Difference between revisions of "Rafik Papalian"

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Rockingham News, NH<br>
+
Rafik Papalian is a jeweler.
April 29 2005
 
  
Gifts that shine
+
Rafik Papalian didn't want to be a jeweler when he was 9 years old, and did not want to learn the trade by helping his father repair jewelry in the basement of the [[Tehran]], [[Iran]], where the [[Armenian]] immigrant family had settled.
  
By Nancy Shuffleton <br>
+
Papalian's biography is the stuff of movies. He has come a long way since he left his family in Iran, lived in [[Bombay]], [[India]], and [[London]], and entered the [[United States]] with an Iranian student visa and a backpack on July 2, [[1977]], at the age of 17. He recalls warmly the older customs worker who processed him, and asked where his baggage was. Speaking very little English, Papalian answered nervously that all he had was his backpack.
rockinghamnews@seacoastonline <br>
 
Complete Business Index
 
  
PLAISTOW - Rafik Papalian didn't want to be a jeweler when he was 9
+
He managed to complete his high school in [[Haverhill]], Mass., by paying his tuition through pizza shop jobs, and worked his way to an electrical engineering degree from [[Lowell University]]. Several years later, an uncle moved to [[California]] from [[Armenia]] to start a jewelry business. Papalian moved there with his future wife to help. They married, started their family of four children, and moved back to [[New Hampshire]] four years later.  
years old and learning the trade by helping his father repair jewelry
 
in the basement of the Tehran, Iran, home where the Armenian
 
immigrant family had settled.  
 
  
Fast forward 35 years through some dogged determination and
+
He opened a jewelry store in Haverhill but closed it when it was robbed several days later. He opened a variety store in Plaistow, and started making jewelry repairs on the side. Eventually he rented the present store and has said "we've had nothing but success since then." Papalian said that he opened in a "bad economy," but that doesn't "stop people who buy jewelry ... He has said “When we have 6 percent unemployment, that means 94 percent are working. I keep my expenses at a level where I'm comfortable. I control my budget."
professional detours, and Papalian, a proud American citizen since
 
1983, is an example of the American dream as owner-operator of
 
Papalian's Jewelry in Plaistow.  
 
  
Papalian's is a self-described full-service jeweler whose products
+
Fast forward 35 years through some dogged determination and professional detours, and Papalian, a proud [[American]] citizen since [[1983]], is an example of the American dream as owner-operator of Papalian's Jewelry in Plaistow.  
include diamond engagement rings; wedding rings; diamond earrings and
 
tennis bracelets; mother's rings; men's jewelry; fine gold jewelry;
 
and precious and semi-precious stone jewelry. One of his specialties
 
is custom jewelry and he can even create a piece from a photograph.
 
He also sells children's jewelry, anniversary gifts and gifts
 
imported from Italy, as well as selling and repairing watches.  
 
  
A certified gemologist, Papalian also does on-site jewelry repairs
+
Papalian’s is a self-described full-service jewelry store, whose products include diamond engagement rings; wedding rings; diamond earrings and tennis bracelets; mother's rings; men's jewelry; fine gold jewelry; and precious and semi-precious stone jewelry. One of his specialties is custom jewelry, and he can even create a piece from a photograph. He also sells children's jewelry, anniversary gifts and gifts imported from Italy, as well as selling and repairing watches.
and appraisals for estates and insurance. He can reset stones in new
 
or old rings, size rings and do engraving. Papalian also buys
 
jewelry, such as estate pieces, and works with customers who want to
 
trade in jewelry to upgrade. He either melts the pieces down and
 
remakes them into other pieces or sells them to customers or other
 
dealers.  
 
  
Papalian estimates that about 50 percent of his business is in
+
A certified gemologist, Papalian also does on-site jewelry repairs and appraisals for estates and insurance. He can reset stones in new or old rings, resize rings and do engraving. Papalian also buys jewelry, such as estate pieces, and works with customers who want to trade in jewelry to upgrade. He either melts the pieces down and remakes them into other pieces or sells them to customers or other dealers.  
engagement and wedding rings - many to professional athletes, with
 
about 20 percent in gifts, 20 percent in repairs, and 10 percent in
 
watch sales.  
 
  
Papalian said that he works with manufacturers in New York City on
+
Papalian estimates that about 50 percent of his business is in engagement and wedding rings - many to professional athletes, with about 20 percent in gifts, 20 percent in repairs, and 10 percent in watch sales.  
his custom pieces. He said that he has 4,000 to 5,000 jewelry molds
 
that he has designed, assigned an identification number, and placed
 
with New York manufacturers. He tweaks the various designs, adding or
 
subtracting details or stones, and then orders them. He usually
 
inserts the stones himself unless he feels another expert can do it
 
better.  
 
  
For his diamond business, Papalian works with one factory in Israel
+
Papalian said that he works with manufacturers in [[New York]] City on his custom pieces. He said that he has 4,000 to 5,000 jewelry molds that he has designed, assigned an identification number to, and placed with New York manufacturers. He tweaks the various designs, adding or subtracting details or stones, and then orders them. He usually inserts the stones himself unless he feels another expert can do it better.  
that he has worked with for 22 years. He said he makes "sure that
 
they all come with papers," adding that 80 percent "could be
 
certified" and he "knows the cutters and where they come from."
 
  
Papalian said he is proud that he has loyal, long-time customers who
 
he knows by name and that he is known for his service and his
 
honesty. He advises people shopping for jewelry to "make sure the
 
person behind the counter has knowledge ... You are buying my
 
expertise at my store ... Tell me what you want and I'll go find it."
 
  
 +
For his diamond business, Papalian works with one factory in [[Israel]] that he has worked with for 22 years. He said he makes "sure that they all come with papers," adding that 80 percent "could be certified" and he "knows the cutters and where they come from."
  
The 1,250 square-foot shop includes a showroom in front, with a
+
Papalian said he is proud that he has loyal, long-time customers who he knows by name and that he is known for his service and his honesty. He advises people shopping for jewelry, and is quoted as saying to "Make sure the person behind the counter has knowledge ... You are buying my expertise at my store ... Tell me what you want and I'll go find it."
workshop and offices in the back, all protected by an alarm system.  
 
  
The shop is run by Papalian and three part-time employees, with some
+
The 1,250 square-foot shop includes a showroom in front, with a workshop and offices in the back, all protected by an alarm system.  
help from his children around the Christmas holidays. Papalian said
 
he works in the shop about 40 hours a week, including specific
 
appointments, and balances the jewelry shop business with his family
 
and his growing real estate development success.  
 
  
Papalian's biography is the stuff of movies. He has come a long way
+
The shop is run by Papalian and three part-time employees, with some help from his children around the [[Christmas]] holidays. Papalian said he works in the shop about 40 hours a week, including specific appointments, and balances the jewelry shop business with his family and his growing real estate development success.  
since he left his family in Iran, lived in Bombay, India, and London,
 
and entered the United States with an Iranian student visa and
 
backpack on July 2, 1977, at the age of 17. He recalls warmly the
 
older customs worker who processed him and asked where his baggage
 
was. Speaking very little English, Papalian answered nervously that
 
all he had was his backpack. The agent shook his hand and said,
 
"Welcome to the United States."
 
  
He managed to complete high school in Haverhill, Mass., by paying his
+
Papalian said that the United States "is a wonderful country to come to. I am first generation. I thank the country for the great experience I have had. There have been some rocky roads, but I'm here and I'm proud of what I've done."
tuition through pizza shop jobs and worked his way to an electrical
 
engineering degree from Lowell University. Several years later, an
 
uncle moved to California from Armenia to start a jewelry business.
 
Papalian moved there with his future wife to help. They married,
 
started their family of four children, and moved back to New
 
Hampshire four years later.  
 
  
He opened a jewelry store in Haverhill but closed when it was robbed
+
==Sources==
several days later. He opened a variety store in Plaistow and started
+
*''Complete Business Index'', By Nancy Shuffleton, Rockingham News, April 29 2005
doing jewelry repairs on the side. Eventually he rented the present
 
store and "we've had nothing but success since then." Papalian said
 
that he opened in a "bad economy," but that doesn't "stop people who
 
buy jewelry ... When we have 6 percent unemployment, that means 94
 
percent are working. I keep my expenses at a level where I'm
 
comfortable. I control my budget."
 
 
 
Papalian said that the United States "is a wonderful country to come
 
to. I am first generation. I thank the country for the great
 
experience I have had. There have been some rocky roads, but I'm here
 
and I'm proud of what I've done."
 
 
 
{{copy}}
 
  
 
[[Category:Armenian Individuals|Papalian, Rafik]]
 
[[Category:Armenian Individuals|Papalian, Rafik]]

Latest revision as of 12:20, 30 May 2008

Rafik Papalian is a jeweler.

Rafik Papalian didn't want to be a jeweler when he was 9 years old, and did not want to learn the trade by helping his father repair jewelry in the basement of the Tehran, Iran, where the Armenian immigrant family had settled.

Papalian's biography is the stuff of movies. He has come a long way since he left his family in Iran, lived in Bombay, India, and London, and entered the United States with an Iranian student visa and a backpack on July 2, 1977, at the age of 17. He recalls warmly the older customs worker who processed him, and asked where his baggage was. Speaking very little English, Papalian answered nervously that all he had was his backpack.

He managed to complete his high school in Haverhill, Mass., by paying his tuition through pizza shop jobs, and worked his way to an electrical engineering degree from Lowell University. Several years later, an uncle moved to California from Armenia to start a jewelry business. Papalian moved there with his future wife to help. They married, started their family of four children, and moved back to New Hampshire four years later.

He opened a jewelry store in Haverhill but closed it when it was robbed several days later. He opened a variety store in Plaistow, and started making jewelry repairs on the side. Eventually he rented the present store and has said "we've had nothing but success since then." Papalian said that he opened in a "bad economy," but that doesn't "stop people who buy jewelry ... He has said “When we have 6 percent unemployment, that means 94 percent are working. I keep my expenses at a level where I'm comfortable. I control my budget."

Fast forward 35 years through some dogged determination and professional detours, and Papalian, a proud American citizen since 1983, is an example of the American dream as owner-operator of Papalian's Jewelry in Plaistow.

Papalian’s is a self-described full-service jewelry store, whose products include diamond engagement rings; wedding rings; diamond earrings and tennis bracelets; mother's rings; men's jewelry; fine gold jewelry; and precious and semi-precious stone jewelry. One of his specialties is custom jewelry, and he can even create a piece from a photograph. He also sells children's jewelry, anniversary gifts and gifts imported from Italy, as well as selling and repairing watches.

A certified gemologist, Papalian also does on-site jewelry repairs and appraisals for estates and insurance. He can reset stones in new or old rings, resize rings and do engraving. Papalian also buys jewelry, such as estate pieces, and works with customers who want to trade in jewelry to upgrade. He either melts the pieces down and remakes them into other pieces or sells them to customers or other dealers.

Papalian estimates that about 50 percent of his business is in engagement and wedding rings - many to professional athletes, with about 20 percent in gifts, 20 percent in repairs, and 10 percent in watch sales.

Papalian said that he works with manufacturers in New York City on his custom pieces. He said that he has 4,000 to 5,000 jewelry molds that he has designed, assigned an identification number to, and placed with New York manufacturers. He tweaks the various designs, adding or subtracting details or stones, and then orders them. He usually inserts the stones himself unless he feels another expert can do it better.


For his diamond business, Papalian works with one factory in Israel that he has worked with for 22 years. He said he makes "sure that they all come with papers," adding that 80 percent "could be certified" and he "knows the cutters and where they come from."

Papalian said he is proud that he has loyal, long-time customers who he knows by name and that he is known for his service and his honesty. He advises people shopping for jewelry, and is quoted as saying to "Make sure the person behind the counter has knowledge ... You are buying my expertise at my store ... Tell me what you want and I'll go find it."

The 1,250 square-foot shop includes a showroom in front, with a workshop and offices in the back, all protected by an alarm system.

The shop is run by Papalian and three part-time employees, with some help from his children around the Christmas holidays. Papalian said he works in the shop about 40 hours a week, including specific appointments, and balances the jewelry shop business with his family and his growing real estate development success.

Papalian said that the United States "is a wonderful country to come to. I am first generation. I thank the country for the great experience I have had. There have been some rocky roads, but I'm here and I'm proud of what I've done."

Sources

  • Complete Business Index, By Nancy Shuffleton, Rockingham News, April 29 2005