If It's Sentimental to You, It's Important to This Mount Vernon Jeweler
Mount Vernon Jewelers helps locals restore precious family heirlooms and more.
This Q&A feature helps readers learn more about people living and working in the Mount Vernon business community.
This week’s Q&A profiles Mount Vernon Jewelers owner K.J. Park. The jewelry shop recently relocated to the Potomac Square Shopping Center.
Mt. Vernon Jewelers has been in business since 1981. With a current focus on battery changes, jewelry repairs and ring sizing, the shop also specializes in custom jewelry work. The store offers an excellent selection of fine jewelry, including gold pieces, diamond rings, pearls, wedding bands and silver. In addition, Mount Vernon Jewelers provides repair services and adjustments for antique watches and clocks.
Originally from South Korea, Park. moved to the United States in 1974. He and his family first lived in Northern Virginia, then moved to upstate New York. After high school graduation, he attended the University of Buffalo - SUNY where he majored in Philosophy. Park then moved back with his family to the Alexandria area after graduating college.
Park is married and has two children. He also has two dogs, a St. Bernard (who often accompanies him to the shop) and a Jindo.
How did you become interested in your line of work?
My father was a watchmaker all of his life. He originally bought the business from the previous owner at the old location back in January 1981. He had a little bit of difficulty managing the shop at first, so I started to help him just for a while, and then I never left. I helped to grow the business. I was fortunate to have him share his expertise and skills with me to help get the shop going. He taught me the trade of the repair business for everything related to clocks, watches and jewelry.
What’s an interesting aspect of your job?
I’ve been in this business for more than 30 years. When you do something for this long, you really get to know your customers beyond basic transactions. It’s a real sense of community. I love the feeling of community, and it’s something I really appreciate now more deeply after helping so many of the same people for so many years.
What do you enjoy most about your line of work?
I love to help my customers fix their precious heirloom pieces to they can enjoy them for years to come. I also enjoy their conversations, hearing about their lives and their families. My job is very rewarding … to help people with their pieces of sentimental value, there’s nothing like it.
Where is your favorite place to go in the Mount Vernon area?
I really enjoy the trail along the [George Washington Memorial] Parkway. I like to walk my dog along the river. It’s one of my favorite places in the area.
Do you have any hobbies?
I like to exercise and read every day.
If you weren’t in this business, what would you be doing?
Since I was accepted to a graduate program upon graduation, I would have pursued a career in academia.