High Profile: Gary Yervan
Gary Yervan, owner of The Vault, a jewelry store in Fig Garden Village, is a gem of a man. He was born and raised in Fresno and has a sun sign of Pisces, which fits him to a “T.” Gary believes that everyone should help one another, and each person can contribute to making the world a better place to live in. He is extremely personable and knows so many people by their first name because, for over 30 years, he has cultivated a huge and loyal customer base.
On a personal note, Gary has been my favorite jeweler for as long as I can remember. I drop in and look around, or bring him a piece to be fixed, and he is never too busy to take care of whatever my jewelry needs may be. He has a sign on his counter that reads, “Your husband called and said buy whatever you want.” I remember going in a few years ago to pick out something, and I told my late husband what I read on the counter. What husband is going to argue with that? This really shows the warmth and sense of humor he has with his customers, both men and women alike.
Gary grew up in Fresno with his first job being assembly of race cars for a hobby shop, which was a good start, as it requires concentration and attention to detail. Graduating from Bullard High, he went on to college. One evening he met the love of his life, Elaine, while having dinner at Pardini’s. He asked for her phone number and called Elaine the next day to ask her on a date. He took her to the movies and they saw John Travolta in Urban Cowboy. They were married about five years later and the “GE” (not General Electric, but it might as well have been) began.
Gary and Elaine have both been part of the jewelry business, and their store, The Vault, has been a testament to their motto of “Customer First and Service Excellence.” It is what makes their store unique, interesting and very individually oriented. When you come into their store, they have something for everyone and there is no pressure, which is important. When you explain or look around and something catches your eye (which it will), you can tell Gary what you are looking for and what your price range is, and he will have it for you and take the time to show you all kinds of options available for you. Whether you came in looking for a gift, or something for $200 or $25,000.00, Gary makes you feel important by patiently helping you make your selection, his service catered to your needs.
In interviewing him, Gary told me a great evening for him is to go to dinner, perhaps at Ruth’s Chris and then go dancing with Elaine. He says his friends like him because he is friendly and lovable, and that, many people will testify to.
Gary’s favorite party was for New Year’s Eve at his home in 2015, with a guest list that included all kinds of wonderful, diverse people. It was what made the party fun, he said. When asked where he likes to visit, he tells me he loves NYC, the city’s energy, the theater, the opera and the pace, but would not want to live there.
“Visiting is just fine when I go to jewelry shows,” he says, and adds that Carmel is more his style.
He also shared with this editor that he feels like a frustrated comedienne. Just ask him to do his imitation of former President Bill Clinton and you’re in for a laugh! He stated that he always wished that he could have been taller, yet this man is tall in his personality and his care and concern for each one of his treasured customers. He is a giant to all who have the privilege of knowing him and working with him.
Gary loves his staff. Gary says he knows he is in for a laugh when he comes to work and Ashley is working, as she always has a humorous story or a remark for him. He works every day except for Thursday (when I came over to meet up with him) and he loves going to work. His belief is to always tell the truth, and that your integrity is your calling card. He says that he strives to form personal relationships based on caring and excellent service, and the rest naturally falls into place.
He and Elaine have been very kind and generous to the community and give to many charitable organizations, but a few that are dear to them are Catholic Charities, Saint Agnes Medical Center Foundation, Make-A-Wish and the Fresno Rescue Mission. His idea for the world to be a better place is, “to just show some compassion and listen,” which Gary personally exemplifies in his professional and personal life.