W.W. Hilton began his apprenticeship the day before the San Francisco Earthquake at Shreeve & Co. He moved to Redwood City and opened Hilton Jewelers in 1925. In August of 1929, Grandpa moved to Broadway from Main Street into a new building. Why not? The economy was so strong! Somehow the business survived and shortly after World War II, my father Walter A. Hilton joined the store. I began apprenticing at age 14 along with two brothers...Jim, a clockmaker, Ed, a watchmaker and me, a jeweler. I think we pretty much drove our elder family crazy.
Photography by Irene Searles
In 1979, after working for my family and also a large jeweler in Tucson, AZ, I struck out on my own, first as a trade shop in the back of a retail store in Placerville, CA and shortly after opening my first retail store in town. I sold the store and moved to British Columbia in the late 1980's and worked from home as a trade shop for some jewelers in Victoria. In 1991, I began work in Corvallis, OR, where after a year or so, I opened Hilton Jewelers. I moved back to the Bay Area in 2005. Here I try to keep it simple. No employees, and open by appointment only. I keep busy these days riding motorcycles and camping in my Westy between custom jewelry appointments.
My life has been a blessing in that I've been able to raise my family, travel and work in the happiest profession in the world...Jewelry! I only work one on one. Once we meet in person, I make every attempt to make your experience one of the happiest stories of your lifetime.
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