Interview and Photo by Amy Henderson
Town Jewelers is a family-owned business that’s been in the heart of Cleveland Park since 1976. Ali Forghani came to America from Persia (Iran) to study mechanical engineering at the University of Maryland. When he married a fellow student, he went to work for his brother-in-law, who then owned Town Jewelers. Aly explains that he was always “good with his hands,” and first became skilled at watch repair. He bought the shop in 1980 and broadened his expertise by earning degrees at the Columbia School of Gemology and the Gemological Institute of America.
Ali’s son Hamid grew up in the shop, and remembers spending most of his teens helping there. He once thought about medical school, but decided instead to work with his father to make sure the family business would continue.
Ali’s favorite story is about restoring a badly-beaten-up 1930s Rolex watch to its pristine original character. Hamid’s favorite memory is about a customer asking him to transform a Dallas Cowboy Super Bowl ring into an engagement ring—Hamid is a huge Cowboys fan, so this gave him a special connection to his favorite team.
Customer service is a huge priority for both Ali & Hamid, and everyone who walks in their door knows they will be treated with civility and respect.
Check them out at 3305 Connecticut Ave NW – hours are 10am-4pm (5pm on Friday), closed on Sunday and Wednesday.
Visit their website at TownJewelersInc.com.