Faces in the Crowd: Shankar Jewelry

Rarity is a characteristic that lends value to a gemstone – much like the owners of Shankar Jewelry.

Georgette Ohayon and Phil Breland’s warm, inviting disposition leads way for a prosperous business in Deadwood. They make unique gemstone pieces – as they themselves are one-of-a-kind. They are celebrating 40 years of business in Deadwood and have seen a lot of changes in that time and have remained in business because of their dedication to the community.

Phil says “Deadwood in 1978 it was very different. We had a most interesting clientele. The ladies of the evening shopped in our store quite often when they were out for their shopping each week. The mine was booming, and it was kind of the Wild West for sure. It was quite receptive, and we settled into this lovely little store.”

When you walk into Shankar Jewelry, it feels like the Middle East meets the Wild West.

Georgette and Phil enjoy sharing their worldly travels and hand-crafted pieces with their customers.

Georgette says, “Part of what our business is based on handwork that comes from many other cultures and many other countries … Those countries include Indonesia, India, Nepal, Thailand, Morocco, Israel, Brazil, and Mexico. “Everywhere that we travel to over the years we’ve collected gemstones. Then we started doing our own designs … Phil would take some of the Teepee Canyon agates and the Fairburn agates.”

They want to maintain the art of hand-crafted jewelry.

Customers from far and wide have been coming to Shankar’s for 40 years. They aren’t just customers to Georgette and Phil, but more like kin – watching generations of families grow up. They enjoy sharing their love for unique gemstones and exquisite jewelry with others.

Georgette says “people enjoy different. And in the middle of Deadwood, the middle of South Dakota, it’s almost a little oasis of the other worlds – the other places.”

Georgette and Phil considered their lives charmed to have built their store in the quaint Black Hills town.

Phil says “It’s a privilege to share in a very unique time in Deadwood. First the houses of ill repute, then the mine, then the cowboys. And now we’ve blossomed into a pretty amazing place. It’s quite special.”

They say the 40 years in business has a lot to do with dedication, persistence, and most of all – quality customer service.

If you would like to nominate someone to be featured in our weekly Faces in the Crowd segment, click here.

Categories: Faces in the Crowd