The History of Hiller Jewelry
Hiller Jewelry was founded in 1918 by Alphonse Hiller who began as a wholesaler of fine and costume jewelry. Originally, the store was located in the Godchaux Building on the corner of Canal Street and Decatur in downtown New Orleans. In those days, Hiller customers were owners of retail stores throughout Louisiana and Mississippi.
In the 1930s, Alphonse brought in his son, Jonas, to join the family business. As Jonas learned the trade, he began to travel extensively to New York, forging lasting relationships with some of the jewelry industry’s top manufacturers. Hiller Jewelry was on its way, selling fine jewelry and precious gems at prices the competition envied.
In the decades that followed, New Orleans changed and Hiller Jewelry changed along with it. Jonas, now president, increased Hiller Jewelry’s selection of gold and platinum pieces. Diamonds and colored stones like rubies, sapphires and emeralds became Jonas’ specialty as Hiller continued to bring retailers across the country the finest in gems and jewelry. To this day, our customers reminisce about how they had to climb up flights of stairs and be buzzed in through an iron gate to see Mr. Hiller. Jonas was loved by all and he loved what he did.
Changing with the Times
The 1970s and ‘80s brought with it significant changes for the company. Hiller Jewelry shifted its emphasis from wholesale to retail, bringing together the best of both worlds: the incredible knowledge and contacts with manufacturers and quality product direct to the consumer. Jonas’ son-in-law, Joe Biderman, joined the business, quickly becoming Hiller’s right-hand man. Together, they grew Hiller Jewelry to new heights. When Jonas died in 1991, Biderman became president of Hiller Jewelry. In 1994, the store relocated from downtown New Orleans to Veterans Boulevard in Metairie, and in 2010 moved into a quaint location on Metairie Road, where it remains today.
The family tradition continues. Biderman is still president and he works side by side with his wife, Joan, daughter, Lisa, and sister-in-law, Patti Hiller Lengsfield. Even the family dog, Lady, comes to the store daily and greets the customers as they walk through the door. Together, they strive to keep Hiller Jewelry competitive in the ever-changing marketplace.
Like Father, Like Daughter at NOLA's Hiller Jewelry
Following in her father’s footsteps led Lisa Biderman home to New Orleans