Vardy Shtein brought his family to the United States in 1980 with very little to his name. Growing up in Tallinn, Estonia, Vardy had the unique experience of apprenticing with master goldsmiths and artisans who traced their professional lineage to craftsmen from the House of Fabergé—a world renowned jewelry store known for their high quality and intricate detail.
Vardy’s background as an Old-World artisan factored not only into his expertise in making new or remaking old jewelry when he established Vardy’s Jewelers in Cupertino, California in 1981, but also his commitment to sustainability. At the time of his apprenticeship in Estonia, he had no funds to invest in raw materials. This necessitated him repeatedly making and remaking jewelry out of existing creations, each time striving for perfect craftsmanship and maximum creativity. That prior experience is the foundation to Vardy’s “waste not” philosophy to this day. On their customers’ side, it gives them something meaningful to do with their unwanted jewelry. Vardy’s believes that remaking an old piece into something new and special for this generation and beyond is the essence of “recycling” within the jewelry community. Today, Vardy’s is part of California’s Green Business Network.
Vardy also encourages local business development, volunteering extensively with Cupertino’s Rotary club and leading through example with his commitment to local charities. They contribute to many Bay Area charity auctions, especially for public schools and community groups. People get excited seeing their white and silver Vardy’s bag on the auction block. For #GivingTuesday, they select a nearby non-profit to receive a percentage of the day’s proceeds. For one recent #GivingTuesday, Vardy’s chose an organization that has a deep connection to the family: Parents Helping Parents. Vardy’s grandson is severely autistic, and Parents Helping Parents is a nonprofit organization in the San Jose area that helps families with children who have special needs.
Vardy’s is always ready to establish ad hoc giving efforts in support of regional crises such as the recent Napa Valley fires.
Vardy’s encourages all local jewelers to get involved in their communities. “When you take care of your customers and community, success will follow,” Vardy said.