I have had the privilege of knowing LeeAnn Miller since our days together in high school over 25 years ago. We had yearbook class together and while we worked on layouts and scripts for the publication, LeeAnn always displayed a unique dimension of creativity and ingenuity. Her passion for creativity, along with the fact that she genuinely cares about her clientele is what makes her the successful business woman she is today.
At the age of 16, LeeAnn began her career in the jewelry business in 1981, most of which took place right here in Pinole. Owning her business had been a dream from the very beginning. A wish, a dream, and a push helped to establish Garden of Gems in 1998. Designing her shop with a flair for the unique, LeeAnn’s “garden” specializes in providing personalized service in a relaxed atmosphere where you can browse through an outstanding selection of quality jewelry and gifts, all at affordable prices. When you first approach the shop, now relocated to a Victorian home built circa 1800 in Old Towne Pinole, the path to the door is decorated with colorful flower arrangements, garden accents and rocks, and a welcoming atmosphere. At night, the shop is lit up with lights to match the Old Towne Pinole Street and tree lights. Once inside, you will notice that each room is uniquely decorated; again displaying LeeAnn’s amazing creativity and thoughtful demeanor to ensure her clients feel welcome and comfortable when selecting jewelry and other items for many of the most important milestones in their lives. New items arrive regularly, so the Garden of Gems showroom is always exciting. Additionally, you can work with LeeAnn to create your very own customized, uniquely handcrafted works of art. LeeAnn’s motto is: “In our garden, we grow dreams. If you can dream it, we can make it.” LeeAnn invites you into her world of gems. Not only does she stock the mainstay of jewelry from diamonds, gold, and designer silver, she also carries jewelry set with grape garnets from India, emeralds from Brazil, rainbow sapphire, and mystic topaz, to name a few. She also offers a wide range of services including, but not limited to basic jewelry repair, chain soldering, ring sizing, and retipping. You can have your jewelry inspected and cleaned, free of charge while you browse. LeeAnn has also developed a wish list program, so clients can list the items they would like and family members or others can make the purchase at another time, knowing exactly what their loved one wants. Garden of Gems also offers a special bridal boutique, another of LeeAnn’s creative ideas. Planning to pop the question is a major milestone in life and LeeAnn has designed a special room at the shop called “Forever I Do.” The atmosphere is welcoming and comfortable and you can sit by the fireplace and relax while you work with the staff at Garden of Gems to select the perfect piece of jewelry for that very special person in your life. At Garden of Gems, you won’t just give her a ring, you’ll give her Goosebumps! The ring is only the beginning of the journey. “It is wonderful to share in the special occasions of our customers by providing a gift that will last a lifetime,” says LeeAnn. LeeAnn knows how nervous potential brides and grooms can be, and she puts forth the extra effort by also having different books available for soon-to-be engaged couples – all part of her service to you.
In addition to managing her store and taking care of her clients, LeeAnn always finds the time to increase her knowledge regularly. In the jewelry industry, there are constantly new gem discoveries and new methods for treating, enhancing, and even cultivating laboratory-grown gems. To keep current with the latest advancements, LeeAnn regularly updates her expertise through the gemological Institute of America. A few years ago, LeeAnn was invited to join an elite group, called The Independent Jewelers Organization. The IJO prides itself on continuing education for its members in both gemology and industry trends and also offers members extensive purchase opportunities to bring not only top fashion, but best pricing to you, the customer.
LeeAnn truly is one of the most successful business women here in Contra Costa County. Her success comes from the passion she has for her craft and expertise, but above all for her caring nature toward her clients. Just as her motto states, “In our garden, we grow dreams. If you can dream it, we can make it.” LeeAnn has certainly made her dreams come true.