For my Dad, Viktor Bartashnik (father, mentor, and best friend).
One late evening, when my father and I were working away on an urgent request by a client, I looked up and saw my father gazing at what I was doing. He smiled and said, “Your work is what we are all about - hard work, craftsmanship, and legacy.” My father was quietly confident, immensely driven, and a man of few words. He firmly believed that a person’s work ethic and attention to quality said all that needed to be said about them. From that moment on, I knew that I had truly earned the respect of my father, a man who had spent 50 years perfecting the art of diamond jewelry making. Moreover, I knew that his dedication to skill and mastery, our family story, and the values we stand for would live on through our company, M&V Vanguard. Not only did our company name have the initials of both my father and me, but it also encompasses our family culture of leading the way in creativity and innovation.
When my father and I emigrated from Ukraine to the United States, we brought our craft and skills. My craft was recognized and appreciated by Tiffany & Co. for more than half a decade when I worked for them. However, I needed the freedom for my father and me to showcase our craftsmanship and customer-centered approach. So we opened a booth in the heart of diamond jewelry making, 47th Street in the Diamond District. We quickly attracted customers that appreciated our craftsmanship and client-focused approach. Where other jewelers would say, “It is impossible,” we would say, “We will be proud to make it for you.” Our success allowed us to grow to a company in the heart of Rockefeller Center. Our clientele increased substantially. We needed to cope with the increased demand and continue to create and innovate, so my father and I decided to invest in developing the next generation of jewelers. We carefully selected artisans who shared our passion and values to join us. We put them through our intensive in-house training program and quickly realized that we had the team to allow us to be a more creative, innovative, and more robust team, living up to our “Vanguard” name.
As with life, our story has both happiness and sorrow. My dear father, mentor, and best friend, Viktor Bartashnik, suddenly passed away in 2020. I was devastated and had to remind myself that I was my father’s son and found comfort in remembering his wise words, “don’t mourn for the loss, celebrate the life and time we had.” This is why we do what we do.
We are dedicated craftsmen that enjoy creating happy memories for people - we just happen to make fine jewelry.
- Max Bartashnik
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