There are a number of jewelry stores where Pebble Creek resident Larry Savage can bring in a watch to be repaired, or to buy a nice bracelet or ring for his girlfriend.
However, he says, there really is only one place he trusts for those things — Leiva’s Jewelry.
Located a few doors down from the Publix in the New Tampa Center plaza at the corner of Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd. and New Tampa Blvd., Jonathan Leiva and his father Transito have run Leiva’s Jewelry since 2012, and have developed a large base of loyal customers who enjoy the Leivas’ friendly and honest approach.
“I’ve always been a champion of him and his business,” says Savage, who refers to Jonathan as Johnny. “Ever since I started going there, I feel like I am talked to in a straight manner and with honesty. That’s a big deal to me.”
Transito, who goes mostly by just “Leiva,” has been a master jeweler for more than 40 years, often bringing Jonathan along to work and showing him the ropes.
“That’s when I fell in love with the business,” Jonathan says.
At Leiva’s Jewelry, a wide selection of jewelry is offered, as well as a number of services for those who already own pieces, like repairing expensive watches or custom designs of family heirlooms.
Custom jewelry is a big part of Leiva’s Jewelry’s business. Jonathan and Transito can help design something for you or, if you have a design in mind, they can make it a reality. They use computer-aided design (CAD) to help create 2D or 3D models that allows customers to view their jewelry designs before they are created.
“If you have an idea to design something, we can do it,” Jonathan says.
Because jewelry, especially heirloom pieces, have such sentimental value, some customers like to have them converted into something more current or meaningful that they can wear. A gemstone in an outdated piece of jewelry also can be re-featured in a newer, more modern-looking ring, or converted into a pendant to be worn around the neck, as an example.
Even old engagement and wedding rings can be transformed into shiny new pieces, altered and refurbished for a new look or simply resized.
“Jewelry is usually very sentimental, so whether you’re getting it repaired or making something different from it, it’s important it’s done right,” Jonathan says. “Everyone has that special necklace or special ring.”
Don’t Forget Mom!
And, if they don’t, Mother’s Day is the perfect time to pick up something special for those looking for a gift for their wife or mom. Next to Christmas, Jonathan says Mother’s Day is the biggest holiday for jewelry buying. And, while most jewelry stores seem to have one price range — expensive! — Leiva’s Jewelry offers both pricey and more affordable options, and everything in between.
Jonathan showed some of his favorite pieces as Mother’s Day suggestions, including a custom opal and diamond pendant (top middle) and a sapphire and diamond ring (bottom left).
Each piece is set in 14 karat gold.
The Leivas just about do it all. They can check the stones on any ring to make sure they are still secure, adjust a watch, clean jewelry and they will even buy any gold and silver you might be looking to get rid of, offering cash.
Being family-owned and a small business, Leiva’s Jewelry thrives on trust. Not only do customers want honest prices and recommendations, but when they are dropping off thousands of dollars worth of items to be repaired or something special and irreplaceable, they want peace of mind. It’s not a responsibility Jonathan takes lightly.
He says the ability to deliver on that trust is why his customer base continues to grow and Leiva’s customers keep coming back. Sometimes, something as simple as changing a battery in a watch for half the price of other places can be enough to earn a customer for life. Watch repairs — new batteries, replacing links, etc. — are a big part of what the Leivas do and are often the gateway to new lifelong Leiva’s customers.
“We have a pretty loyal following,” Jonathan says. “We have people that have been coming here for a while. Sometimes, they just stop by to say hi.”
Savage is one of those regulars. He has a horror story for practically every watch repair he has taken elsewhere, including one time when he says his 1966 Rolex GMT was mined for parts by a jeweler who was supposed to be doing a repair, and another time he got the run-around on repairing the bracelet on a different watch that was still under warranty.
Since discovering Leiva’s Jewelry, Savage says he has left those annoyances behind. Not only does he get his watches repaired there, but it is now where he makes all of his jewelry purchases.
“The repairs I have done there are always done quickly and with excellent quality,” Savage says. “It’s the honesty and integrity that I care most about. When I walk in, I know I’m going to be dealt with in a respectful manner. I’m tired of the way the bigger chains do things.”
Leiva’s Jewelry is located at 19020 Bruce B. Downs Blvd. in the New Tampa Center. You can reach them at (813) 972-0417 or online at LeivasJewelry.com.