24 RETAILER HALL OF FAME 2019 I t all started with some beaded necklaces in 1970s Berkeley, California. Steve Padis was a student at the University of California, Berkeley, which was known for, in addition to its prestigious academia, being a magnet for the era’s hippie culture. But Steve wasn’t the average bead-shilling flower child. “I went from stringing beads and making necklaces and selling them onTelegraphAvenue as a street artist to wholesaling to other street artists,” he explains. This knack for entrepreneurship turned into a full-fledged career for Steve upon graduation, when he opened a wholesale showroom in Berkeley. Though it would be nearly a decade before they married and began working together, it was at that first Berkeley location that Steve met his wife-to-be, Judy, a buyer for the store Beadazzled. “We actually met the day I moved from Berkeley to San Francisco,” says Steve. “She came to buy jewelry from us [at the old location] and we were literally packing it at the time! So, we had to unpack it and were looking at it …” “…we were sitting on the floor,” Judy Padis interjects. “…because all the furniture had already been moved,” Steve continues. Just as a successful, sustainable business takes times BY ASHLEY DAVIS JUDY AND STEVE PADIS MULTI-STORE INDEPENDENT INDUCTEES 2019 RETAILER HALL OF FAME THINKING OUTSIDE THE (JEWELRY) BOX What do Steve and Judy Padis see as key to the success of Padis Jewelry going forward? Branded diamonds, like Forevermark, and the next generation; they are pictured here with their daughter, company President Alexis Padis (far right). The Padises weren’t raised in the industry but have managed to create a thriving, multi-generational family business completely on their own terms.