In Central Florida, the family name “Sullivan” is identified with spectacular jewelry designs, quality craftsmanship and hospitable service.
My name is Staci Sullivan. I am honored to be a part of the Sullivan story. My Downtown Melbourne studio feels much like my parents location in 1987. Now 33 years later, during this transitional time, I am thankful for my roots.
The Sullivan’s jewelry story began in 1955. Joe and Violet Sullivan, my paternal grandparents, sold their watch repair business in North Carolina and opened their first family jewelry store in Eau Gallie, FL. Armed with showcases won in a “best out of three” game of checkers and a small bank loan, Granddaddy Joe was determined to make the family business a success.
Their story is one of full fledged faithfulness. Granddaddy Joe and Grandma Sullivan overcame great trials from an early age. They met in the hospital where both were fighting childhood illnesses. Their parents were told they would not live past their teen years. The chances of growing old and having children were slim. Granddaddy often said, “God is in the miracle business, I know because I’m one of them.” Those who were blessed to know Joe and Violet were often impressed by their strength, despite their evident disabilities.
My parents worked alongside my grandparents before venturing out on their own journey. My dad worked many hours as a Master Jeweler. His work was like sprinkling magic around Brevard like mini billboards. My mom always loved gems and minerals. She became a GIA certified gemologist in the 1970’s and worked as one of the first female gemologists in the industry. She loved to support the Sullivan business with her attention to detail, both as a jewelry designer and as an expert appraiser.
One reason our family loves the jewelry business so much is all the wonderful customers. My dad was affectionately called “Diamond Doug” by many. He shined his light during his career. Family, friends and clients loved him in return. Over the years, clients have shared their jewelry my dad made for them before his untimely death in 1993. What a tribute for my family to behold, seeing these sentimental treasures always makes me feel honored to be his daughter.
In 1998, I got serious about a career in jewelry. My mom won a trip through a Jewelers of America drawing to the largest watch, clock, and jewelry fair in the world in Basal, Switzerland. She said, “I’ve thought long and hard about it and I want to experience it with someone I can think back about it with and that’s why I decided to take you.” It was such a surprise. Little did I know, going to the show would be a great time with my mom and also act as a catalyst for me to fall in love with the mystique of the jewelry business.
Upon the completion of college, I began working full-time at Sullivan’s Jewelers at the Oaks. I got my GIA Diamond certification in May 2001. After working at the store with Mom and I since 1999, my fiancé wanted to either start his own store or buy out my mom. Mom didn’t want to be in competition with us.
It was fun to see how we could take the business to the next level. We had a peak year in 2004 after the hurricanes. In October 2007, we moved our business to 192 and times got tough with the economy. We had to change our business model to purchase jewelry. It helped us serve our clients with what they needed and it helped us keep the lights on. I used my knowledge of stone grading and we refined, reset and reinvented what we purchased.
Today, our studio is located in Downtown Melbourne. We have great jewelers who serve our customers proudly. Quality craftsmanship is very important to our customers and our legacy. It reflects our Sullivan name and the shining reputation that we will preserve for generations to come.