by Winston Chua
SAN GABRIEL – Hing Wa Lee Jewelers celebrated the Grand Opening of their flagship store this past Friday afternoon in San Gabriel in spectacular fashion, with an inspiring musical performance by world-renown pianist Lang Lang, a traditional lion dance and the attendance of dignitaries. But perhaps more important was the opening’s meaning to chairman and CEO David Lee.
“This store means a lot to me,” said Lee. “My father wanted to build a store in San Gabriel. Two years ago he passed away and I’m happy to be able to build this for his honor as a legacy for him.”
The San Gabriel City Council, Congresswoman Judy Chu, Assemblymember Ed Chau, a representative from Mike Antonovich’s office and others were part of an entourage who helped make the event possible.
But the most entertaining guest of the evening was no doubt Lang Lang, who dazzled about 150 guests with his fingers in breathtaking style before a 10-course Chinese feast. The musical prodigy stopped by San Gabriel en route to his October 26th performance in San Diego.
“The most challenging part of the construction was the timing of the completion,” said Katherine Lee, David’s wife. Missing the October 25th VIP reception date would have meant no performance by Lang Lang.
The 12,000-square-foot store has been a long time in the making. The idea first began eight years ago. Today, its European-inspired interior includes collections from Rolex, Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantin, Cartier, Tudor, Hublot and Rado. The new location features cutting edge technology not seen in other luxury stores, including oversized LED screens, rotating brand images and display cases designed to be removable from the main store floor. This allows the space to be transformed into an event space, complete with an intimate concert hall and banquet facility.
Hing Wa Lee first began in Hong Kong in 1965, starting manufacturing of gemstone carvings and fine jewelry.
“I feel I’ve done my job as a son for him,” Lee added. “I wish he were here today but I know he’s seeing this from heaven. I’ve had eight grand openings. The first one is meaningful and this one, being in remembrance of my dad is also one that is on top of the list.”
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