Mia Bella Jewellery's brilliant move to Bundaberg
IT WAS the 1970s, a time when every Year 10 student had to take part in work experience.
A time David Bell remembers like the back of his hand.
He wanted to be an aircraft mechanic but his mother sent him off to a jewellery manufacturing shop and his life's path took a dramatic change.
Four decades later as Mr Bell gets ready to mould another customer's wedding ring, he says it's the best thing that could of happened.
Mr Bell and wife Carissa are the owners of Mia Bella Jewellery on Bourbong St. They opened the business late last year after the well-known Hitchcock Jewellers closed its store.
The family venture has a deep history in Gympie, where the first Mia Bella store opened more than 30 years ago and now the couple has settled into the Rum City.
The name Mia Bella translates to 'my beautiful' in Italian.
Although no one in the family is from Italy, Mrs Bell said her husband "adopted himself into the country" with his love for fine jewellery.
In his time as a jeweller, Mr Bell has custom-made rings for generations of families and when asked why his passion was so strong, he replied it wasn't a difficult question to answer.
"It's the shear pleasure or being able to make people happy," Mr Bell said.
"We have a box of tissues on the counter, ready for that moment when people see their custom-made ring for the first time.
"It's really that simple, I just love making people happy."
He wasn't able to say how many rings he had made in his time, but said it would be in the thousands, as he recalled making 342 in one year.
A number of memories will stay with him for life, but one in particular touched his soul.
"It was a few years ago and a grandmother came in to the showroom with her wheelie-walker," he said.
"She was 100 years old and wanted her wedding ring remoulded and engraved with her initials, she was married in 1932."
Mr Bell said the new ring made her day; she passed away two years later.
But it's not just these memories that make his job special.
"Men are more romantic than women," he said.
"November and December are always that busy times when the men come in looking for engagement rings.
"I like to give them little tips and tell them if they are going out somewhere special to propose to tie a rope around the ring so they don't lose it."
The store is open Monday-Friday and Saturday mornings.