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About Us

Our Story


Jim and Joanne Gugg, business owners


HTG Design Jewelers offers our clients exceptional value in high quality, one-of-a kind jewelry creations. We will work together with you to design a personalized piece that reflects personality, creativity and individuality. We offer our clients:

  • Excellent Ideal-Cut Diamonds

  • Unique, Fine Quality Gemstones

  • Life-time Workmanship Guarantee

  • Expert Jewelry Repair

Our family owned business, founded in 1984, has strived to offer our clients uncompromising quality and unsurpassed service at exceptional value. Located in historical Downtown West Bend, HTG Design Jewelers represents the niche between art and ordinary retail jewelry.


In college, Jim Gugg switched majors from veterinary medicine to metalsmithing. And he hasn't looked back since. Jim graduated from Kansas State University in 1980 with a Bachelors of Fine Arts and a major in Metalsmithing. His work was featured in art shows across the country and awards were won for many of his two-dimensional pieces. After settling in Milwaukee with his wife, Joanne, Jim began working in the jewelry industry and 3 years later they started HTG Design Jewelers. When asked what the HTG stands for, Jim quips, Hope To God (this business will survive). The initials actually represent family names.

“Most people have goals. When I graduated from college, my goal was to live off the land given to me by my landlord, located in the Montana wilderness. I took classes that would help me to be self-reliant: metalsmithing to make tools and cooking utensils, and textile classes to use wool to make clothing. Two and three-dimensional artwork to be able to purchase supplies I couldn't make myself.

The Good Lord had other plans for me. Three years and two children later, HTG Design Jewelers was born. I originally started out doing repair and design for other jewelers, and at one point was single-handedly working for 13 stores. It was then I decided to open my own retail store. My mission was to make jewelry that didn't have to be repaired because of poor quality workmanship and materials. Also, to repair jewelry that only had to be repaired once. And I guaranteed that.

Forty-one years and eight kids and eight grandkids later, that is still my guarantee. I now can offer my clients some of the most unusual gemstones cut by world class award winning cutters and fine, excellent ideal cut diamonds. I work with my clients to come up with designs that are as personal and unique as the person receiving the piece. I can use the  gold and stones from existing pieces or supply whatever is needed to create the ultimate piece of jewelry  that people have come to expect from my workbench. And all goldsmithing, gold and silver casting,  including all repairs, are done here, on our benches.” 

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