This Sunday, September 10, 11:00 a.m. to 4 p.m., Kaylah Diamonds & Jewelry (formerly Kaylah Designs) will celebrate the grand opening of its new location, 1312 Reisterstown Road (the former Weinreb & Friedman location). I had the pleasure of speaking with owner, Brian (Menashe) Minkin, and learned that it was the love and respect he had for his mother, Kaylah, a”h, whose name his family run jewelry business proudly bears, that led up to its exciting move. Brian shares his personal inspirational story with our readers….

Baltimore, MD - Sept. 7, 2017 - My mother Karol (Kaylah) started the business in 1985, when I was six years old living in Marlboro, New Jersey.  She was a single mother of 4 and needed to find a way to support our family.   She was a lively, outgoing person, whom everyone loved.  A friend who manufactured costume jewelry, suggested that she take some of her merchandise to try to sell in beauty parlors and gift stores. She sold out on the first day. By the time I was nine years old, my mother had built up Kaylah Designs into a successful costume jewelry wholesale operation. 

I became religious in seventh grade while attending the Lakewood Hebrew Day School.   My relationship with the Baltimore community began when my Rebbeim encouraged me to attend high school at Ner Israel.  This was a life changing experience for me, but was a sacrifice for my mother whom I was very close with.  In 1999, I was learning in Beis Medrash with my eye on attending law school.  One day, I got a call from my step-father. He told me, ‘You have to come home; something is going on.’ They had just returned home from a trip and my mother wasn’t feeling well—she was diagnosed with leukemia and lymphoma. She was in stage 4, and the doctors didn’t have much hope.


Brian and his mother, Kayla, z'l

My mother sat me down and requested that I leave Yeshiva to assist her in running the business while she went through treatments.   I was conflicted as I did not feel ready to leave Yeshiva at that point. I consulted with my Rebbeim who encouraged me to do as my mother requested, but to be sure to keep regular learning sedarim.   I joined my mother in her business and started to learn the ropes.  It was a difficult few years as my mother went through chemo and I struggled to run her business.  I brought home whatever money I made and gave it to her to pay bills.  In those days, we did trade shows and I spent a lot of time on the road traveling to see customers.  We gradually transitioned from costume jewelry to higher quality sterling silver “look of real” jewelry.

In those days, we did trade shows and I spent a lot of time on the road traveling to see customers. (Closing the exhibit for Shabbos)


My next Baltimore connection began when my best friend set me up with my wife Chavie, who is a Baltimore native.  Unfortunately, my mother passed away 6 weeks after our wedding.  We had started off living in Lakewood to be near my mother, but after she was nifteres, we decided to move to Baltimore to be near Chavie’s family.   I moved the wholesale business into my in-laws’ basement.  Needless to say, we quickly outgrew the space, and moved to our first public location at the gentle urging of my mother-in-law.

Through a series of hashgacha pratis, I formed connections with people who taught me the precious metals and diamond business, which I have found to be my true calling.  In 2009 we moved to our corner store at 1414 Reisterstown Road, and Kaylah Designs gradually transitioned into a full-service fine jewelry store serving the community.  We also opened a second location in Lakewood, New Jersey. My wife has joined me in the business and many of our talented employees have been with us for years.  We are truly a family run business.  


Now, is an exciting time for our business.  Kaylah Designs is now Kaylah Diamonds & Jewelry and we are moving into the Weinreb & Friedman storefront at 1312 Reisterstown Rd.  Over the years Nechemia (Nick) Weinreb has been both a friend and mentor to me in the business.  Nick approached me about purchasing his retail business as he would like to focus solely on wholesale.  He trusts that I will provide excellent service and value to his customers.  We are remodeling an elegant new showroom which will showcase our expanded inventory and selection.  We have invested in the latest technologies, and are able to offer customers the opportunity to design unique custom pieces together with our talented designers.  (Some of our customized pieces are shown below.) We even complete part of the jewelry manufacturing process in house with the use of our 3D printer.  Our ultimate goal is to complete the entire manufacturing process in house.  We have a certified gemologist on staff, and maintain a full-service jewelry store including appraisals, in house jewelry repair, estate buying and much more.

Our current corner location at 1414 Reisterstown Road is becoming the KD Gold & Coin Depot.  In this location, we will focus on buying precious metals from the public and will also sell gold and silver coins and bullion.  We offer guidance to customers who are interested in investing in gold and silver. 

It’s been quite a journey until this point, and I am so grateful that I am able to work every day doing something that I love.  I know that my mother is proud of her namesake business, and I look forward to continuing to serve this wonderful community. 


A sampling of customized pieces manufactured by Kayla Designs now Kaylah Diamonds & Jewelry