Fashion / Style File

In Defense of the Diamond

Houston’s Jewelry Princes Scoop Up Two Storied Stores — Employees and All

BY // 07.10.16

If he who has the gold rules, then Tenenbaum’s Tony Bradfield and Kevin Black are next in line for the throne. Houston’s anointed princes of gilt have just expanded their fiefdom by scooping up notable vintage jewelry merchants Past Era Fine Antique Jewelry and Queen of Heirs.

This is hardly a surprise, considering Tenenbaum’s sizeable investment in Houston to date: Bradfield and Black have underwritten scores of charitable and social events since acquiring the Tenenbaum name and brand in 2010. Yet the union of these three jewelers is also a matter of timing and fate. On the surface, these are shrewd investments, but few buyers would bring the employees as well as the assets along for the ride. Queen of Heirs, owned by Robin Lindberg, was purchased in February, and Lindberg and her team now focus on their forte, bridal and custom work, at Tenenbaum’s current store on Post Oak Boulevard.

The decision to sell was a personal one: A stroke in December caused Lindberg to rethink small-business ownership and join forces with Bradfield and Black.

“A man grew wings and enveloped me,” says Lindberg of Bradfield. “They let me leave what I didn’t enjoy about the business — payroll, paperwork, etc. — and keep what I love.”

Queen of Heirs’ Robin Lindberg and Tenenbaum’s Tony Bradfield

Marion Glober’s Past Era was purchased in early April. Both companies retain their trademarks, relationships and their employees, but will operate under the Tenenbaum roof with a common infrastructure. Past Era will come over when Glober’s current lease ends, in September, bringing a high level of buying and sourcing expertise to Tenenbaum’s new space, which is currently under construction on Westheimer near River Oaks District, with an expected October completion. Revered by long-time clients for her exceptional eye for Victorian, Edwardian and Art Deco jewelry, Glober wanted to ensure that her entire team would be part of the merger.

“I like the way Bradfield does business,” she says. “And I’ve known Kevin [Black] for years and have a lot of respect for him as well.”

Holiday Gifting

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Meanwhile, back at the fortress, the boys have their work cut out for them — not just in the volume of jewels that are already coming across their desks, but with the influx of talent, too. It’s a momentous undertaking, but they seem to be up for the challenge. No vault is too large.

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