November-December 2014 | NO BOUNDARIES




Kyle Bounds turned a childhood dream into his professional passion, and now his breathtaking jewelry designs are the talk of the Eastern Shore

Written By: Jonathan Westman | Photographer: Grant L. Gursky

For jewelry lovers, there’s an emotional connection they feel when wearing their most prized pieces. It’s intimate. It’s euphoric. It’s personal. The same can be said about customers who share in the experience of creating breathtaking custom jewelry with Kyle Bounds at Kyle Edward Fine Jewelry.  

Pursuing a dream that he’d envisioned since the age of 10, Kyle, along with his wife, Kate, opened Kyle Edward Fine Jewelry in Salisbury two years ago. It was the culmination of a journey that took him from jewelry school to the Diamond District of Manhattan and back home to work on the Eastern Shore. At each stop, Kyle accumulated a wealth of knowledge and enhanced his abilities, but perhaps most important, he continued to flourish creatively. 

“The beautiful thing about making custom jewelry is that the vision becomes a one-of-a-kind reality,” Kyle said. “There’s a tremendous sense of pride that comes from a satisfied customer wearing something I’ve made.”

His passion for fine jewelry, and admiration for its creators, began at the young age of 10. It was then that Kyle would travel with his grandmother, Delores Heidt, on buying trips to New York City as she purchased items for her successful retail operation. During his first visit to the jewelry capital he would one day work in, Kyle was fascinated by jewelers crafting precious keepsakes at their benches and spent hours watching them intently. Those experiences captivated his young imagination and fueled his desire to become a jeweler himself someday.

“I distinctly remember the sounds of the clanging metals and the bright colors of the burning torches, the saws and the files and the beautiful gemstones on the jewelers’ benches,” Kyle recalled. “I had no idea what they were doing at the time, but I knew then that I wanted to do that. And I have literally followed that vision.” 

“He is so talented and such an honest, kind young man,” said Delores, who’s also a former Rockette. “He shines as much as his jewelry. I always knew that whatever he did, it would be extraordinary, and I’m so very proud of him.”

One of Kyle’s many satisfied customers is Kurt Wehberg, M.D., chief of cardiothoracic surgery at Peninsula Regional Medical Center, who had trusted the jeweler to design and make the most important piece he ever purchased.   

“I was introduced to Kyle eight years ago, while planning a fairy-tale engagement at Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany, to my wife,” recalled Dr. Wehburg. “He helped design the most perfect, flawless engagement ring so that my wife would feel like a princess in a castle. Since then, Kyle has become a very special part 
of our family. We have been blessed with four daughters, for whom Kyle designed very special 18-year-old birthday pendants. Kyle has been phenomenal in finding the perfect gem for each of my daughters’ and wife’s individual preferences while preserving my simplicity in taste.”

“I wish women could see the love that goes into a piece of jewelry Kyle has made for them,” said Kate, a registered respiratory therapist who now works full-time at the studio with her husband. “I love how much attention men pay to the details and how they work with Kyle on the engineering behind the jewelry. Needless to say, a new friendship is created with every piece of jewelry that Kyle makes.” 

Women are keenly aware of Kyle’s work, as well. Coldwell Banker Realtor Ginnie Malone shared: “I have been very pleased with what Kyle has been able to offer. He has a talent to create one-of-a-kind pieces that are so special.”

“I visit often because Kyle and Kate always have new, unique, custom-made jewelry,” said Pamela Lankford. “The craftsmanship is excellent and his attention to detail and repairs are impeccable!”

The Kyle Edward studio, on S. Salisbury Blvd., is a warm and unpretentious environment designed to stimulate a customer’s senses through rich colors, pinpoint lighting and soothing music. The walls are handsomely decorated with the works of local artists, while the stunning collection on display is instantly impactful and features distinctive pieces in gold and silver, adorned with an impressive variety of big, bold precious stones. Purposefully created with only a handful of jewelry display cases, this boutique setting promotes both relaxation and an open dialogue about one’s likes, dislikes, experiences with and desires for jewelry.

“We warmly welcome anyone interested in a new and special item to stop by and talk with us over a cup of coffee or a glass of Champagne,” Kyle said. “The process should always start with a conversation — not a catalogue. It’s so important to establish a relationship with our customers, and that starts from the very first meeting. I’m fascinated to learn about a person’s love of jewelry.”

Unlike most jewelers, Kyle strategically places the tools of his trade so that they are clearly visible to every customer in his studio. His reason for doing so is an expression of both function and formality.

“I want every customer to know that their custom jewelry is created here,” Kyle said. “It is being designed and milled right here. I also want them to see the machines running and experience exactly what transpires in the creation of their ring or pendant or necklace.” 

“Whether a customer wants to use a family heirloom in a new design or is starting from scratch, Kyle can create exactly what they have in mind,” Kate said. “There have been multiple occasions when a bride-to-be has come in with a picture of their dream engagement ring and Kyle has made it — and every time, they think it looks even better than the example they brought in.”

They say that diamonds are a girl’s best friend, and Kyle Edward Fine Jewelry uses only the finest diamonds in the industry. Hand-selected by Kyle himself, the quality and color of each diamond is shared extensively with the customer so that they have a clear understanding of the price and value of the stone.

“Our diamonds come from the same diamond house that supplies Harry Winston and Tiffany’s, just without their price tag,” Kyle said. “They are all triple-x, GIA-certified and handset set by one of seven diamond setters in New York City whom I know personally. This is all done by hand and all done in the United States, which is very important to me.” 

A self-proclaimed computer geek, Kyle combines a meticulous understanding of his craft and his boundless imagination with the very latest in industry technology. His new 3-D printer allows him to create virtually anything a customer can think of — from fingerprints and footprints stamped in rings and pendants to a loved one’s handwriting, favorite flowers, fish and even cars, into precious keepsakes. 

“It’s a very exciting time because technology allows us to explore creations that were not possible just a few years ago,” Kyle said. “I am constantly learning and constantly exploring new designs and techniques that I can incorporate into jewelry for our customers.”

While technology continues to change, Kyle has not, according to Kate.  

She said his approachability and humility provide customers the perfect sounding board for questions about their existing jewelry or a new design concept. Because Kyle Edward’s business motives are rooted in customer service and establishing meaningful relationships with their customers, establishing trust is a top priority. 

“I have known Kyle since we were kids, and he is exactly the same as the day I met him in fifth grade,” Kate said. “I love working with Kyle. He teaches me something every day, and his love for his art is contagious. His talent is mind-blowing, and I love how happy he makes our customers — and it’s 100 percent genuine. Honesty is so important in this business, and we take tremendous pride in it every day.” 

Kyle Edward Fine Jewelry also features handsome designer jewelry other than Kyle’s. In addition to creations by Oliver Webber, Kyle offers unique giftware from Vagabond House that is perfect for wedding gifts, as well as full-service jewelry and watch repair, among other services. The studio is open daily with the exception of Mondays, and Kyle and Kate always encourage jewelry enthusiasts to stop in, share a conversation over a cup of coffee and experience the latest custom piece that has come to life. It’s exactly what Kyle has envisioned since those days traveling with his grandmother and precisely what takes place inside Kyle Edward Fine Jewelry.

“I make jewelry that I fall in love with. I really get attached to my pieces,” Kyle said. “They’re a part of me, essentially. And I am so happy to share them with people who love them, too. I have one of the most rewarding jobs. Jewelry provides pleasure, and to play the leading role in its creation is a pretty awesome feeling. I love it.” 


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