do you choose your vintage pieces?
Karen: The store I think works because it’s very eclectic. My brother and I pick the stuff that we like. Its not like mass market, mass quantity “oh here’s twenty of the same eternity band,” you know. We really pick pieces that we like, and the vintage has to be in amazing shape and unique and beautiful. We do a lot of vintage. We also do a lot of custom work. Sam Godoy has been with my family thirty something years so he is definitely a master craftsman. Sam is an amazing jeweler, and he also makes amazing pieces. We do a lot of custom work and then he also does amazing repair and he actually does amazing vintage repair, which is very old school, people don’t have jewelers anymore on the premises.
Q: So people can come in here and find a vintage piece and they can also design their own wedding bands, for example?
Karen: Yes, they do that all the time! It’s very unique. It is kind of old school so people love it – that they get to see what’s happening when it’s being made. Besides loving the jewelry, they also love the service here and the customer service. We become friends with our customers and it’s very comfortable. A lot of men when they are buying engagement rings will come in and say, because they’re very nervous, they’ll say thank you so much, you made this so comfortable and easy and no pressure and we’re a huge referral business. So we’re very friendly. I go to lunch with my customers. You become good friends with them.
Q: Are there any new designers in jewelry that you’re interested in or is it mostly vintage?
Karen: We do a lot of modern, too, but we don’t carry designers except we’ll do Cartier, Tiffany, the bigger designers, Bulgari, those are preowned pieces, though. And we do a lot of vintage Rolex. A lot of vintage Rolex! But we don’t carry modern designers so much — maybe we will have a piece or two. We have a lot of vintage engagement rings, modern engagement rings, wedding bands, a lot of modern jewelry – it’s really eclectic – we really have everything!
Q: Why did you open on West Third Street?
Karen: There was a jewelry store here before and it just took over. It was a very different area – it was extremely different. It used to be kind of an older, I hate to say dingy, but you know, there weren’t cute stores, there weren’t good restaurants. It was very old school – a lot of thrift shops – a lot of antique furniture – but not trendy, cute stores. And while we’ve been here West Third has transformed tremendously, amazingly! I mean…beyond!
Q: What’s the best thing about being on West Third Street?
Karen: It’s like a little community. Everybody’s so nice and helpful and everybody really helps each other with anything they need.
Q: Have you always loved wearing jewelry?
Karen: Yes! I don’t care about clothes, but I love jewelry. I think jewelry can make or break an outfit. I think jewelry makes everybody happy!
**Want to find out more about KFK Jewelers? You can stop by 8319 West Third Street and be dazzled by the jewelry from 10-5 Tuesday through Friday and 10:30-5:30 Saturday and also shop at kfk.com.