My Workshop Experience – Oscar Noel Garcia
I am Oscar “Noel” Garcia, co-owner with my father, Oscar Garcia, of Old Mine Jewelers in San Antonio, Texas. Beginning in Mexico, my family has been in the jewelry industry for three generations. Combined, we have 60 years of experience. Our business has grown from a successful neighborhood store, to one with city and statewide recognition.
I began working alongside my father about five years ago. Before that, I was in the technology field, electronics and networking. I came into the family business to do CAD design to help keep the business going. I’ve been enjoying it ever since!
With our many years of experience, we offer traditional techniques and state of the art technology to fuel our designs. Because we perform all of our work in-house, we can provide the best support and ensure the most advanced and competitively priced jewelry service available in the area. We have also manufactured highly acclaimed masterpieces. Over the years, local customers and other Jewelers turn to us for custom work.
Old Mine Jewelry is a full-service store; we do it all. I like to tell visitors, “We do everything under the sun when it comes to Jewelry.” In addition to producing custom designs for our customers and other stores here in San Antonio, we perform repairs on all jewelry, watches and clocks. Our specialization ranges from simple, traditional pieces all the way to the most modern and exquisite designs you can imagine. To fulfill our customers’ jewelry vision, we strive to exceed their wants and needs. Because we are family owned and operated, we have and always will offer our services at competitive prices.
We keep a homey retail storefront, so customers feel comfortable visiting our store. After 25 years, we recently moved our location which has been a challenge for us. However, we know things will work themselves out. We constantly aim to offer the best value and service for our merchandise and to treat our customers with dignity and respect. The smiles and sense of joy from all of our clients tell the real story behind our work. It makes this line of business so fulfilling and enjoyable. The sophisticated creations of Old Mine Jewelry, together with personalized service and support, have made it a business recognized for its excellence in innovative efforts, outstanding success, and exceptionally fast growth.
In April 2016, I visited Bench Jeweler Workshop at Stuller’s headquarters in Lafayette, Louisiana. I first heard about the workshop from a Stuller email and immediately I knew I had to attend. I have been learning all I can about jewelry design and production, for one day this store will be solely mine, and I won’t always have my father’s guidance at hand. Going to the workshop, I didn’t know what to expect. The only thing I could relate to was attending the Gemvision Symposiums with classes held throughout the day.
Bench Jeweler Workshop had a similar structure and feel as past learning seminars. I would describe the event as very informative and laid back. If you have questions about something you can likely find the answer here, from the classes or a vendor. I learned quite a few things from Workshop, mainly about pricing and sales. The classes were a big help along with our visit to 302, Stuller’s in-house model retail store. It helped us visualize how to stage our jewelry in our store. I must say that I didn’t expect to have lunch provided every day and it is not just a sandwich box lunch. Also, the dinner party was quite a surprise. That helped with expenses and also with making friends, networking and learning from other jewelers.
I have been well since the event as I continue to learn and implement the strategies and pricing knowledge I learned from Workshop. This new store of ours is an uncharted venture, and topics I learned about at Workshop have helped us move forward and grow as a business.