Evan Piscitelli never intended to continue his family’s garden state jewelry tradition, but this custom business was simply too successful to ignore

by Jessica Jones-Gorman • Photos by Robert Nuzzie

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Evan Piscitelli had recently graduated from Georgetown University and was making good use of his political science degree, working as a lobbyist for a large trade association. Then one of his closest friends asked him to design an engagement ring.

“We were all at that age when everyone was getting engaged and quite frankly getting ripped off,” Piscitelli noted. “Since I knew a little about the jewelry business, my friend asked for some help. I think it was just a few months later that I became completely consumed. One ring led to two, and two led to four. I started designing rings on nights and weekends, delivering diamonds to people at odd hours of the night after I got home from my full-time job.”

Piscitelli, who essentially grew up in his father’s Long Branch jewelry store, learning the ins and outs of diamond selection and fine jewelry craftsmanship, was deeply in his element. So in 2010, he took what he thought would be a short hiatus from his political career and opened ThrillHer Jewelers in Ocean Township.

“My father, Dominick, passed away when I was in college, and we were forced to shutter the Gold Trader, the store he had operated for more than 30 years,” Piscitelli said. “I was young, and it was never even a thought in my mind to go into the jewelry business. But the moment I started creating these rings, all of the memories and techniques my father taught me as a child started flooding back.”

Piscitelli focused on custom designs and specialized in the wedding market. After five successful years, he made the decision to expand the business as well as move it to Monmouth Street in Red Bank.

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“With all of its great restaurants, bars, and boutiques, I knew Red Bank would be a good home,” he said.

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The jeweler took a page from his father, putting a heavy emphasis on customer service and education. (“Jewelry is very much a relationship, not just a business,” he explained.) After two more fruitful years, he was able to expand once again, this time to a larger Red Bank storefront on Broad Street.

“In 2016, I rebranded and changed the name of the store to Evan John Diamantaire,” Piscitelli said. “I incorporated some men’s projects and wanted to broadcast that the store was no longer just about wedding rings. We moved only one block away, but I chose this location because it is such a prime spot for retail.”

Piscitelli’s new showroom, located next to Red Bank retail giant CoCo Parì, features comfortable seating areas and nontraditional showcases.

“It’s not your typical jewelry store,” Piscitelli said. “We got rid of the rows of showcases, and chose to share our space with Vincent Sciortino, a high-end tailor who specializes in custom-made clothes. The beauty of our jewelry designs, mixed with his gorgeous fabrics and suits, makes for quite a match, and a unique one.”

Evan John Diamantaire deals only in custom products. The store offers all kinds of jewelry pieces, from necklaces and bracelets to pendants and earrings, and engagement rings and wedding bands are still a vital part of the revenue stream.

“I’ve had customers draw pictures of what they want on a cocktail napkin, and we made it,” the owner said. “We use the best technology and the best craftspeople; there are many hands that come together to make a custom engagement ring.”

Piscitelli added watches to his collection with the rebrand, and the focus in that department is likewise on customization.

“If a customer wants a Rolex or a Breitling, we can accommodate, but we focus on adding diamonds to the dial or redesigning a bezel,” he explained, adding that, “We provide custom pieces at reasonable prices. Look back at my origins in this business—my friends came to me because they were getting overcharged by other jewelers. Clients trust me because they know I’m providing quality at a good price.”

Today, 10 years after taking the plunge, Piscitelli is glad he returned to the family business.

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“I’ve come a long way from driving around delivering diamond rings out of the back of my car,” he smiled. “But I honestly think this was my destiny. I have a real passion for design and truly enjoy working with my customers to create pieces that will last a lifetime. It’s perfect synergy, and very rewarding.”

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Evan John Diamantaire
15 Broad Street, Red Bank / 732.530.1540