Venetia Small and Hamed Shirzad run Shirzad Fine Jewelry in Kirkland. They recently moved from a Seattle location. Aaron Kunkler/Staff Photo

Venetia Small and Hamed Shirzad run Shirzad Fine Jewelry in Kirkland. They recently moved from a Seattle location. Aaron Kunkler/Staff Photo

Shirzad Fine Jewelry opens for business in downtown Kirkland

Shirzad developed his craft with some help from his father, who taught him how to forge jewelry in the Persian tradition.

Hamed Shirzad didn’t start out a decade ago planning on becoming a jeweler.

Sitting behind the counter of his jewelry store and shop in downtown Kirkland on a recent afternoon, the 26-year-old joked that in Persian families, children are expected to be a doctor, lawyer or homeless. But Shirzad said he was attracted to the arts, and while exploring careers in both the arts and medicine, he discovered jewelry and fell in love with it.

“I took a jewelry class and I absolutely loved it,” he said.

Working with precious gems runs in the Shirzad family as his father is a retired jeweler. As Shirzad began developing his craft, his father taught him how to forge jewelry in the Persian tradition. Shirzad has worked at Blue Nile and traveled to Dubai, Iran, Belgium and Bangkok to find what he thinks are the best gems for his clients.

Shirzad Fine Jewelry, located at 200 Central Way in downtown Kirkland, is a modest storefront that houses a diverse array of gems worked into gold, silver and platinum. Shirzad said most of the items in the store are handmade onsite, with a selection of imported goods.

Opening a safe, he pulls out intricate drawings of pieces he has designed. These highly detailed blueprints range from bracelets to wedding rings and earrings. He also offers engagement photography as a service to customers who purchase a ring through him. The onsite shop offers a unique character to his business, he said.

“A lot of people like the handmade aspect of it,” he said.

While diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds are the main gems Shirzad works with, he also offers services for semi-precious stones in an attempt to make his store and work more accessible to the broader community. Customers can also watch him work, which Shirzad views as important.

“I have to bring fun back to jewelry,” he said.

Shirzad has held pouring parties at previous locations during which people would come in, drink some wine and pour molten gold into a cast for their own pieces.

Shirzad runs the store with Venetia Small. They recently relocated from downtown Seattle to Kirkland. Both said they like the space and hope to stay in the city.

“We’re really excited to be on the Eastside because of the size of the community,” Small said.

The store already has a good working relationship with other jewelry businesses in the area, which Shirzad is happy with.

Their current storefront will be short-lived since the building they’re housed in is scheduled to be demolished and redeveloped in coming years, but Shirzad said they have already been offered a spot in the new building. Even if that falls through, Shirzad is committed to sticking around the area.

“We’re going to stay in Kirkland,” he said.

Shirzad draws up designs for his handmade jewelry before creating the unique pieces. Aaron Kunkler/Staff Photo

Shirzad draws up designs for his handmade jewelry before creating the unique pieces. Aaron Kunkler/Staff Photo

More in Business

Investor Sharks returns to Kirkland

The second annual event allowed local startups to pitch to angel investors.

Chainline was able to successfully crowdfund a full deck to accompany their tap room. The community-oriented business is open to all ages and pet-friendly. Kailan Manandic/staff Photo
Chainline Brewing Co. is Best of Kirkland

The brewery opened its doors in 2015 and has since been embedded as a community gathering place.

Katalyst Fitness opens in Kirkland

The new location has space to handle up to 700 electrical muscle stimulation sessions per week.

Pickles Playland barks into Kirkland

Small dogs daycare will full open on Oct. 20.

Bret Chatalas, co-owner of Cactus Restaurants, receives the EnviroStar certificate of recognition. Cactus’s six locations are all working toward following environmentally-friendly practices. Photo courtesy of Kirkland Conserves Facebook.
Kirkland businesses recognized in first year of Washington’s Green Business Program

Local businesses earn EnviroStars recognition by taking steps to green their facilities.

Core Hero hard cider sorbet takes off in Kirkland

A former Kirkland resident is making hard cider sorbet, which was picked up by Whole Foods and PCC.

Burger Addict opens in Kirkland

The restaurant is the second location for the local burger joint.

Office space is still tight on the Eastside

That hasn’t stopped Google and Facebook from looking to expand.

Whole Foods, Grocery Outlet now open in Kirkland

Two new grocers have opened in Kirkland in both the north and south ends of the city.

Select Gourmet Foods hopes to reopen by summer’s end

The butcher’s shop took damage from a fire last August but the owners are hoping to make a comeback.

Amanda and Kevin Kearney opened the Guest House Restaurant in Kenmore earlier this year. Aaron Kunkler/Staff photo
Guest House gives Kenmore locals another eatery option

The restaurant is located just north of St. Edward State Park in south Kenmore.