Avu Goldsmiths: Unique jewelry

Avu Goldsmiths, 246 E. Church St., has been serving the Williamsport area with unique jewelry items since August 2016.

The business was started by Jennifer Parks, owner and goldsmith.

“The name of the business, Avu, it is the Finnish word for quality and value,” she said. “I didn’t necessarily want to be Jennifer Parks Goldsmith just to have a little bit of a different outlook on it than the named goldsmiths and jewelry stores in the area.”

The name helped set her business stand out.

“People like the fact that it’s short and sweet,” she said.

She said having the name represent her work has been special for her, and business has been going well.

“The main line is Avu’s jewelry, which I make. Then of course the other items we carry are jewelry and gifts from a range of different artists,” she said. “A lot are American made, but we also carry a lot of Fair Trade Federation certified products. So, it’s nice to know that if you’re not buying American, you’re buying something that is supporting a developing country and human rights as well for good working conditions, fair wages and education for kids.”

She said it’s important for the store to have these options, and she enjoys supporting good causes like fair trade.

“We didn’t go into it expecting to do that, but we found so many good products that were fair trade that it made sense to make it an important portion of the business,” she said.

The jewelry she makes shows off her personal style and has items available in sterling silver, yellow gold, white gold and rose gold.

“I personally lean toward a more natural, organic feel,” she said. “My job is to make what the customer wants, especially if it’s a custom designed piece … But if it’s my personal preference or personal design, then definitely something more organic feeling and usually more on the feminine side.”

She has a bachelor of fine arts and over 10 years of experience as a goldsmith before opening her business.

“I was able to develop my skills more so than if I had just jumped into it prior to that,” she said. “So that was nice to develop my skill. I get to come to the table with a great history of working in the industry … It’s a nice reassurance for customers as well because I’m not just randomly deciding to do this one day. I have a vast knowledge of what I’m doing.”

She said she was grateful for her experience and time, but she has loved having her own store.

“The first year was great, and it went so much faster than I honestly anticipated it to,” she said. “It was really exciting. A lot of people said, ‘Oh, if you make it through your first year of business, you’re doing really well.’ It flew by so fast, and it went great.”

Suanne Parks, Jennifer Parks’ mother and store manager, has been helping Jennifer Parks run the business since it opened.

“It’s been a journey in the last year, even though it went fast,” she said. “I am super thankful for my mom. She’s been an integral part of the business … I couldn’t have done it without her help. It’s always nice to have someone by your side.”

She said that it’s been a dream to have her own business.

“I’m lucky to be able to actually enjoy what I do on a day to day basis. I think that makes all the difference in how a person interacts with other people, how they feel about themselves and just in general how they feel overall. I really couldn’t imagine doing anything else,” she said. “I don’t think I would be as complete if I had to do something else … I would feel like something was missing and be less bright. This is what I want to do.”

For more information about Avu Goldsmiths, call 570-772-8788.