A Linda Vista Gem: Kim My Jewelry
Plus: New French School Opens in Linda Vista, Train Mystery Solved, and Upcoming Community Events
Today I’m going to write about one of my all-time favorite places in Linda Vista. I’m talking about Kim My Jewelry and Repair, located at 6941 Linda Vista Rd, #E, a few doors down from the laundromat and across from Pho Hiep in the Linda Vista Plaza Shopping Center.
My relationship with Kim My started many years ago because of the second part of the store’s name – and Repair. Over the years, I have broken and mangled more jewelry than I like to think about. I kept it in a part of my jewelry box reserved for injured jewelry. Broken chains, rings without stones, flattened bangles and more. Then, one lucky day, I happened onto Kim My Jewelry and Repair and decided to try to see if my broken jewelry could be saved. I was greeted kindly and told that chains could be soldered, stones could be replaced along with the prongs to keep them from falling out, bracelets and rings made round again, and all of it could be cleaned to look like new. Well, Kim Ly delivered on what they told me and my jewelry was returned as good as new. Of course, if you bring jewelry to be repaired, you must take a look around the lovely store and gaze upon some of the most beautiful gold, diamonds, and more you have ever seen. I was hooked on this wonderful store. Over the years I have told others about this store and been back numerous times, and occasionally to buy a piece or two of the beautiful jewelry they display. And did I mention that each of the staff members couldn’t be nicer and never rush you while you are browsing? Their repair prices are very reasonable, and often done while you wait; and for the quality of the jewelry they sell, I don’t think you can do better on price.
The owners of the store are Cuong and Linda. I’ve wanted to do an article on this store for quite a while, and finally approached them. Although the shop was very busy, Terry Ly, a family member, graciously agreed to answer some questions for our readers. Following are the questions and the responses.
—How long have you been located in Linda Vista?
Our family jewelry store was established in 1983, and we have been located in Linda Vista throughout this time for the past 38 years. In fact, we leased a very modest size unit at a one-story bungalow building when we first opened our door in 1983. As our business gradually expanded, we ultimately relocated in 1987 and continued our services at our present-day location.
—Why did you decide to open a business in Linda Vista?
Our decision to open a business in Linda Vista was driven by a sense of familiarity and community support. Linda Vista was our first home when our family, including extended families and other Vietnamese immigrants, re-settled in San Diego. Even though Linda Vista was all we knew at the time, this community continues to remain very close and dear in our hearts as we also become active with other San Diego communities.
—What are the most popular items you sell?
Our shop offers a wide variety of jewelry, ranging from 14k, 18k, and 24k gold jewelry to colored gemstone matching earring and ring sets, but our most popular items continue to be diamond wedding rings and loose diamond custom designs.
—Can people put items on lay away?
Yes, we do offer a layaway plan!
—What would you tell people to look for when buying gold jewelry?
While 14k and 18k gold have different chemical elements and compositions, they are comparable in terms of sturdiness, so be open and consider all the different factors because certain jewelry designs may look better with a specific karat gold. This also applies to white gold and platinum jewelry because the malleability and hardness of a specific metal may influence your buying decision.
—Do you mostly sell the higher karat gold rather than 14 or 10?
Our shop carries mostly 14k, 18k, and 24k gold jewelry and some 18k white gold and platinum jewelry.
—Are diamonds the most popular stone you sell? Do you sell the manufactured diamonds?
Diamonds are the most popular gemstones we sell, and we carry mostly GIA-certified loose diamonds.
—Do you get a lot of people asking you to replace watch batteries?
Yes, our customers often ask us to replace watch batteries for them, especially while they go grocery shopping, run errands within the shopping center, or browse our shop while they wait.
—Do you think your customers are more interested in gold jewelry for investment purposes or strictly for wearing?
It may be a combination of both. Gold jewelry is generally known to be a good investment commodity, but the added bonus is that our customers also get to enjoy seeing themselves adorned with beautiful accessories to make them feel good about themselves. It’s an act of self-love.
—Where did you (or the owner) train to become an expert in gold in particular and in jewelry?
Our family was sponsored to the United States in 1978 by American families in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Shortly after my family re-settled in San Diego in 1981, my grandfather sent my uncle to live with his friend’s family who worked in the jewelry business. My uncle received training for several years in Toronto, Canada, and he later moved to San Diego to re-train his siblings. Everyone in our family pulled all of our resources to open the business in 1983 and became “experts” by experience.
—Do you also design jewelry pieces like rings, necklaces, etc?
Yes, and we also work with our vendors to order custom designs under certain circumstances.
—Did the pandemic have an effect on your business? In what way?
Because our goods and services are not considered essential, the pandemic did not have too much of an effect on our business. While we did experience less foot traffic, those customers who actually visited our shop during the pandemic tended to be more intentional about wanting to buy.
—What do you like most about Linda Vista?
We absolutely love the community support and the knowing that our family was a part of Linda Vista’s multicultural history.
Thanks so much to Terry and his family members. I for one am happy they came to Linda Vista and opened their store. I encourage everyone to go to this store and look at their beautiful offerings. If your watch needs a new battery, have it replaced while you browse. You are sure to find something for that special someone or for yourself. I especially liked the answer about jewelry being self love and I’m making sure Steve reads that a few times.
Kim My Jewelry and Repair
6941 Linda Vista Road, San Diego 92111
Bienvenue à Linda Vista: Au Clair de Lune Opens its Classroom Doors
Linda Vista already enjoys a great reputation for hosting a number of quality academic institutions such as the University of San Diego (USD), the Francis Parker School, Kearny High School, the San Diego Cooperative Charter School, Montgomery Middle School, and several elementary schools. However, we are happy to report the community can now add one more educational venue to that list. The Au Clair de Lune French Preschool and Kindergarten recently opened its doors for those families interested in enrolling their children (ages 2-6) in a French language immersion program. According to their Facebook page, Au Clair de Lune (located at 1976/78 Coolidge Street, across the street from Holy Family Catholic Church) offers “an environment dedicated to the total growth and development of the children by stimulating their curiosity, meeting their needs of movement, play, rest, discoveries & experiences all the while learning a new language.”
The Linda Vista Update recently asked the head of Au Clair de Lune—Anne-Laure Petit—a series of questions in order to familiarize our readers with the school’s concept. She was kind enough to answer our request. Her informative responses are provided below:
—How did you decide on Linda Vista as a location for the school?
Linda Vista is home to USD, a prestigious university in the heart of San Diego. As a preschool, we were honored to share the same zip code because universities are powerful symbols of great education and success. As a preschool, we are aware that academic success starts by having a solid foundation, which is why we offer a rigorous but fun curriculum taught in French, drawing many families from different cultures and backgrounds.
—How proficient in French can a child be expected to become if he/she attends your school?
Because we follow the natural rhythm of each child, we cannot say exactly how high they can achieve. Every child is different and their situation at home will also affect their French level. For example, in some families, both parents speak French at home, so the child will be surrounded with French both at school and home. On the other hand, some children will only be exposed to French at school and will speak a different language at home. For these children, French will be more of a second language they are learning and will never be their native language, but nevertheless, they will still come out being bilingual.
At Au Clair de Lune, we are aware that all children come from different backgrounds and may not all be exposed to French the same way. Also, our approach to teaching is more progressive and in tune with understanding that every child learns differently and develops at a different pace. Our main goal after all, as a preschool, is to introduce the love of learning to small children. School should be fun and challenging enough without being too demanding and unfit. This is another reason why we differ from the other two French schools in San Diego. At Au Clair de Lune we purposely mix the ages (2-6) so children can learn from each other. By 'breaking' down the walls of the classroom, children are interacting with others that may be older and younger than they are. This creates a "horizontal" learning because they all have something to teach and learn from one another. In our school, the teacher is no longer the only person teaching and thus creates an atmosphere of many 'teachers', which is something that a traditional classroom cannot bring to children.
—How old must a student be to enroll in your school?
Children must be 24 months old (2 years) to 6 years. We not only offer preschool but also kindergarten.
—Do you see your school as providing a potential academic pipeline for families wishing to send their children to the La Petite Ecole du Lycée Français de San Diego located on Aero Drive? Or, are there other French immersion programs in San Diego for kids that want to continue their study of French?
La Petit Ecole du Lycee Francais de San Diego is the only other French immersion programs besides Au Clair de Lune. Actually, small fact, Au Clair de Lune founders were three former teachers from La Petite Ecole who decided to create a school that is better suited for the early development of children. Our teachers hold master's degrees in Education or equivalent and are either accredited by the Ministry of French Education or by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing to teach in public elementary, middle or high school. We know our ways around a school and the demands of the education system both in France and in the U.S. Our school does prepare the children for whatever comes after Au Clair de Lune. Whether the students continue their schooling in French or switch to the American system, we guarantee they will strive either way. Actually, our motto for Au Clair de Lune students is “Better Learners, Better Speakers, Better Thinkers."
—How long has your school been open?
Our school opened its doors May 1st of 2021. We experienced a delay during COVID, but we are glad we did because it really allowed to be better prepared for when we started enrolling children.
—Can you tell us something about what goes on during your summer camp?
Our summer camp is also in French immersion. We do not work on our curriculum during our breaks, because children need breaks too and this is why we focus our attention on completely different activities. Each week we offer a different theme, Les Petits Marins, Les Petits Chefs, Les Petits Athletes (The little sailors, The little chefs, the little athletes) where we introduce children to fun activities that may not have the same pedagogical objectives as we have during the year, but are still built around socialization, discoveries and explorations. Our camp is open to all children from 2 to 6 who may or may not already be attending Au Clair de Lune.
—What are the operating hours of the school?
Our school is open from 8am to 5pm. We offer extend day care from 8:00 to 8:30 am and afternoon extended care from 3:30 to 5pm. Our instruction hours are from 9-3 pm.
—When does the Fall term begin?
This year our school starts Monday August 30th 2021 until June 17th 2022.
—Are French food/snacks served for lunch?
We offer two snacks (included in the tuition) one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Our snacks are nutritional. We do try to introduce children to different foods and varied food groups throughout the week. We offer milk, yogurt, cheese, bread, crackers, apple sauce and depending on the season: bananas, mango, apples, watermelon.
We will also start offering lunch starting in September. Our meals will be varied and we are working on serving one French "traditional" meal(such as croque madame, or quiche) a week so that children taste some of the lunches served in schools in France.
—How many students do you expect for fall enrollment?
For the fall, at the moment we are expected to have eight students. While we have a capacity to welcome 30 students, we have a goal of 18 as we believe small ratios are important. Our ratio is small, as we have 1 teacher for 6 students. In order for children to strive academically, they need teachers to be attentive and ready to help.
—How many of your teachers are originally from France?
This school was founded by three French native teachers. Anne-Laure Petit, Claire Hemery and Jessica Bedin.
—Complete this sentence…"Parents should enroll their kids in this school because…
…this school is unlike any other schools. We offer a French immersion program, meant to allow the child to explore their untouched intellect. Research strongly shows that learning a second language at a young age directly correlates to a better academic future. We mix the ages (2-6) in order to give children a chance to develop at their own natural pace and to promote a learning support between them. Our school is built around a large classroom which allows us to have various stations (autonomous and guided activities) to meet their thirst for discovering, exploring and learning. We also have a large outdoor space, where we provide activities from different subjects (Art, Math, Science, Language, Reading, P.E.) in order to provide children with the benefits of spending time outdoors which more often than not is overlooked in many other schools. We aren't just 10 or 20 mins outside, we designed our school so we can split half our time between indoor and outdoor activities based on the children's needs. We are truly a school that follows the rhythm of the child rather than the child following the rhythm of the school.
—Anything else you would like to say to the Linda Vista community?
We are honored to be part of the Linda Vista community, and if we had not opened during COVID we would have loved to have a big open house to celebrate our opening in the neighborhood. Unfortunately, this was not possible, but you are still all welcome to come and see the school and meet the teachers anytime.
The Linda Vista Update wishes to thank Ms Petite for taking the time to answer our questions. We wish Au Clair de Lune good luck and continued success for the coming school year!
One Linda Vista Mystery Solved
Speaking about the French, in last week’s post we featured three Linda Vista unexplainable mysteries. We are happy to report that one of those mysteries has been solved via the crowdsourcing of our readers. In that previous post, we asked the question…”Why was a train engine sitting in the American Legion Post 731 parking lot located at the corner of Linda Vista Road and Genesee Avenue?” Fortunately, an officer for American Legion Post 731—Charles Camarato—wrote to us and graciously offered the following explanation, which coincidentally contain an important reference to France:
“The American Legion had a subsidiary organization called " La Societe Des Quarante Hommes Et Huit Chevaux" or "The Society of Forty Men or Eight Horses". This group was formed in 1921 as the Honor Society of the American Legion.
You can learn more by going to http://www.fortyandeight.org
In WWI the American troops landed in France and were shipped to the front lines in a small gauge french railroad boxcar with the number stenciled on the side 40/8. This meant the boxcar could hold either forty men or eight horses. You can learn more about the boxcar by googling "Merci Boxcar"
The reason this was chosen for the name of the society is that the American Doughboys realized they were being sent to the frontlines like cattle, it couldn't be a more foreboding trip. As in good American humour, they laughed about it, but in reality, it was the grimmest prospects.
The organization formed, was modeled after everything of a French railroad and all meetings are conducted in French. All titles are in French. The "Loci's" were hand built across the United States by many of these groups and used in many different ways, mostly parades. Here in San Diego County, we have one Voiture (unit) and it's called Palomar Voiture 1406, based out of Post 731 and Linda Vista. Veterans from all over the County make up the membership of this group. It is still active today and does some great programs like Nurses Training. Nurses were a God Send in time of war !
The story of France giving 50 Boxcars to America stuffed with tokens of friendship as a way to say Thank You is heartwarming. California's Boxcar is actually at American Legion Post 509 in Fresno.”
The Linda Vista Update wishes to thank Charles Camarato for taking the time to send us the above explanation.
Upcoming Community Events
—SD Loyal Soccer. The San Diego Loyal soccer team will play its next home game on June 19, 2021 (7:30 pm). The game will be played at University of San Diego’s Torero Stadium. Ticket details can be found here.
— Movie Night. The Linda Vista Recreation Center will be hosting a Movie Night on July 16, 2021. See the poster below for details.
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The Linda Vista Update publishes informative, interesting and fun news about Linda Vista and its neighboring communities.