Eddie DePaula cofounded and managed Turley Jewelers with his wife Charlotte until his passing in 2017. Eddie was an inspiration to everyone who knew him. His passion for excellence was evident in every area of his life. He set exacting standards for Turley Jewelers, and those standards remain in effect today. The following interview occurred several years ago. We hope it will give you insight into the wonderful person who helped define the traditions that Turley Jewelers continues in his memory.
Interview with Eddie DePaula
How did your career in fine jewelry begin?
It began when I was about 18 years old. My older brothers had begun working in the jewelry manufacturing end of the business and learned the trade of being a jeweler. They started their own stores and I apprenticed under each one of them.
After working under their watchful eye, I began to work as a jeweler and gained a vast amount of experience, earning the title of master jeweler.
During that time I found a passion within the jewelry realm...watches. I couldn't learn enough about Rolex watches. That passion led to an extremely successful career in selling pre-owned luxury watches.
How did you decide to become a jeweler designer?
Designing was a natural extension of my art. I began drawing as a little boy and spent hours practicing and sketching.
That childhood love translated into a great gift for my jewelry career. I am able to not only see the piece in my mind's eye but I am able to draw it out for the customer and know the technicalities of bringing it to life.
What inspires you?
My inspiration for delving into fine jewelry was my love for the process, materials and the final product. I love the complexities of how the metals and gems work together. My artistic vision takes off with all the possibilities that present themselves.
My inspiration for designing is the costumer, their style, and creating what I think will be the best design for them. I set such a high standard for my final design, it can often be both a frustration and a joy.
How do you select your jewelry and watch collection pieces?
We look for quality, value and how unique the piece is. Is it something that can be found down the street? If so, we don't want it. We don't want to have five of each piece in different colors.
Where did you grow up? Why did you choose to make Miami your home and headquarters?
I was born in Cuba and was brought to the US when I was 26 days old. My family and I lived in New York, Chicago and finally North Miami. Then my older brother opened a jewelry store in the Florida Keys, and we all moved there.
I broke off on my own and moved to Orlando. That is where Charlotte and I met. We were both attending the same church. We dated for a while and were married on November 3rd, 2001. We lived in Orlando for a year.
As we contemplated where to open our own store, we wanted to be close to family and that is why we chose Miami.
What was the proudest moment of your career?
Opening my own store and then 11 years later creating a whole new space for the next 20 years.
Can you sum up your sense of aesthetics in three words?
Luxurious, exquisite, exclusive. We offer an experience like no other in our community. Our new showroom is classy and creative. It gives the feel of exclusivity and incredibly unique beauty.
If your were not creating jewelry, what do you think you would be doing?
Artwork. Definitely artwork.
As for the future?
We will continue to build upon our foundations and grow our business for our children's future.