Meet Gina Saunders of Gaines Jewelers
Gaines Jewelers (formerly George L. Gaines after its original owner) has been a family-owned full-service jewelry and gift store in downtown Lakeland for 85 years. Originally opened as a watch repair shop,
George Gaines and his wife Doris elevated their business into a bridal, giftware,, and jewelry store. Suzanne Gaines continued that tradition.
New Ownership: In December 2017, Gina and Dean Saunders, both longtime Gaines customers, purchased the store and changed the name to Gaines Jewelers. Gina and Dean moved to Lakeland in 1983 after graduating from the University of Florida and getting married Dean went to work with then US Senator Lawton Chiles and Gina taught school. Dean currently owns Saunders, Raulston, and Dantzler Real Estate, a local real estate company.
Gina and Dean wanted to continue to be able to shop at their favorite store and have it continue its legacy as a generational business. The most impactful factor in the final commitment to purchase the business was news of Gina’s remission after battling stage 3 Ovarian Cancer. After 6 months of intense chemotherapy and endless amounts of prayer and support from her family and community, the news of being in remission was something to be celebrated – so Gina did just that.
Purchasing the store was her way of ‘celebrating every day’ – she loves and finds joy being a part of not only a legacy business but also being a part of all of our customers’ special moments to be celebrated.