It All Started In A Basement Two Generations Ago

Catherine “Cat” Catanzaro’s journey to Eloquence Fine Jewelry started two generations ago and spans three continents.

The Catanzaro jewelry business was started by her grandparents in their garage shortly after they arrived from Italy. It began simply enough; her grandparents designed and made religious items – crucifixes, rosaries, etc. That catapulted into a larger business, Catamore, to add chains, crosses, earrings and more. With the addition of the next generation of Catanzaros – Cat’s father, uncle, and sister helped expand into manufacturing and catalogue sales. But, her grandfather’s wish was to sell the business, so upon his death, the business was sold to a metal refinery in England. And so ended Catamore.

But with end of that chapter began a new one. Cat’s father bought into a jewelry manufacturing and distribution center in Thailand called Pranda and the business took off, selling to television shopping networks, including QVC, the Home Shopping Network and others, as well as directly to retailers. Cat’s mother, a registered nurse for many years, even became enthralled with the jewelry business and, when her dad began the Thailand venture, he helped her mother develop a line of silver and marcasite which also took off, selling to the home shopping networks. She worked with Judith Ripka and others in design and distribution.

All of this was enough to spark an interest in Cat. She worked in the business during summers, working jewelry shows and meeting with retailers, including many of the top names such as Bailey, Banks, and Biddle. Since education was the top priority in her family, Cat completed college. “I always loved and excelled in the jewelry business. When I worked summers during college, they always wanted me to stay, but education came first in my family,” said Cat.

But, when her older brother decided to go to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in California to get its top-notch training in all things gems, Cat followed. She plunged into all facets of the jewelry studies – diamond and color stone grading, etc. and then moved to Thailand for nine months to take part in the family business, working in the precious gemstone department. She also plunged into the mining, cutting and gemstone purchase areas.

Then came the trade shows – Thailand, Hong Kong, Switzerland and later direct sales in Puerto Rico, St. Croix, St. Thomas and beyond.

When her father sold his business to a Florida firm, they needed someone to run that store. That’s when Cat realized her true love in the jewelry business was retail sales. “I love the clients, I love how appreciative they are when they love what I design. I love making them happy. The clients and our vendors are truly family,” said Cat.

When Cat decided to open her own retail jewelry store in 1997, she was going to buy a building in North Palm Beach. A good friend of hers, Krista Nicklaus, was also looking for a building in the area for her gift design and sales business. While at a movie together, they discovered they had bid on the same building. As luck would have it, that sale fell through for both and they came across another, but it was already under contract. When that deal fell through for the original buyer, Cat and Krista bought the building.

Together they operated Eloquence Fine Jewelry and Gifts, Krista even learning the jewelry business.

Today, the business is thriving, and Cat is as dedicated to the jewelry business as ever. In addition to all the new clients, Cat gets lots of repeat shoppers who she has come to know personally as they buy jewelry for the most precious family occasions. Now, she said, the children of her clients from the past 20 years are also coming in to purchase their engagement and wedding rings.

“Retail isn’t easy, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It’s so wonderful to see that you’ve made people happy and, when they keep coming back, that’s my best proof that they love what I’m doing, too,” she said.