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Meet the Makers: Village Gem

A customer-centric jeweller based in the town where city meets country... interested? Then meet Margaret Young, the owner of Village Gem in Keilor.

Who said it needs to be Valentine’s Day to spoil someone you love… or yourself for that matter. This week we sat down with Margaret Young from Village Gem in Keilor to learn more about her jewellery business. The team at Village Gem are dedicated to great service and gorgeous jewellery, they’ll take the idea you have in your head and mould it into a beautiful piece of art. 

What you were doing before opening Village Gem?

Before Village Gem [698 Old Calder Highway, Keilor] I worked for one of the Melbourne’s leading manufacturers, Fredric March, in his jewellery stores in the Royal Arcade and Toorak Road. I began as a bookkeeper but soon began learning the jewellery craft . After this, I went back to school and did a gemmology, and diamond grading course. Fred inspired my creative passion, he gave me knowledge and the confidence to go it alone and start my own business.

Hero image source: Supplied by Village Gem 

Gem Sapphire Ring
Tell us the story of how Village Gem came to be.  

I grew to love the jewellery trade working with Fredric, my passion for the industry and the idea to start my own business came from him. Having lived in Keilor for over 25 years it just made sense to my husband and I to look locally to open our own shop. Fortunately for me a shop in Keilor Village became available, and we signed the lease, did a full shop restoration and fit out and opened. The shop has gone through many updates and refurbishments, but the one thing that is constant is the excellent quality of our product and the range to select from.

Tell us about your role at Village Gem

I am the owner and manager here at Village Gem and I take care of everything from checking jewellery to making sure the shop front looks great. As the owner it’s my role to cost all repair work, and source the precious and semi-precious stones, including diamonds from our suppliers who are based around Australia. I also make sure the look, feel and ambience of the shop is welcoming. When a customer walks through the door at Village Gem, it’s important that they feel special and that they find something unique. 

Diamond Ring
Please tell us about the team at Village Gem

Village Gem is a family owned business. Running a jewellery store is very demanding time wise, so, I am fortunate to have my husband Neville and my daughter Kathryn both assisting me on the shop floor, their knowledge of the stock is excellent. Our main jeweller works in-house on all the repairs, re-makes and remodelling, Village Gem also has a platinum smith/master jeweller who assists with designing and hand making platinum rings, pendants, earrings and more.

What can customers expect when they visit Village Gem? 

The first thing customers notice when they enter Village Gem is the obvious pride our jewellers take in their work. All products are displayed beautifully, with our knowledgeable staff immediately on hand to help customers with any questions they may have. We don’t like to rush any decisions so we encourage our customers to enjoy the experience and not to feel rushed or pressured to make a purchase. We find that this way of serving customers works, over the 14 years we have been in business we have had many, many repeat customers. 

Rose Gold Braclet
What makes Village Gem unique?

We showcase very individual, high quality pieces sourced from Australia and overseas. However, another defining factor is that we make all types of rings from all types of materials. You can come in and get an engagement, wedding or eternity ring made from platinum, white gold, yellow gold, rose gold or a mixture of these to truly make the ring special. Our jewellers will work with you to create something that is truly individual and special to both the person giving the ring and the one receiving it. Moreover, all stones sourced are shown to the customer before they are set in the mount, all diamonds come with a certificate, plus we independently value the piece. 

Why is making jewellery in platinum such a specialised art?

Platinum is the noblest of metals, this means that even at high temperatures it is difficult to work with. Platinum rings and pieces of jewellery are more expensive to make than in normal gold, be it 18ct or 9ct.

Black Diamond Earrings
What is your favourite item to make at Village Gem?

My favourite pieces are the ones that create a look of joy and love on the faces of our customers. I love the way our jewels are able to get a reaction.  

Where do you get inspiration for new items?

We take inspiration from what is new and popular in Europe and America and then put our own twist on it. Earrings and pendants are constantly changing, so we have a lot of creative control over these items. Our jewellers are very imaginative and a lot of the designs for these items come from their vision. Engagement and wedding rings are mostly inspired by the people purchasing the ring, we are just there to lend some creative assistance and build their perfect ring.  

Diamond Necklace
What made Keilor the perfect place to start Village Gem? 

We just love Keilor, I will never get tired of the beautiful view from out the front of our shop. Keilor is where the city meets the country, it still has the relaxed vibe of a country town but all the amenities of a suburban village. Also, there are many other locally owned and operated traders like myself who love to give back to the community. 

Our reputation has been spread by word of mouth, our customers talking to their friends and colleagues about the level of service and can-do attitude that we offer. We attribute much of our success to the locals in the area, without them our little business may never have gotten off the ground! 

What is your favourite thing about your local area? 

The idea of community is really strong in the area. We love the locals and the support they have shown to our business. Our family also love to shop locally and support all the other small businesses. 

Any Final words?

If you haven’t had the chance to visit us, please do, come in make yourself known to anyone in store and they will welcome you with open arms! We can help you create something truly special for yourself or someone you love, we also do affordable and fair repairs so don’t hesitate to come on in. 

All information is considered to be true and correct at the date of publication. 
Except as otherwise noted, rights to all photographs posted on this website are owned by Discover Your Own Backyard. 

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