Jewelry shops can often feel like museums—quiet, sparsely decorated places where all the really cool stuff is locked behind glass. Brothers David and Eric Casares believe shopping for valuables should be a lot more fun. So when they opened Aurora’s Mile High Jewelers, they traded the elevator music for hip-hop and the delicate strands of pearls for dazzling grills and custom pendants. (Look for the gold diamond-studded pieces they crafted for Broncos wide receiver Cody Latimer, which feature his initials, at the Broncos preseason home opener on August 26.)
It’s an approach that’s resonated with the community: In four years, the Casareses have gone from making jewelry for friends out of a North Denver barbershop to crafting custom pieces for local rappers like Trev Rich and athletes like boxing champ Mike Alvarado—not to mention around 20 Denver Broncos. “People started thinking, ‘If it was good enough for a Broncos player, it was good enough for me,’ ” Eric says. Riding that momentum, Mile High opened its first brick-and-mortar shop last December at the Town Center at Aurora and added a second location in Highland in May.
Eric, 35, oversees the finances (he holds a master’s degree in organizational leadership), and 37-year-old David handles the creative end (he trained at the Texas Institute of Jewelry Technology and worked for Tiffany & Co.). And while the Casareses’ over-the-top watches, engagement rings, and whopping gold chains are the real showstoppers, their turnaround times are just as striking. Designing, producing, and casting almost all their custom jobs in-house allows Mile High to fill orders in just days, not months. So if you see a Bronco flashing a Casares piece during a week one press conference, don’t be surprised if he’s sporting something new by week two.