An Interview with Gladys Collins of The Dinosaur Gallery

1466244_667875953243914_1709364198_n

If you haven’t been to The Dinosaur Gallery in Del Mar, you’re in for a real treat. This shop owned by Gladys Collins sells and showcases minerals, dinosaurs, shark teeth, artwork, and more!

The Dinosaur Gallery isn’t just a store- it’s an an eye opener and an educational experience. Collins says it’s a little bit like a museum- but as an added bonus, you can buy these incredible pieces and take them home with you.

We had the pleasure of talking with Gladys Collins about her fascinating store.

La Jolla Blue Book: This store is so unique. What made you want to get involved with The Dinosaur Gallery?

Gladys Collins: I liked the product. It’s like a museum type product, so it’s very interesting. It was one of the fossils that blew me away

LJBB:  Wow, which fossil?

GC: It was the Orthocera. It had lived 500 million years ago, and I found that fascinating.

LJBB: How do you collect your products that are in the store?

GC: Well, I meet the people who mine them at Tucson. Tucson has the best presentation of people who mine fossil and minerals from all over the world, and they come from all over the word to buy there, so Tucson has quite a show- it’s usually every February. We’re fortunate in that we can drive there and bring the things back in our car, whereas other people who come from all over the world have to ship them.

LJBB: Has film and television industry affected your business? I’d imagine that it’s sparked some interest.

GC: These things aren’t widely known, but I think they’re more widely known now because of the film industry. Movies like “Jurassic Park” have definitely sparked an interest.

I know Christine Capanelli who did models for “Jurassic Park.” We sold her models when they were through with them. She lives here, so she does many of the models for me now, like the T-Rex head and the Pterosaur flying dinosaur. She’s done many other things- her talents are quite diverse.

We’re fortunate in that little children really love dinosaurs because they do have some TV programs with them in them. Then when they get older, they sometimes really get into the digging and finding of it all.

1471288_667881196576723_1570510088_n

LJBB: What’s your favorite item that you sell ?

GC: I like the crystals, but it’s hard to pinpoint what would be my favorite. I hand pick everything. I hand pick every fossil and every piece of mineral I have in the store. I can’t say that I love one over the other.

LJBB:  It’s like your children picking your favorite child.

GC: Yeah, exactly. I have some wonderful fossils though. I have a full crab from Italy that’s 50 million years old, and I have stingray from the green river formation that is absolutely beautiful. I also have a piece of stomata light that is some of the oldest fossil. The piece I have goes back 2.7 billion years

LJBB:  Well you’re so smart and knowledgeable, going into your store is probably more like a science class.

GC:  It’s a little bit like a museum, but everything is for sale. That’s the beauty. If you go to a museum, you can’t buy the big fossils and minerals.

LJBB: Tell us a little about the jewelry you sell.

GC: I have the semi-precious jewelry. They’re nice pieces that you don’t necessarily find in other stores. I have little bracelets of nearly every mineral you can think of. People buy them for the metaphysical aspect. That’s now a big part of my business, as people have become interested in metaphysics. They tell me I have the best collection. I have pieces that are nice polished pieces- not just little tiny ones. They’re nice sized ones that they can hold in their hands, or carry in their pockets, or use to meditate with.

1450241_679425538755622_345075045_n

LJBB: What’s your most favorite part about being located in Del Mar?

GC: Well it’s a tourist area, so I get people from all over the world. They come back year after year just to just visit the store and pick up new things.

LJBB: What a great gift to bring back home – it sure beats a keychain.

GC: Yeah, they like it. Del Mar does have quite a few other stores, but it’s not rampant with shops. One another thing I keep that is quite sought after are our coral and shells. It wasn’t part of the original store, but I put those in and people love them because we’re right off the ocean.

537096_676443529053823_605009584_n

LJBB: For folks have never been to the Dinosaur Gallery before, what’s one thing you think they should know before they come in?

GC: Not enough people realize that our earth is full of all these beautiful crystals- they think our earth is just made up of dirt. Come and experience some of the beautiful and amazing crystals that are found in our earth. It was an eye opener for me seeing that first fossil. It made me want to find more of these things, and it would really great if people just appreciated what’s in the earth.


8-395x600-1We would love to promote you or a friend’s San Diego business via our 80+ year established diverse local media brand:

Serving the San Diego area for over 80 years, Blue Book Media Group has been generating enormous amounts of revenue for local businesses in the La Jolla and Rancho Santa Fe areas, along with San Diego County businesses wanting to do business in these same areas thanks to their consistent advertising with our media brand. Our local La Jolla and Rancho Santa Fe Blue Books (annual community guides) are so revered and used by the long time area locals that they refer to our print and web resources as the Bible of La Jolla and Rancho Santa Fe.

We would like to offer our diverse annual print, web, app and social media marketing/advertising platform to your local business as a way to help you generate new clients and customers to increase your revenue. If you or someone you know would like to see a true increase in their business, customer base or sales, please reach out to us by phone at 858-459-7939. We look forward to sharing information on our successful established diverse advertising resources with you.

We are thankful to have so many local businesses who have been advertising with us successfully every year since the 1940’s. We would like to be able to bring you the same huge ROI we have brought other local businesses each year due to their advertising with us.

For more information on our nearly 500-page annual Blue Book community resources, our website, our app, or our social media platforms, please call 858-454-7939 today.

Some ad space opportunities are limited as so many businesses renew their same ad spots with us year after year. We hope to hear from you soon.

858-454-7939
www.lajollabluebook.com
“Find It La Jolla” App

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
LinkedIn
Google+

An Interview with Suzanne Deeb Naboulsi of Timeless Treasures.

With over 20 years of experience, Timeless Treasures has produced and sold beautiful custom jewelry for every occasion. From Wedding Bands, Custom Pieces, or Designer Collections, their jewelry experts have the knowledge and skill set to find the perfect piece.

They pride themselves in their carefully and tastefully curated collection of genuine diamond rings, bracelets and necklaces.

We had the absolute pleasure of speaking with Suzanne Deeb Naboulsi of Timeless Treasures.

La Jolla Blue Book: I understand that you were a certified assessor in the environmental protection department of Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil company of Saudi Arabia. What made you decide to make such a shift and go into the jewelry business?

Suzanne Deeb Naboulsi : Art and design have been passions of mine since I was a young kid. These passions grew with me, nurtured by my environment and family of jewelers, designers, and jewelry showroom owners.  Once I began pursuing higher education (earning a Bachelor’s degree followed by a Master’s degree) and working in Aramco (the world’s largest oil company), I had no choice but to put my creative passions on hold.

Nevertheless, I took every opportunity life allowed me to send my family some of the infinite designs swimming in my head. Every time they’d hand me the materialized form—whether it be a necklace, ring, or earring—I would be reminded of the sentimental beauty this art form can hold.

When I moved to La Jolla, I had two options: continue with the career I’ve been a part of for 20 years, or tap into the artistic half of me that’s been aching for some sunlight. I chose to unfreeze the hungry passion and reunite with it. That’s the story of how I came to open Timeless Treasures, my jewelry store!

unnamed-4

LJBB: You come from a family of jewelers. Is jewelry something that’s always been an interest for you? Does your environmental science background ever factor into your business today?

SDN: Surprisingly, I’ve noticed many shared elements between my scientific and artistic experiences. I’ll limit my answer to a few:

Firstly, learning about the importance of specific environmental conditions (temperature, pressure, location, etc.) that allow for the creation of genuine gemstones and diamonds is endlessly fascinating. This in itself is environmental science!

In addition, as a certified Operational Excellence assessor, I promoted excellence and high-standard performance in the organizations I worked for. This really influenced my approach to the field of jewelry and gemstones and allowed my business to succeed and be recognized in a very short period of time. I try to apply the basics of pursuing excellence in every aspect of my life.

Finally, I have acquired an important factor in my highly interactive environmental science background: overcoming barriers of effective communication. The jewelry business requires social interaction and communication with people of various backgrounds, with different languages, cultures—even emotions!

unnamed

LJBB: For people who may not know, can you tell us a little about Timeless Treasures and what makes it so unique?

SDN: Although Timeless Treasures has existed for many years, 7 months ago, I brought my eye for cutting-edge designs and fine jewelry that embrace unique and enduring styles. I totally reimagined, revitalized, and reopened the store. Now, we house jewelry, especially diamond and precious gems, and high-end watches of all kinds.

We personally supervise the setting and polishing of all our gemstones to ensure the greatest quality. In addition, we house exclusive collections from acclaimed designers, only found in our store. Nina Nguyen, for example, is one of the first designers I had the pleasure of showcasing. Her collection offers a large variety of exquisite designs with precious stones in their natural habitats—a one-of-a kind jewelry line!

Even better, to meet all tastes, we also provide the option to custom make designs, no matter how crazy! We recognize the importance of individuality so we spare no effort to bring everyone’s dream engagement ring, wedding band, fashion accessory, whatever it may be, to life!

LJBB: How do you go about collecting your inventory? Where do you find it? 

SDN: I travel to different countries, including those in Europe and the Middle East, personally choosing items with unique designs as well as precious stones to incorporate into my own creations. Of course, I also attend all the international jewelry shows and events that take place all over the world.

unnamed-2

LJBB: Do you have a personal favorite item or favorite collection that you carry? 

SDN: I’m a personal fan of the hand-made collection and Nina Nguyen collection.

LJBB: In addition to selling pieces from your great collections, what other services do you offer?

SDN: We do all kind of repairs for jewelry: stone resetting, stone matching, pearl resetting, beading, gold plating, rhodium plating, ring resizing, and more.

We also repair high-end watches and change batteries. Cleaning is always free at Timeless Treasures.

LJBB: How long has Timeless Treasures been a part of La Jolla?

SDN: Only 7 months.

unnamed-3

 

LJBB: What is the best part of having a store located in La Jolla? 

SDN: The absolute best part of La Jolla is, hands down, the amazing locals and tourists.  Everyone is extremely welcoming, friendly, and appreciative of the hard work put into Timeless Treasures and its unique designs. In fact, I’ve had customers from other states visit repeatedly, letting me know that stopping by Timeless Treasures was the first activity on their San Diego action list!  Hearing this was the greatest accolade I have earned being here.

It is sincerely an honor being a part of the La Jolla business family. I wake up with a smile on my face, every day.

LJBB: What’s one thing you would like for people to know before they visit your store?

SDN: I appreciate every one of you. You make this city the little paradise it is.


8-395x600-1We would love to promote you or a friend’s San Diego business via our 80+ year established diverse local media brand:

Serving the San Diego area for over 80 years, Blue Book Media Group has been generating enormous amounts of revenue for local businesses in the La Jolla and Rancho Santa Fe areas, along with San Diego County businesses wanting to do business in these same areas thanks to their consistent advertising with our media brand. Our local La Jolla and Rancho Santa Fe Blue Books (annual community guides) are so revered and used by the long time area locals that they refer to our print and web resources as the Bible of La Jolla and Rancho Santa Fe.

We would like to offer our diverse annual print, web, app and social media marketing/advertising platform to your local business as a way to help you generate new clients and customers to increase your revenue. If you or someone you know would like to see a true increase in their business, customer base or sales, please reach out to us by phone at 858-459-7939. We look forward to sharing information on our successful established diverse advertising resources with you.

We are thankful to have so many local businesses who have been advertising with us successfully every year since the 1940’s. We would like to be able to bring you the same huge ROI we have brought other local businesses each year due to their advertising with us.

For more information on our nearly 500-page annual Blue Book community resources, our website, our app, or our social media platforms, please call 858-454-7939 today.

Some ad space opportunities are limited as so many businesses renew their same ad spots with us year after year. We hope to hear from you soon.

858-454-7939
www.lajollabluebook.com
“Find It La Jolla” App

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
LinkedIn
Google+

An Interview with Dennis Wills of D.G. Wills Books

screen-shot-2017-01-04-at-5-27-36-pm

A veritable one-of-a-kind, it’s easy to see why D.G. Wills Books is a true charm in La Jolla. What is more, in our contemporary, progressively and increasingly impersonal, digital society, the attention paid to personalization and the sheer aesthetics of text is simply inspirational and stimulating.

Dennis began advertising with the La Jolla Blue Book back in 1979 when La Jolla was yet the budding seaside beauty of a community it has grown into. Wills has a complete understanding of what it means to construct a business from the ground up, which is precisely what he set out to do and achieve on La Jolla Boulevard the same year he began advertising. Moreover, his community roots in La Jolla complement the little store’s enduring allure and charisma

The diminutive edifice began on a shoestring budget and with an idea born of love. With a couple of borrowed hammers, a rusty old saw, a few friends that believed in his vision, and a smattering of lumber, work began in 1979. Wills began to craft bookshelves from scratch with painstaking dedication and attention to detail. And with his visualization entrenched in his mind for the La Jolla community, he began to stock the store with various books he located and or stumbled upon at area garage, yard and estate sales.

The dream grew quickly and the bookstore came to be a serene haven for lovers of books, intelligentsias and academics, and rankly, right down to the local who was merely seeking an unobtrusive place to sit and peruse a tome or novel away from the noise pollution life often brings.

Dennis’ undying devotion and commitment to knowledge has drawn various scholars, literary critics, myriad students, and professors from universities from around the contiguous United States. With authors such as Plato, Shakespeare, Darwin, and the Bronte sisters, Wills’ rests assured that he stocks a most inimitable selection of books in the literary world. Indeed, the old, antique and difficult to locate books one may find in his store are certainly not carried by the impersonal chain and corporate stores that pander to frivolity. Perhaps best of all is the place he maintains in the hearts of his clientele, those thousands upon thousands who have found this La Jolla niche and veritable treasure trove, and who have had occasion to interact with him on a personal and intellectual level.

We had the pleasure of speaking to Mr. Wills about his remarkable bookshop.

The genesis of D.G. Wills Books is really interesting. Did you ever imagine it would become what it is today?

Well, one is never sure when opening a business how long or to what extent it might last; but that said, I chose La Jolla specifically to be near UCSD and the Salk Institute on the premise that the educated community’s interest in scholarly books would make it more likely that we would survive for thirty-six years now;  and that good libraries from retired professors would emerge. We were lucky and honored, for example, to have acquired Nobel Laureate Francis Crick’s library.

Out of all of the literary celebrities who have spoken at D.G. Wills Books, do you have any personal favorites?

Gore Vidal, Norman Mailer and Christopher Hitchens were clearly the most entertaining and witty. Francis Crick and Freeman Dyson were the most brilliant scientists here. Former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins was the most entertaining poet, although Allen Ginsberg drew the largest and most chaotic crowd, and Lawrence Ferlinghetti was the funniest. Playwright Edward Albee’s appearance was like attending a graduate seminar on theater. Pulitzer Prize journalist Maureen Dowd and Jill Abramson, then Managing Editor of the “New York Times,” were a brilliant team when they appeared here together.

Some may argue that the printed word is dying due to all of these technology advancements. What keeps your passion alive for what you do?

While Kindle and other e-book options have their use, many also continue to prefer to handle the printed page. The passion ever remains as we continue to discover the wonders of knowledge and mystery contained within books.

For people who have never been to your store, what should people know before going to D.G. Wills Books?

We carry new, used and antiquarian books, mainly within academic categories, and “backlist titles” that have passed the test of time, like Shakespeare, Darwin or Isaac Newton.

Is there anything special coming up at D.G. Wills Books that you’d like to mention?

Our Thirty-Eighth Annual St. Patrick’s Day Open Reading of Irish Poetry and Prose is coming up, on 17 March 2017, from 7 P.M. until it ends.

What is one piece of advice you would give to aspiring writers today?

My advice to aspiring writers is to read, read, and read; then practice, practice and practice with your revisions, constantly fine tuning.

D.G. Wills is open from Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Be sure to drop in at D.G. Wills, give Dennis a whispered holler, and see for yourself why indeed you’ll want to come back time and again seeking those hard to find gems, as well as enjoy the tranquil atmosphere.

For more information on D.G. Wills Books, Click HERE

GDC Construction: A Long La Jolla History

The Dewhurst family and GDC Construction have been utilizing their collective know-how and exceptional skills to turn ideas and concepts into reality for nearly a hundred years.

It all began when Ernie W. Dewhurst founded a construction company in Bexhill-on-Sea, Sussex, England. Subsequently, he immigrated to the United States through historical Ellis Island. Ernie soon settled in Hollywood in the early 1900s, where he utilized his extraordinary skills to construct movie sets. He was asked to build a home in La Jolla and instantly developed an affinity for the then-relatively uninhabited, quaint seaside town.

Ernie relocated his family to the village in 1920 and started work as one of the only builders in town. Due to hard work and commitment, by 1929 the Dewhurst passion for constructing elegant homes flourished and became a full-fledged, successful construction business.

Ernie’s son Walter Dewhurst teamed up with the business in 1948 with a thirst to sustain the family tradition throughout the 20th century. Much like his father, Walter was an innovator, mover and shaker in the construction industry in La Jolla, constructing several of the community’s finest residences.

Some of the community’s enduring hallmarks were built by Walter. The Athenaeum, a veritable La Jolla landmark, was remodeled by Walter in 1956. Today it houses an art and music library. Moreover, Walter built the Mount Soledad Cross in 1954. Adding to the cross, in 2001 the war memorial surrounding it was inspired and developed by Walter’s son, George, and built by GDC Construction. An annual Memorial Day celebration is held in the shadow of the cross every May.

In 1976, Walter’s son George joined the business, carrying it into the 21st century. Previous to the union with GDC, George heeded President Kennedy’s call and joined the Peace Corps in 1962. Subsequently, George completed his MBA at renowned Thunderbird University before returning to La Jolla where he assumed the reins of the family business.

George’s continuous dedication to remain true to the Dewhurst reputation for quality and craftsmanship is observed with the many homes he and his group have constructed. Additionally, he continued the family tradition in business, sport and civic commitment. Stirred by his visit to the National War Memorial in Washington, D.C., George conceived and then built the Mount Soledad War Memorial. This is a local testament to the brave men and women who have served the nation with honor.

George led an effort to modernize the YMCA La Jolla Firehouse in the historic district as a center for youths in 1984. Furthermore, as the La Jolla Sunrise Rotary Club president, George planted the seed for many of La Jolla traditions that continue to this day.

In 2001, Pancho Dewhurst joined GDC construction to carry on the institution of constructing quality custom homes in La Jolla and throughout greater San Diego County. Influenced by the modernists and his studies in Italy, Pancho made his mark in the family business. In 2008, he assumed the leadership at GDC Construction. Pancho and his father are the 3rd and 4th generation of Dewhurst builders in La Jolla.

“Being in the construction business for four generations, we have developed a considerably strong group of sub-contractors and associates that we work with on a daily basis” said Pancho. “I am very privileged to have such a vigorous and robust group of individuals. Some of these people have worked alongside with my grandfather and father. It’s been a significantly huge boost to GDC Construction.”

The renovation of the Community Center epitomizes Pancho’s contribution to the La Jolla community as well as the unrelenting commitment to dedication by the Dewhurst family to the local community.

“In addition to building beautiful homes in the San Diego area, what I’m really truly most proud of is all of the effort that my family has extended to give back to the La Jolla community.”

From building Fire Station 13 to the La Jolla Community Center, the Dewhurst family has been an essential part to what the community of La Jolla is today.

The Dewhurst family and GDC Construction also go out of their way to bring Christmas blessings and cheer every year to San Diego residents. Additionally, they have sustained one of the oldest and most esteemed traditions in La Jolla, that is, decorating and lighting the tree at the La Jolla Recreation Center each and every holiday season. The custom was initiated in 1984 while George Dewhurst was serving as Chairman of the Christmas Parade, as well as President of the Rotary Club.

The Dewhurst collaboration with the La Jolla community continues with GDC’s contribution to the La Jolla Christmas Parade each and every year. Walter Dewhurst, who was named President of the La Jolla Town Council in 1965, initiated the very first La Jolla Christmas Parade in the 1950s together with the Council. Thereafter, he was present at every parade and became known as the “Mayor of La Jolla” because of his all-encompassing patronage and support for the La Jolla community.

When Walter initiated the parade in 1960, it served to bring the village together in a new way during the Christmas and holiday season, and today it remains one of La Jolla’s most beloved customs. The annual parade attracts participants and visitors from all over San Diego as well as outside the county.

GDC Construction participates in the parade every year. One of the trucks is actually converted into a festive float to the delight of onlookers. Pancho Dewhurst and his family ride alongside much like his grandfather did well over a half-century previous.

“My philosophy is not about just building custom homes; it concerns building long-term relationships within the La Jolla community. This concept was taught to me early on by my family. As a four generation builder, I have a great commitment and great pride in being afforded the opportunity to give back to the La Jolla community.”

Pancho has two Children, Ava and Austin, who are the fifth generation of Dewhurst’s in La Jolla. I believe we can speak on behalf of everyone in La Jolla in saying that we hope the family tradition continues for many more years to innovate and shape La Jolla.

For more information on GDC Construction, CLICK HERE.

Satellite Service Made Simple with Amerisat

A domestic satellite dish is in the foreground, in the background is an apartment building and sunset

For those in the know, Amerisat is San Diego’s premier satellite provider. Family owned since 1983, Amerisat is currently run by founder Robert Dudley’s son Chris Dudley and provides contemporary communications with attention to the details. Whether you’re looking for satellite service, installation of a home theater, or something else, Amerisat is the place to go. With their help we’ve created a simple guide to your satellite experience.

Continue reading

Community Spotlight: Alta Vista Properties Inc.

Jackie Alexander Real Estate Agent and Alta Vista Properties Inc. An image of a La Jolla Beach with a logo and Jackie Alexander headshot layered over it. Beach image courtesy of Thomas Galvez

Major personal decisions like renting your home or finding a property for your business are daunting, even ignoring financial and legal considerations. Having an expert on hand to guide you through the ins and outs of realty is a huge help. Luckily, Alta Vista Properties Inc. has been San Diego’s go-to for property management and realty expertise since 1980. Continue reading

Community Spotlight: Prestige Floors Inc.

Whether you’re looking to remodel or are facing some unexpected floor damage, you’ll find your best flooring solution at Prestige Floors Inc.! Prestige Floors Inc. is a favorite San Diego business specializing in hardwood floors with an excellent customer service record and sophisticated flooring technique. Head to this family owned business to get the fast, easy flooring experience you deserve. Continue reading

Sit Back, Relax, and Enjoy the Show in Luxury at THE LOT

THE LOT luxury movie theater. Liberty Station Location, outside view including the patio at early evening.

THE LOT, San Diego’s newest luxury movie theater, is quickly becoming known amongst locals for fantastic food, comfy armchairs, and weekly specials. THE LOT La Jolla opened September 2015 and a new location, THE LOT Liberty Station opened May 5, 2016 (pictured at top).

Continue reading