published on June 10, 2016 - 9:56 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

Gina Jelladian, Co-Owner

RSVP Style, Stems at the Palatine & Gianni Fine Jewelers

What we do:
Our retail companies strive to bring the Central Valley an unmatched collection of fine products and traditional-style, old school customer service that cannot be matched. Each store brings its own flair to The Palatine Building.

‘RSVP’ features collections of gifts and home decor that span from bridal registry and home accents to darling baby gifts. What we are most known for, though, is our invitation collections. With innovative and unique style, we continually redefine social printing for invitations and personalized stationery. No matter the type or size of your event, your planning begins at RSVP.

‘Stems’ features fabulous, couture creativity for floral styling and events. Living and decorating with floral accents, both fresh and silk, brightens any space. We show that in our new 3,000 square-foot RSVP & Stems showroom on level one of the Palatine Building. Stems also does full event design, conceptualization and coordination. If you start your planning at RSVP, you end it with Stems.

‘Gianni Fine Jewelers’ features some of the finest jewelry designers spanning the world. Our collections are unmatched in design and quality. From your favorite daily wardrobe jewelry, coveted engagement rings or our gorgeous one-of-a-kind heirloom pieces, you will be in awe with what we have for you, right here in the Central Valley.

Bachelor’s Degree in business administration — real estate and urban land economics
GIA Certified diamond grader

Age: 29

Family is everything. I’m so lucky I get to work with my family, who I love more than anything in this world.

Tell me a little about your career to your current venture, Gina.
My career has evolved quite a lot in the past decade. What was a small idea selling imprinted invitations and gift wrap has morphed into a boutique shopping centre. It’s hard to believe, but we now manage nearly 7,500 square feet of retail space.  Between design, sales, marketing, operations, new business development and management, it’s hard to zero in on what my current venture is. There are several!

How did RSVP get its start, Gina?
In the early 2000s, our mom and step dad were building the Palatine Building, where our family’s jewelry company, now Gianni Fine Jewelers, would relocate, along with several other tenants. During this time, my sister Stephanie and I had just made our brother’s wedding invitations, which sparked a rush of family friends asking us to make their party invitations as well.
My mom, Sonya, possessing the truest form of optimistic entrepreneurial spirit simply, asked her then 14- and 16-year-old children, “Do you want to open a store to sell invitations in the new building?” Having no clue what we were committing to, we energetically said, “Yes!” And RSVP was born.

I tell her now how crazy she is, leaving two kids in charge of starting a new business. Fortunately, she had enough faith in us to give us the opportunity.

How has the business grown over the last 13 years, Gina?
Every year, we add to our product mix and repertoire of services within The Palatine.
Our most recent expansion was on level one, where we combined the RSVP + Stems showroom to feature bridal + gift registry with home + garden. This expansion has lent our growth to interior design as well. Our design + management team, consisting of Sonya {my mom}, Stephanie {my sister} and Mary {who has become an honorary Jelladian over the last several years} — in addition to our growing in-house design and support team — allow the continual growth of our stores.

We are also actively working at growing our online presence. With an ever-changing inventory, it’s nearly impossible to represent everything online that we do in-store, but we do have our full collections of bridal + gift registry available in our online store. In addition, we have recently launched and are adding everyday to our very popular service-products online: invitations + flowers, so you can order 24 hours a day, at your leisure on!

What’s it like working with your sister, Gina?
It’s like a gift. I get to spend most days with my sister, Stephanie.
Do we argue? Sure, sometime.
But we trust implicitly, we support each other and are always striving toward the same goal. We balance each other extremely well and love each other more than we love our businesses, so at the end of the day, we just get to have fun working alongside each other and celebrating all of life’s special occasions with each other, our team and our customers!

What’s in the future for RSVP, Gina?
We will continue to evolve our product mix and geographic reach.

What was your very first job and what did you learn from it, Gina?
Outside of my parent’s working me in their businesses from age 10, the only job I ever had was at Realty Concepts. I was responsible for helping the front desk with filing and other clerical work. I would rush to finish these tasks so I could help the other agents in office with work I felt was relative. This experience taught me hustle. No matter how much work there was, I found time to squeeze in more. Time is our most precious commodity. Everyone has the same 24 hours. Use it wisely!

What was the best advice you ever received, Gina?
I’m not sure if this counts as advice, but it’s a one liner my dad uses: “Onward and Upward.”  This applies to so many parts of life. Don’t get stuck or focus on what’s not moving you forward. If something seems to be keeping you stagnant, or things aren’t going your way, keep moving. Onward and upward!

What do you like to do in your spare time, Gina?
I love to spend time with family and friends, go to church, try new restaurants and food, cook, read, listen to music, be outdoors, shop and travel!

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