Welcome to an extraordinary American success story.
It’s the story of what talent, drive and ambitious vision can build in a country that makes it possible.
It’s a story that opens in mid-20th century Beirut, Lebanon at the workbench of then Armenian teenager Sarkis Kitsinian, impatiently pushing through the long learning curve of jewelry design and creation.
By age 24 he arrives, risking all on a modest shop along Beirut’s most fashion-forward avenue. With time and a growing upscale clientele captivated by the innovation of his work, he both marries and dreams of plying his trade in paradise. In 1974, that happens. Sarkis and bride Suzan plough all of their savings into a small jewelry store on the island of Maui.
Where most of us might be more than happy with a thriving business in a place like Hawaii, Mr. Kitsinian imagines what could be realized by simply upscaling the operations he now does himself. This, he realizes, will mean leaving the Maui store in other hands and relocating to where his idea has the best chance to flourish…Los Angeles.
The California chapter in the Kitsinian story begins in LA’s jewelry district with a new manufacturing facility and wholesaling operation on Hill Street. Two decades there see a meteoric rise to a leadership role as importer and manufacturer of fine jewelry to the industry, to the point where a much larger plant is needed.
With the relocation to larger facilities in Van Nuys, California comes the emergence of the next generation of Kitsinians…son “Arch” and daughters Vanna, Taline, and Ani. While Arch moves through the necessary scholastic steps to assume a major role in the company’s future (including certification as a GIA Graduate), Vanna, since childhood, has penciled jewelry designs which she then begs dad Sarkis to bring to life. All of this foretells a bright future for Kitsinian Jewelers.
Today, Arch travels the globe in search of the precious gems and metals that will further his clients’ success, while Vanna brings to bridal and fashion jewelry design the unique woman’s perspective the jewelry world has needed for years with her uber-successfulVanna K Collection. Vintage-inspired,Vanna K celebrates jewelry’s Golden Age, emphasizing details such as milgrain, filigree, micro-pave and most importantly, meticulous craftsmanship. Separately, sisters Taline and Ani join Vanna in launchingVantani, a web-based bridal and wedding band salon. And the 21st century? Arch’s daughter Lori is already sketching the kinds of accessories her own generation responds to, inspiring the company’sLori K line of trendy juvenile jewelry. Everything is in place. An American dream, indeed. From an old-world workbench to a modern-day jewelry industry leader, the Kitsinian vision carries on, generation to generation.