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Focus Stories

Casa Leon Jewelers

by Laura Breen Galante

Featured Photo from Casa Leon Jewelers

A family business spanning four generations and 75 years, Casa Leon Jewelers is now open in Lake Mary’s Griffin Farm at Midtown.

Owner Navija Achkar-Valladares entered the jewelry business with her parents and siblings in Cuba in 1946.

“They owned a general store in Cuba named Casa Leon,” explains store manager Lauren Seay-White. “The main focus of the store was on jewelry.”

Twenty years later, the Achkar family moved to Youngstown, Ohio, where they opened their first fine jewelry and manufacturing store under their name, Achkar Jewelers and Manufacturers.

“They were there for 45 years,” says Lauren.

Navija eventually relocated to Florida while her brother continued to run the store in Ohio. Once he decided to retire, the family agreed that it would be Navija’s turn to keep the family tradition going.

“Navija decided to open this new store here under its original name, Casa Leon Jewelers,” Lauren explains.

After an official opening in January, and then a short closure due to the coronavirus pandemic, Casa Leon is once again up and running. Staff and jewelers are on hand to serve customers with beautiful jewelry in the Lake Mary area and beyond.
Rarely does a custom boutique offer so many years of knowledge to accompany its array of showroom offerings.   

Casa Leon’s staff of three, including 17-year industry veteran sales associate Patrick Carey, boasts a total of more than 75 years of experience in the jewelry business.

Lauren joined the company with more than 20 years of experience in the trade and feels right at home at Casa Leon. She feels like she’s a member of the Achkar family.

“They are the most genuine, kind people I’ve ever met,” Lauren says. “I feel that after being in the industry for 22 years that I have finally found my dream family to work with.”

Jeweler Armando Silva relies on his 40 years of expertise to create custom designs and make intricate repairs on cherished heirlooms. Security is a priority.

“We offer onsite jewelry repair where the customer can see into the shop and watch as Armando works,” says Lauren. “We also have a TV out in the showroom so they can watch from there, as well.” 

Armando uses state-of-the-art technology like CAD jewelry design software and a 3D printing machine to create custom pieces of art. He also relies on an engraver with a complete software system for detailed engravings.

The family is proud to offer unique jewelry brands by American-made designers, some of which you might not find in other stores.

“We carry a lot of different lines, and we feature a lot of local designers based in the United States,” says Lauren. Clients will find Michael M engagement rings and diamond earrings and necklaces. Award-winning designs from Frank Reubel, a designer from Daytona Beach, include creatively set rings and pendants. The Raymond Mazza line out of New York offers bracelets, necklaces, and rings. The Alwand Vahan collection – known for its bracelets with trademark gold crown petals and textured bands – is also American-made.

The store carries a wide selection of men’s jewelry, too. Handmade pieces by King Baby sport a well-recognized, rock-and-roll, artisan style. Steel Revolt offers alternative metal jewelry made in Tennessee, and items made by Phillip Gavriel, out of New York, are finely crafted in a masculine style.

Ladies will find Brevani diamonds – loose diamonds, wedding bands, anniversary bands, diamond fashion jewelry, and colored jewelry – as well as the Giovanna Barrios exotic luxury handbag line featuring crocodile, ostrich, and python skins. Creative gem settings by EFFY also line Casa Leon’s display cases.

In the market for an upscale watch? The store carries pre-owned luxury watches by Cartier, Rolex, and Omega, plus Luminox sports watches for men.

Whatever your tastes and whatever your budget, Casa Leon Jewelers is a family business that treats its clients like family, too.

“They are just good genuine people whom I want to help succeed,” Lauren says of the Achkar family.

Stop in today to select the perfect piece to add to your family collection.

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