by wynne love | photos by Zeena Gregg Photography

Artisans who work with their hands are a rarity; that’s just one reason Victor Manoushakian is so unique. “My uncle was a jeweler and I became an apprentice under his watch when I was 14 years old,” recounted Victor. “I started by polishing and cleaning the shop. Then I worked my way to the bench and learned how to cast and repair.”

A skilled jeweler and craftsman, Victor has been creating works of art for more than 30 years, the last 25 at his own shop, Highlands Jewelers. “My wife, Jeannette, and I opened our doors in 1989 at the Highlands center, relocated down to the Piazza Carmel shopping center in 1994, and have been working side by side ever since,” shared Victor. “Next year it will be our 25th year anniversary as a family-owned and operated jewelry store in Carmel Valley.”

Victor grew up in Beirut, Lebanon. He was educated in French-speaking schools, attended high school and college in Montreal and is fluent in five languages. Though he’d likely feel at ease in any number of cities, Victor chose to make San Diego his home. He and his family have lived in 92130 for 22 years.

With three children who all attended Carmel Valley schools, Jeannette and Victor have donated plenty of time and money to school events over the years, especially at Torrey Pines High. Their eldest, Peter, lives in Long Beach while Shaunt and Julia both attend college while living at home. Julia plans to major in special education, but “on her days off from college you can see her working alongside her parents at the jewelry store,” smiled Victor.

These days, Victor stays involved in the community by serving on the Carmel Valley Planning Board as the merchants representative. During his free time, he enjoys Armenian cultural dancing, working in the yard and watching the travel channel. “I have a passion for world history,” explained Victor. “I also love cooking and enjoy trying out new dishes I pick up from the cooking channel and from Sam the Cooking Guy.”

[box title=”At A Glance” color=”#333333″]

Name: Victor Manoushakian
Community: Carmel Valley since 1991
Profession: Jeweler Craftsman
Education: Education in Montreal, Canada
Family: Wife – Jeannette; Children – Peter (28), Shaunt (26) and Julia (19)
Pets: Two dogs: Border Collie, Kylie (7), Yorkie Minnie, Marley (1)