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Robert Jimenez
Robert Jimenez
March 26, 2024

Owner, San Jose Jewelers

Join us during Hispanic Heritage Month as we celebrate Robert Jimenez. In 1985, while Robert was in university, his older brother Joe, a master jeweler, decided to open his own retail business in Waco. It seemed only natural for him to ask his younger brother to help him out when he came home for the holidays and summer months. In addition to bridal, fine jewelry, and repairs, Joe started making Baylor University rings, because that was the local university. Back then, the licensing issues were less complex than today. The Baylor rings proved profitable, and the business grew.
“I was Joe’s apprentice,” Robert says. “I did the basic tasks while I learned more advanced skills. And I fell in love with jewelry-making from the start. I had my own bench – the same one I use today – and it tells the story of my journey from apprentice to master. Every mark, burn and stain – they remind me of my progress. Back then, we had none of the amazing technology and equipment we have today. We carved waxes, made rubber molds, and used metal forming techniques. So I learned to make jewelry in the traditional ways.”
Joe and Robert were their family’s first jewelers and didn’t grow up in the business. Joe discovered his passion first, and then the brothers were fortunate to share their love of jewelry making. After graduation, Robert joined San Jose full time, unable to imagine doing anything else. “I love my work today, and I’ve been a jeweler for 35 years.”
In 1995, Joe decided to move on to do trade work, selling the business to Robert. At that point, San Jose Jewelers had grown, but still operated pretty much as it had in 1985. Then Robert got to thinking about ways to expand their reach.
“The Baylor ring success pushed us to approach other universities to license their seals. We picked up a few here and a few there. Today we have licenses for 53 universities and 12 small independent colleges.”

CTHCC members planning something together
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