For jeweler H.H. Bredemeir, perfection isn’t so much of a goal as it is a practice. Bredemeir, who grew up and resides in Coconut Grove, has been involved in the jeweler industry for over three decades. From his humble origins as a street vendor working in Commodore Plaza in the summer of 1984 to his current status as the proprietor of H&H Jewelers on Main Highway, Bredemeir’s name has come to be synonymous with quality. More importantly, it’s come to be synonymous with passion.
“If something’s not to what I consider to be as perfect as can be made, we stop and start over,” Bredemeir says. “I’m obsessive compulsive with making sure the product is always amazing, because I believe it’s part of me, and I want to give that out. We don’t want to spend two hours on [a project], if we can spend six hours on it and make it that much better, that’s what we do. If we can put more metal in it to make it stronger, or we put finer stones in it to make it shine more, that’s what we do.”
This attention to detail and craftsmanship has earned Bredemeir something of a following in the jeweling business, with client relationships that have sometimes spanned across decades. Given his enthusiasm for the tools and raw materials of his trade, Bredemeir sometimes finds it hard to part with them.
“I’m very selfish with my stones,” Bredemeir shares, speaking on his gem collection. As a collector, the stones he accrues often wind up in the pieces of his clients, but only if he’s confident that something worthwhile can be produced.
“When I buy a stone and I own a stone, I love it, and I want to make sure that I build the best piece, the most amazing piece to showcase this gem that I can. I don’t just say ‘oh, let’s just throw this stone in there!’ No, I come up with ideas and ideas and ideas. Now, after I’ve done that and we create it… I go “oh my god.” And then when I hear other people go “OH my god,” that’s what makes me happy.”
Bredemeir is adamant about about working with his hands, rejecting the ongoing trends of outsourcing and 3D printing that are currently shaking up the industry. All jewels handled by H&H Jewelers pass through his hands before making their way to one of his three master jewelers, and ultimately come through Bredemeir once more before making their way to customers. According to Bredemeir, while most stores usually spend two hours on an individual piece, H&H will spend six to eight hours on pieces; sometimes, the process lasts up to 60 hours. When talking to Bredemeir, it’s apparent that there’s no other way he’d rather spend his time.
“This is what I do, this is my passion. I mean, utopia could be just making jewelry, and never having to worry about selling it, just making it; I get no better joy than when I finish an incredible piece and I’m just like ‘mm!’”