Antrobus Designs features unique hand-crafted jewelry
Antrobus Designs, a jewelry store at 2247 Warrensville Center Road in University Heights, is unique. Owned by Peter and Melissa Antrobus, the store sells handcrafted and custom-designed jewelry, most made by Peter. It also carries jewelry created by other local artists.
The store originally opened across the street, above Geraci’s Restaurant, in the spring of 1999. It moved to its current location in May 2008.
Peter, 56, grew up in Wilmslow, England. When he was 14, he saw a television documentary about a silversmith. “I immediately decided that was what I wanted to do,” he said. Two years later, he left school and began a three-year apprenticeship with a goldsmith.
“That’s when I started making jewelry,” said Peter. “And the person I learned from made everything by hand, so I learned a lot of hand technique.”
His wife, Melissa, 48, grew up in Cleveland Heights and attended Heights High. Initially, she wanted to be a singer and actor, but she ultimately graduated from Cleveland State University with a degree in communications and marketing. She then went into desktop publishing, design and software training.
Peter, meanwhile, decided that he wanted to leave England. His parents had moved to Cleveland in 1978, after his father, a steel-industry engineer, was transferred here. Peter followed two years later. He met Melissa at a local health spa, where she was teaching aerobics. They married in 1991, and have three daughters: Jess, 22, Chloe, 18, and Taryn, 16.
Melissa, who said she didn’t know anything about jewelry before she met Peter, now handles the business operations, including marketing, bookkeeping and the website.
Peter's workshop is in the back of the store. Customers can look through the windows and watch as he designs and creates much of the store’s jewelry. All the jewelry Peter creates is made of gold or platinum, and, as a result, isn’t cheap. The least-expensive item costs about $400. One of his necklaces retails for $17,000. But some of the jewelry created by other local artists is not quite as expensive.
Peter also works with his customers to design custom-made pieces. “The ability to make something from scratch allows us to work on more complex pieces,” he said. “I really care about the work I do. It’s more than a business to me.” He believes his caring is part of what makes the store special.
The Antrobuses lived in Cleveland Heights for many years, but now make their home in Orange. Still, they love the Heights. “People here have a more sophisticated sense of design and more sophisticated taste,” Peter said. “It’s an artistic community, and that allows for more appreciation of quality and design.”
2247 Warrensville Center Road, University Heights
Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Closed Sunday and Monday
James Henke, a Cleveland Heights resident, was a writer and editor at Rolling Stone magazine for 15 years. He is also the author of several books, including biographies of Jim Morrison, John Lennon and Bob Marley.