By Marin Preske
Erik Halfacre may now be president of Traditional Jewelers, the family business that has boutiques at Malibu Country Mart and Fashion Island in Newport Beach, but he wasn’t always certain of his career path. “I thought I’d be a sports agent,” says Halfacre, the eldest child of the company’s founders, Marion and Lula Halfacre. Though he did dabble in the athletic arena for a few years, it wasn’t long before he was graduating from the Gemological Institute of America and eventually taking over the reins of the company, which carries the finest in luxe baubles and watches—from Kwiat and Ippolita to Jaeger- LeCoultre and Baume & Mercier.
Halfacre still loves sports, of course; in the Malibu store, a giant flat screen is turned to whatever game is on. (Diners next door at Nobu have been known to duck into the shop to check the score.) And in addition to the gleaming Rolex and Cartier watches on offer, customers can buy LeBron James’ own timepiece— a gold Audemars Piguet—for a hefty $100,000. It’s these personal touches, combined with an easygoing atmosphere, that have set Traditional Jewelers apart since it was established three decades ago.
Currently five Halfacres work for Traditional Jewelers. Citing this heritage, Halfacre touches on one of the hallmarks of a successful business. “There’s a face to our store; there’s a face to our name,” he says. Though he vows not to force his own children to follow in his footsteps, you get the feeling that—like the store’s Patek Philippe watches and Chopard diamonds—Traditional Jewelers will be passed down through generations to come.