Monica Jergins has loved jewelry since she was a little girl.

“I remember picking up rocks and crystals on the playground and playing with them,” she said.

Now she runs the store that her father instituted in New Braunfels 37 years ago.

Ernesto’s Jewelry has been in business since 1981, and they do not plan on going anywhere anytime soon, Jergins said.

Ernesto “Ernie” Jergins began his business by selling jewelry at a flea market.

Over time his sales evolved and allowed him to open the storefront, which is now located in the Marketplace Shopping Center on I-35.

“People think I’ve taken the store over from my dad, but he’s here every day.” Jergins said. “It’s truly a family affair. … I’ve always come to work with my dad, and my daughter comes to work with me.”

Ernesto’s even has multigenerational employees.

Casey Chafin works on the sales floor, and so did her grandmother.

“I’ve known their family for a long time, and I knew this would be a good place for me,” Chafin said.

Jergins and Ernie travel to jewelry shows around the country to select the most unique handmade pieces for their customers.

Bridal jewelry is the main focus at  Ernesto’s, and the father-daughter duo makes sure to offer items to suit every bride’s personality with both classic and trendy jewelry.

“There’s something here for everyone—at every price point,” Chafin said.

If a customer does not find exactly what he or she is looking for, he or she can create custom pieces as well.

“Someone can bring a photo in, and I can find it. I can either find something that looks like it, or we can make it,” Jergins said.

Even without walking into the store, many people in New Braunfels may have heard the Ernesto’s name because the company gives back to the community by supporting local events, organizations and charities. Ernesto’s also awards scholarships at New Braunfels and Canyon high schools each year.