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San Clemente Journal

Paradise Jewelers, A Family Affair

Mar 01, 2019 11:46AM ● By Nina Welch

Rick and Debbie Dunning and Stephanie Knowles at Paradise II.

by Nina Welch

Rick and Debbie Dunning own two jewelry stores on Del Mar-Paradise Jewelry and Paradise II Jewelry Boutique. 

When walking into Paradise II, owned by Debbie, the scene is an atmosphere of sparkling jewelry and even jeweled handbags. Mary Frances colorful beaded handbags grace the back walls like art in a museum. These beaded-embroidered masterpieces come in imaginative styles from a snapshot camera crossbody, to a puckered up beaded lips clutch. 

Of course, the jewelry in this charming store is the star. Debbie says that her customers vary from tourists and snowbirds, who come back every year to see what’s new, to locals buying gifts for friends or themselves. 

People like the store because it’s friendly, and comfortable, and Manager Stephanie Knowles contributes to the friendly ambience always greeting customers with a smile. Debbie is grateful that Stephanie manages the store to allow her to time to spend with her grandsons. 

Among the variety of exquisite jewelry from varied designers are cases of sterling silver rings and jewelry featuring semi-precious stones handmade in Bali by Michou. A hutch filled with Swarovski Crystals, designed by Anne Koplik, embellishes the beach-themed store. (Koplik designs all the jewelry worn on the television show Dancing with the Stars) And brides and bridesmaids have been known to come in with their dresses to select the perfect piece to wear for the occasion. 

“I even had a mother-of-the-bride come in who doesn’t usually wear jewelry. She brought her dress in and we were able to find her a perfect match,” says Debbie.
Debbie and her husband, Rick, a gemologist, have been in the jewelry business for 40 years. He owns Paradise Jewelry on the 100 block of Del Mar, specializing in gold, diamonds, collectibles, and even baseball bauble heads. And because they have been in the business so long, they can offer a fair price-point to their customers. 
They moved to San Clemente from Ohio 14-years-ago. The first Paradise store was on El Camino Real and now the husband and wife jewelers own both stores on Del Mar. They have a son and a daughter and three grandsons ages 6 months, 1, and 3.
Customers who purchase from Paradise on Del Mar will leave a little bit of sparkle wherever they go.

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