Jae’s Jewelers was founded in Miami in 1945 by watchmaker George Hornik. The Brooklyn native, who moved to South Florida in 1938, served in the Navy during World War II.
After his discharge, Hornick moved to Colorado, where he studied the craft of watchmaking and discovered his passion. He started his business in Downtown Miami, repairing watches for $1 and considered it a bonus if he could also sell a 25 cent leather band to go along with it.
In 1956, Hornik and his wife and business partner of 60 years, Helena, moved the business to its Coral Gables home at 237 Miracle Mile. All up and down The Mile, the Horniks were known as “Mr. and Mrs. Jae.” They were very active in the Coral Gables community, and have continued their interactive traditions to this day.
Their son, Bruce, joined the business in 1972 and is the store’s current president. He is a Graduate Gemologist and one of the most knowledgeable jewelers in the city. Bruce is extremely dedicated to his customers and is proud to call many of them friends. He is known to many as “Jae.” It is Bruce who is responsible for transitioning the store from simple watch repair to the full-service fine jewelry establishment that it is today, designing, manufacturing, repairing, purchasing, and appraising fine jewelry, timepieces and writing instruments.
The family business now has entered into its third generation. Bruce’s daughter, Jillian Hornik, also is a Graduate Gemologist and the store’s Registered AGS Jeweler. After working at one of the largest independent jewelry stores in the country in California for six years, she now serves as the Jae’s Jewelers store manager.
In December 2014, Jae’s Jewelers was recognized as the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce’s Retailer of the Year. In 2015, Jillian was awarded the Chamber’s Retail Businesswoman of the Year award.
Earlier this year, the store was accepted as a Retail Firm Member into the American Gem Society, only one of two jewelry retailers in Miami meeting the exacting standards required for membership in this prestigious society. The celebration continues throughout 2017, into Jae’s Jewelers’ 72nd year of business.
“We are fortunate to make a living doing something that is very much our passion and realize that family businesses like ours are few and far between,” Jill said.
“We look forward to many more years serving the South Florida community,” Bruce added.
“What I love most is being a part of something momentous in people’s lives, celebrating unforgettable occasions such as weddings, engagements, graduations and birthdays,” Jillian said. “We are an authorized dealer for many sought-after designers, including Roberto Coin, John Hardy, Rebecca, Alor, Honora, Masriera, Mattioli, Montblanc and Rolex. So, if you have a special someone you want to show you really care, come see us.”
Jillian adds that even better is Jae’s Jewelers “wish list” program where customers can create a “registry” with all their favorite pieces in the store. That way, when a special occasion arises, they know exactly what they want while still maintaining some mystery. The program is a true stress reducer for those whose loved ones love jewelry.