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 <<CityNews Main Send Flowers to India!
Send Gifts to India!

All That Glitters… is Fine Jewelry


Veeraj Jewelers
2179, Lawrenceville Highway
Decatur, GA 30033
Phone: (404) 321-4334 , (678) 491-1837

What sets this jewelry store apart from the others in Atlanta is its focus on every day and giftware items. Owned and managed by Atlanta couple Dharmesh and Sammy Bhura, Veeraj Jewelers is conveniently located in the strip that houses Saravana Bhavan in Decatur.

“We have created a niche in fine everyday and gift jewelry,” says Dharmesh. “The whole jewelry industry is turning gift oriented. We combine traditional styles with contemporary concepts to offer the maximum choice in this segment- with prices starting from just $35.”

Their inventory is in keeping with the trends of the times, adds Sammy.
“The trend these days is finer pieces set in white gold. Nothing too heavy or yellow. Antiques and diamonds are in.”

Dharmesh and Sammy set shop in Atlanta in 2000 after moving here from England. Both come from a family of jewelers, with roots in Africa. He was born in Kenya and she in Uganda. Both families moved to England where they continued their jewelry trade in wholesale and manufacturing. The couple got into retail business in 1992 with the opening of their first store in England.

They soon realized that the market was oversaturated in England. There were logistical problems - like difficulty in finding parking space. Also, most of their clients were from America. It made sense for the Bhuras to move to the US.

There were just four jewelry shops when Dharmesh and Sammy opened shop in Atlanta. Now there are eight stores. But the Indian population has also grown significantly in the period, says Dharmesh.

While close to 70% of their clientele are from the Gujarati community, the Bhuras insist that they do not limit themselves to any one community. Many of their customers are from the neighboring states of Florida, Alabama and the Carolinas.

Apart from fine jewelry, Veeraj stocks silver puja items, and trendy silver jewelry. The Bhuras’ repertoire also includes custom-made jewelry.

“We have the talent and the machines to custom make jewelry to our client’s specifications,” says Dharmesh, “Not many jewelers can boast of having a full fledged workshop at the store premises. We even do repairs for other local jewelers in the area.”

Dharmesh is aiming at taking his art one level up with a Gemological Institute of America (GIA) certification.

They are one of the few jewelers in Atlanta that do bullions. “We do gold and silver bullions in any quantity. We do coins as well as bars,” says Dharmesh.

The Bhuras also have the distinction of being one of the few jewelers in the area to factory import directly from Singapore, India, Malaysia and Dubai to distribute within the US.

Dharmesh was instrumental in bringing all Indian owned jewelry store owners together under one association. He is still the main convener of the Indian Jewelers Association of Atlanta, a group that meets regularly over dinner to discuss security, marketing and pricing issues for the mutual benefit of all members.

“Being part of an association gives the member store the advantage of setting a quality standard,” says Sammy. “The customers are confident that they are buying genuine 22 karat gold.”

The biggest advantage of having an association is in warning each other of credit frauds and other security issues, says Dharmesh.

Sammy looks after the marketing and merchandizing aspects of the store. Her main contribution is in market analyses and forecasting jewelry trends. A popular ex-RJ from Spice Radio 1040 AM’s Morning and Evening Drive-in shows, Sammy now works as Community Relations Director at the American United Bank.

“My goals for the future are to continue the journey in the efforts and success of the family business whilst also to be able to make a significant contribution to the community,” she says.

The Bhuras believe that a very stable, friendly environment has helped them develop loyal clientele over the years.

“Jewelry is very personal,” says Dharmesh. “People will not trust jewelers they don’t know. My customers know me. They know that I can make changes/repairs as per their requirements.”

“We are friendly, down-to-earth people,” adds Sammy.

While the recession has hit the jewelry business, the Bhuras say came up with solutions to beat the downturn in sales.
“We searched for products that are affordable,” says Dharmesh. “Nobody will want to gift a $100 chain in these times. But we have chains for much less.”
The Bhuras feel that in today’s economical times of difficulty they would like to continue in being able to offer fine jewelry that is of the highest quality whilst making it very affordable. And that, in a nutshell, summarizes the USP of Veeraj Jewelers.



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