Still Sparkling after 104 Years



 

It began in a world-famous jewelry factory in Kiev, Russia. It was the firm of Marchak, where BJ Foreman’s great-great grandfather, great- grandfather and great-grandmother made jewels for the czars and royalty of the world.

The political winds shifted, of course, and the Litwins landed in Cincinnati in 1911. By 1913, Litwin & Sons opened as a manufacturer and later, a diamond cutting center. Much later, there was a retail store. After many moves and changes, the Litwin jewelry legacy fell to Foreman when her brother died.

“I was a daily journalist at the time, writing the Artful Shopper for the Cincinnati Post,” Foreman says. “My writer friends said I could let the staff run the place and I could continue writing in the back of the store. It didn’t end up working like that.”

Before long she fell in love with designing. “I felt like after decades of being an art critic (at the Post and WGUC radio) and writing about fashion and shopping, this windfall brought me full circle back to the family trade.”

These days, you can find Boris Litwin Jewelers in Madeira near the Kroger store. Foreman has carefully curated a collection of contemporary fine jewelry, and one-of-a-kind house-designed pieces. “It starts with the gems and beads we collect in our travels, and they help us tell the story of what they want to be,” she says.

Bridal is fun at Boris Litwin, where many of the rings are bespoke creations. Litwin’s stocks fine colored gemstones and certified diamonds, but will gladly bring in a larger collection to match specific budget and stylistic needs. “I decided early on that if it wasn’t fun, I wasn’t interested,” Foreman says.

Another side of the business is revamping broken or inherited pieces so that they can be worn through the generations … or until it’s time to redesign again. “If I have a favorite endeavor, it’s making everyday jewelry out of outmoded styles,” says Foreman. “Earrings become cufflinks for a special person. Or the other way around. Grandma’s engagement ring becomes a diamond solitaire pendant, back in circulation. Auntie’s cluster ring turns into a diamonds by the yard classic.”

In addition, Litwin’s offers attentive repair services, sizing, restoration and gem recutting services, as well as meticulous repair of fine watches. Pearl and bead re-stringing is also a specialty, done the right way: with knots and French wire.

“It’s not just about jewelry,” says one of Boris Litwin’s best customers. “It’s about relationships.”

People like to sit at the round table and talk about life and jewels at the shop. There is a rotating calendar of interesting special days, like Madeira’s Girls Night Out or Litwin’s Gentleman’s Shopping Day, complete with beer and brats. December brings Turquoise and Tequila Tuesdays, Wish List Night, Charming Saturdays and Revamping Your Jewelry Get Togethers.

Boris Litwin Jewelers is located at 7754 Camargo Road, Madeira, OH 45243. For more information, call 513.621.1123, email info@litwins.com or visit litwins.com.