Jewelers & Staff
Simply Unique has passionate employees that strive for customer satisfaction and a one-of-a-kind jewelry experience. Our experienced staff is here to help guide you in creating your custom piece of jewelry and assist you with any jewelry repair needs that may arise.
Owner & Goldsmith
Tim Wright is a goldsmith with over 25 years of experience in traditional jewelry design. Wright is a graduate of Bethel High School, growing up in the Tidewater area of Virginia, and developed a passion for collecting stones.
He took on an apprenticeship with a master goldsmith to pursue his interest in stones and put his old collection to use. Though he was also working as a chef at the time, his apprenticeship solidified his passion for jewelry and his life changed course. He continued working at several different local jewelry stores until he met Alex Maryaskin, who shared the same ethical integrity and artistic aim for perfection. The two started a friendship, and after 10 years, they were able to open Simply Unique Jewelry Designs together.
Wright's designs are often very traditional and his specialties include complicated stone setting and re-fabrication of inherited jewelry pieces. He has a passion for antique jewelry and old watches.
Owner & Goldsmith
Alex Maryaskin is a Master Goldsmith with 23 years of experience in fine custom jewelry design. Originally from the Ukraine, Maryaskin came to the United States in 1997 and resides in the Tidewater area of Virginia. He started making jewelry in a maintenance shop using a welding torch and improvised tools, some he made himself. As time went on he showed his work at a local jewelry store to sell it on consignment. A couple of years later he became the jeweler in that same store.
He has a strong belief in the everyday wearabilty of fine jewelry. He often bezel sets stones to ensure structural stability, which is not often seen in traditional fine jewelry. His award-winning hand-fabricated filigree style is just as durable.
Maryaskin's passion shows through his meticulous detail and balance fashionable jewelry.
In 2019, Maryaskin was named the "Champion of Champions" in the International Jewellery Design
Excellence Awards, known as the "Oscars of the jewelry industry," making him the top jewelry designer in the world that year. He is also the recipient of many other awards, including: the mayor's award in the Stockley Gardens show, “Best in Show” in the Port Warwick Art and Sculpture show, and the "Virginia's Finest Artist Award” at The Boardwalk Art Show at Virginia Beach. He was published in “The Jewelry Artist Magazine” by Lapidary Journal with a Second Place award. In 2014, he received the Saul Bell First Place for the Holloware /Art Objects Design Award. You can read his interview with Rio Grande here.
Rick Naujoks originally grew up in New London, Connecticut, and moved to the Virginia Beach area and is a graduate of Princess Anne High School. Before becoming an apprentice at Simply Unique Jewelry Designs, he worked doing computer repair for 35 years.
Naujoks became a member of the Tidewater Gem and Mineral in 2008 because he has always had a passion for cutting and polishing cabochons stones such as jaspers and agates. He became an apprentice with Simply Unique because he was looking for a way to set his cabochons in something he made by hand.
Naujoks hand fabricates his pieces mainly out of sterling silver and helps with basic both gold and sterling silver repairs in the store.
Mindi Harrell grew up in Hampton area and was a graduate of Bethel High School. She moved to Yorktown in 2001 with her family. She has worked in the jewelry business for 20+ years as a manager, assistant manager, and joined Simply Unique Jewelry Designs in 2010 as sales associate. Harrell has a certification in Diamonds and Colored Gemstones from the Diamond Council of America.
Harrell may be the person to help you design your custom one-of-a-kind jewelry, assist you with jewelry repairs, and give a better understanding with your diamond purchase. When you call the store she may be the one to answer the phone and usually is the first face you will see when you come in our store. She has a great background with sales and is very knowledgeable with all types of jewelry styles.
She loves working one-on-one with customers to learn about the stories behind their jewelry.
Dawn Walston grew up in Ramona, CA. She moved to Ennis, MT, in 1998, where she met her husband while working in an independent jewelry store. When her husband was transferred, Walston moved to Converse, TX, which she now considers home.
Walston recently moved to Hampton with her family when her husband was stationed in this area. Her husband found Simply Unique when he was seeking some jewelry repair. He was so impressed with the atmosphere and customer service of Simply Unique that he suggested she check it out. Walston joined the Simply Unique team in November 2018.
Appraiser - Graduated Gemologist GIA
Rebecca "Becky" Johnson was born and raised in Hampton, VA. She has graduated from Phoebus High School, TNCC and the Gemology Institute of America. She previously held the title of Certified Gemologist Appraiser with the American Gem Society.
Becky has been working in the fine jewelry business for 20 years. Selling fine jewelry gives her the opportunity to be a part of special moments in time in peoples lives. Appraising jewelry is also a service that she provides. This helps people keep current on the value of their fine jewelry.
Heather Boyd was born, raised, and still lives in Newport News. She is the proud dog mom of Kit, Simply Unique’s security dog. Boyd has been working in customers service for 13 years. She joined the Simply Unique Team in 2011.
Jay White began his interest in metal-craft while serving in the Coast Guard, where he was trained to solder, weld, shape and fabricate metals of all kinds. In 2002, while visiting with his father in Louisville, KY, he visited an exhibit of silversmith artists at the Museum of American Craft. He was so struck by the vision of those artists that he began to search out training in the Tidewater Virginia region to slake his thirst for working with fine metals and other natural materials.
Early in 2003, he found ready mentors in Fred and Barbara Mason in Norfolk, owners of Stones Mason, and in Kevin Hanscom, bench jeweler at Vashti’s Jewelry in Gloucester Courthouse. He soon discovered that jewelry making was a challenging and rewarding direction to take his metal-craft interests. In 2005, White founded JW Silversmith and began to sell at juried art shows and community events. White was accepted in 2008 as a part-time student by J. Henry (Hank) Viccellio of Viccellio Goldsmith in Yorktown, and his skills began to grow rapidly. Viccellio continues to provide guidance, bench jeweler skills, difficult challenges, and tutoring that shape White’s style and approach to design and finish of his original pieces.
White continues to improve his jewelry quality and skills, spending time with Blaine Lewis at the New Approach School in Franklin Tennessee while also increasing the quality of show events he was participating in. In 2014. he won Best in Jewelry at the Newport News Fall Festival of Folklife. and then in 2017 took Best in Show at the same event. In 2016, White enthusiastically join the artists at Simply Unique Jewelry Design and continues to study under the mentorship of Alex, Tim, and Rick.
Store Greeter & Security
Born in 2010, Kit is an English bulldog who was adopted at 5 years old to Heather Boyd. Kit spends most of his time sleeping, sun bathing and loves to ride in the car. He who loves welcoming customers, napping, butt scratches, licking, cuddles, treats and being petted.
He’s been working Saturdays as part of the Simply Unique Team since 2017. Kit also provides security for the shop, making sure everything is as it should be.