By Connor Beach
When Harborview Jewelers opened on Main Street in Northport last month, locals were not surprised to see Barbara Buoniello behind the counter.
In addition to Buoniello’s status as a well-known Northport native, she also comes from a long line of expert jewelers.
Her grandfather started Tudor Jewelers in Elmont before the shop moved to Northport, and her father later took over the business. The jewelry business has always been a part of Buoniello’s life.
“I started in the jewelry business when I was 13 years old,” Buoniello said.
Buoniello returned to help her father with the family business after two years in college.
“Once I decided that I was going to make this my permanent job, I went and got certified in diamonds, colored stones and how to run the business,” Buoniello said.
Armed with four certifications from the Gemological Institute of America and 35 years of experience in the business, Buoniello, with the support of her family, decided the time was right to open a store of her own.
Harborview Jewelers had a soft opening on July 7 and an official grand opening party a few weeks later.
Working alongside Buoniello in the shop is her daughter Carolanne. As the fourth generation in the industry, Carolanne said she’s had the “best teachers.”
“People come in just for my mom,” Carolanne said. “Her knowledge and experience really shows when she interacts with the customers.”
Buoniello said that Harborview Jewelers has pieces for every price range, including sterling silver, gold and platinum, as well as watches, watch repairs and men’s jewelry.
Buoniello specializes in custom designing jewelry to fit each customer’s individual style and taste.
“She does amazing custom work,” Carolanne said, adding that the shop can transform older pieces that may have family history into “something modern, while still keeping the sentiment in it.”
Buoniello’s knowledge and experience allows her to work with customers to ensure that they find the right piece that is “fresh and current.” Customers looking for anything from a small gift to the perfect engagement ring can be sure that they know exactly what they are getting and why it is right for them.
“She wants not only to sell you something, but to educate you on what it is,” Carolanne said. “If you’re going to buy something that’s a colored stone, she wants to teach you about it.”
Buoniello said she can help customers who come into the store with a vague idea for a piece create something that is beautiful, practical and functional.
The personal connection that Buoniello has formed with her customers over the years in the jewelry business gives Harborview a multigenerational atmosphere. She helps find jewelry for the children of those customers who watched her grow from the 13-year-old in her grandfather’s shop.
In the just over a month since Harborview Jewelers opened, Buoniello said she has already felt the warm welcome from the community where she grew up.
She said, “It’s personal here… you only have to come in here once and it’s like you become part of our family.”
260 Main Street, Northport