Sustainable. We often see this word used to describe jewelry and other consumer goods, and we ask ourselves just what the word means. Is it simply a trendy industry buzzword? Is it meaningful to our customers?
When we think of sustainability in the jewelry collections we sell, we’re referring to something beyond the common practice of designers using precious recycled metals that have been melted after a previous incarnation. At Max’s, social responsibility is of paramount importance in our business practices. When sourcing new designers, we purposely seek out those whose work is handcrafted either in their studio or in a partner studio, not farmed out to offshore factories for mass production, and those who create their collections in an environmentally-safe and conscientious manner.
Many of our designers are members of industry organizations that advocate for safe and fair business practices. They create their work using ethically-sourced gemstones from suppliers whose stones have received certification by the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, a joint governments, industry and civil society initiative formed in 2002 as a means of stemming the flow of conflict diamonds.
Additionally, some belong to other industry organizations that support and promote responsible business practices. Designer Todd Reed is a member of No Dirty Gold which advocates for responsible gold mining practices, and Diamond Development Initiative whose certification scheme protects the most vulnerable group of diamond miners and their communities. Jennifer Dawes of Dawes Designs and one of our newest designers, Todd Pownell of TAP by Todd Pownell, are members of Ethical Metalsmiths, the jeweler advocacy group that fosters social and environmental responsibility by supporting ethical mining operations and safe manufacturing processes in their studios. Knowing how principled these hardworking designers are makes us appreciate their exquisite work even more!
This is what sustainable means to us. What does it mean to you?
Is there really such a thing as too much chocolate? You might think it’s a strange answer coming from me, but I say yes there is. I feel this way every year at this time after I’ve been shopping at the Fancy Food Show looking for new delicious and different chocolate for Max’s. Two solid days of taste after taste (I know, sounds pretty great, doesn’t it?!?!) does really get to be bit much. One of the things that gets tough when you’re trying so many different chocolates is the ability to decipher the nuances between them (that’s where the coffee samples come in handy–cuts through the sugar!). Having said all of this, I’m happy to report that I did sacrifice my stomach (and waistline!) in the name of research that would allow me to expand our already fabulous (if I do say so myself) selection of chocolates.
So what did I find?
Gluten free, dairy free, soy free EVERYWHERE! As someone who is lactose intolerant, sensitive to soy and who just found out she has a pretty serious gluten sensitivity, this was really nice to see. The allergen-free messaging was abundant in just about every category of food, and chocolate was no exception.
In the world of chocolate there were chocolates that have sweeteners other than cane sugar which is great for people who want to eat a less highly processed diet and who are watching their sugar intake. Coconut sugar, beer sugar and honey are examples of alternative sweeteners. There were a fair amount of chocolatiers using safflower oil (and even one using pine tree oil!) and there were several using safflower lecithin instead of soy lecithin.
In addition to bringing some chocolate into Max’s that are using these different ingredients, we will also be expanding our selection in terms of the countries we represent–either in terms of the origin of beans, the place of manufacture or the style of chocolate being produced. Stay tuned for new arrivals from the U.K., Germany, Italy and the USA.
I’ve gone to this food show for 10 years and I really think that this year’s show was the best in terms of variety offered and products that excite me for Max’s. Our new selections will begin to arrive this month and you’ll be track their arrivals on FB and our Instagram feed. In the meantime, I need to go hit the gym!
30 – 80% off on select items. Need we say more?
Question for you – what do a pair of bright yellow and black bumble bee cufflinks, a pirate key chain and a hand blown glass paperweight have in common? Here at Max’s, we think they all make fabulous gifts for your dad and grad! Yep, it’s a double-whammy in terms of gift giving this month and we’ve got you covered. Allergic to the bumble bees? How about the red guitar or the rabbit or the skull with a moving jaw? We love all of these fabulous and fun cuff links from British design house Deakin & Francis.
And for the women who are graduating? Well, there are lots of choices for them too including fabulous wrap bracelets, hoops and studs, layering necklaces – you know, that type of jewelry that you love to wear every day. Of course, we think that a little something sweet works too, so we’re all stocked up on a variety of chocolates, including my current favorites – chocolate with quinoa and chocolate made with coconut milk. So for the dads and grads in your world, come on in and let us help you find that perfect something-something!
Trunk Show: Thursday, June 18 – Saturday, June 20
Suzy Landa is a stone junkie. Those aren’t my words, those are hers. She says that she falls in love with a stone first, and then creates a design that best shows it off. Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? She also says that she doesn’t follow trends when creating her jewelry which I LOVE about her. She’s got a strong enough sense of who she is and confidence in her designs that she doesn’t feel the need to be trendy. That’s good news for all of us who like to wear her jewelry, because it means that we won’t see ourselves coming and going all over town. If your attendance at prior trunk shows is any indication, Suzy is one of your favorite designers. We love it when Suzy is in the store with her entire collection because the vibrancy of the gemstones she uses in her jewelry just lights things up — and she’s a lot of fun! Rather than me continuing on about all that I think is so right about Suzy’s approach to design and the corresponding results, why not listen to her talk about her approach and how she does what she does.
At the risk of sounding a bit like a broken record, I find it amazing that another year has flown by and that Max’s is another year older. When we opened our doors, I don’t know that I can honestly say what I thought the store would be like nine years out. What I can say though, is that it’s been a terrifically fun journey filled with great new relationships with our customers and designers and staff. Who can argue that coming to a place filled with beautiful jewelry and delicious chocolates every day is a pretty sweet deal?!?! I am so in awe of what our designers’ brains develop, and love selecting from their creations to bring them to Max’s with the hope that you’ll react to them the same way I do.
When I left the corporate world to open Max’s, I referred to it as the start of “Chapter 2″ in my life. Nine years later, I’m still writing, and have every expectation and hope — with your fantastic support and a bit of luck — that it’s going to be a VERY long chapter. I hope that you’ll stay tuned!
There are a number of things that happen every year. It snows (well, ok, only if you live in certain places), you have to file a tax return (yep, sorry, that’s not optional), young adults toss their hats in the air during commencement ceremonies, there are fire works sent high into the sky in July, and holiday decorations start springing up in many shopping establishments the day after Halloween. One of the other things we do, if we’re lucky to have her, is celebrate mom. Yep, Mother’s Day. Did you know it’s this Sunday? Need some ideas? How about this for starters. Given that it’s spring and the time of year that flowers start to bloom, we’re in love with these hydrangea earrings from John Iversen, one of the newest designers to join Max’s collection. The hydrangea is one of John’s signature styles, and is available in gold or silver, with different numbers of blooms. We think it’s perfect for mom, because you were thinking of getting her flowers anyway — right?!?!
Do you know what’s fun? Here at Max’s, it’s welcoming one of our designers to the store for the very first time. On May 1-2, we’re welcoming Sara Freedenfeld, the designer of Amali jewelry to the store for a trunk show. Sara discovered her passion for making jewelry while backpacking through South America. While in Chile, she learned to combine natural elements with knotted strings to form intricate wearable art. In Venezuela, she met an artist who taught her the how to link and mold metal and things took off from there. Drawing inspiration from the natural landscapes and vibrant textiles that she saw during her travels, Sara hand weaves gold chain and gemstones together to create jewelry that is sophisticated and glamorous. We couldn’t be more thrilled to represent her in the store and welcome her for her Twin Cities visit. She’ll be in the store on May 1-2, which – hint, hint — just happens to be in time for some Mother’s Day shopping!
Is it jewelry as art, or art as jewelry? That’s a question we often ask ourselves when we’re choosing designers to represent and I don’t think that any designer walks that line more than Alex Sepkus. Alex is a self-described “intellectual eccentric,” composing each of his designs as a mosaic – it’s a compilation of many intricate pieces that come together in a harmonious, artful way. The components in each piece are so small that microscopes are needed to execute the work. His work is inspired by the Renaissance and Baroque eras, interpreted with a very modern approach, resulting in designs that are at once playfully quirky and eclectic, featuring extraordinary beauty and quality. I am so proud that Max’s is the exclusive Twin Cities retailer for Alex’s work and invite you to see this magnificent jewelry. While we carry his work throughout the year, we will be hosting a trunk show on April 24 and 25, enabling you to see and choose from even more and decide for yourself — is it jewelry or is it art?
“When I find a colour darker than black, I’ll wear it. But until then, I’m wearing black,” legendary designer Coco Chanel once said. At Max’s, we are surrounded daily by the vibrant colors of the gemstones in our artists’ collections – rich tones that energize and inspire us. But sometimes we crave the ease, elegance and timelessness of black.
In the art world, white is considered the absence of all color while black is the presence of all color. The color black implies independence, power, mystery, seduction, confidence, sophistication and intrigue. It’s those attributes that draw us to the color black and lead us to believe that, yes, you can wear black to a wedding. And it’s why some of our most talented jewelry artists dare to create wedding pieces in black – from working with black diamonds to oxidized metals, they design work that is at once unusual yet classic. It’s what makes black the perfect color for a wedding and for every day.
Many of our designers understand the allure and importance of black, using it extensively in their collections. The collections from Todd Reed and Yasuko Azuma feature rings and other jewelry created of oxidized sterling silver coupled with gold or precious gemstones in designs spanning from bold to delicate. And the wedding and engagement rings with black diamonds, such as the one featured here by Pamela Froman, that have a timeless appeal and will evoke sophistication and elegance for a lifetime.
Our offerings of black wedding jewelry extend beyond rings for the betrothed. We also carry an array of earrings, bracelets, necklaces and cuff links (we love these from Deakin & Francis) that will beautifully adorn the couple and their attendants and will delight others who receive them as gifts to thank them for being part of a most special day.
So in response to that old adage about not being able to wear black to a wedding — we say “bring it on!!!!”
What do you think – can we officially call it spring yet? Even though Mother Nature surprised us this morning with a bit of snow (ok, it is March in Minnesota — I guess we shouldn’t really be THAT surprised!), I’m willing to take that bet and say yes, which means that it’s time for a little spring cleaning. This is the time of year when you may be used to seeing me write about going through your jewelry drawer to find those items which, while they have great stones in them, you never pull them out to wear. Rather than just close the drawer back up and forget about them for a while longer, how about bringing them to create something new with them – something that you actually will love to wear. Montreal-based jewelry designer Janis Kerman is making her annual visit to Max’s this weekend for a trunk show and custom design event. It’s a perfect time to work with someone who is a master with using stones and other materials from your existing jewelry to create something that speaks to your current style and mood. If you’re in the market for a custom engagement ring, Janis would love to design that with you too. In addition to custom design work, Janis has a line of highly contemporary, artful jewelry that I really love to wear and I hope that you will too.
In addition to Janis’ jewelry, we will have an expanded collection of the Bande des Quatres line. Bande des Quatres is a collaboration between Janis and her daughter Erin Wahed, and is heavily influenced by the Bauhaus masters, world renowned architects and abstract photographers.
The show is open to everyone but, if you’d like to meet with Janis to talk about custom design, please give us a call to make an appointment. It’s time that the “old” jewelry drawer stopped collecting dust!
Transformation…defined as change, metamorphosis, alteration. As we turned the calendar earlier this week to the hopeful month of March (and see today that the first day of spring is just 13 days away…not that we’re counting!), our thoughts turn to transformation. Here in Minnesota we endure months on end of dark, short, quiet, peaceful, cold, typically snowy days in anticipation of the transformation we’re treated to come late March when we hear the sounds of birds who’ve returned from points further south, see the early formation of tiny buds on our trees, and feel the slow approach of warmer temps. We know that just around the corner lies the invigorating, uplifting change that ushers us into a new season with the accompanying cacophony of sounds, smells and colors that mark spring and summer.
One way we are celebrating this season of change is by introducing our new Wedding Case – a designated spot in the store we’ve created to showcase the stunning wedding collections of our designers. As you know, our store layout is designed to highlight each designer’s work in its own space but, after conversations with many of our customers who asked to see our wedding ring collections, we thought it might be nice to have a spot where they could see a wide variety of options for their upcoming nuptials all in one place. Voila — the introduction of our Wedding Case! A transformation of how we present our wedding collections to our customers.
The new case features a sampling of fabulous rings and other wedding jewelry from an array of designer collections including Just Jules, Suzy Landa, Paul Morelli, Yasuko Azuma and many more. The variety of looks represented range from elegantly classic to bold and less conventional, reflecting our aim of reaching out to people with different personal styles, offering jewelry that evokes their individualism. Something for everyone – beauty and uniqueness that the wearer will treasure everyday.
And diamonds? We’ve all heard that diamonds are a girl’s best friend and we have lots and lots of diamonds — but some couples just don’t want a classic white diamond. They want something different, so for them we offer wedding rings with red, cognac or black diamonds and even raw diamonds. If you don’t care for a diamonds at all, there are several options for you including different color sapphires, tourmalines, ruby and more.
We hope you’ll stop by soon to see our new Wedding Case and other recent additions to our jewelry collections. As always, your feedback is welcome and don’t forget to sample the chocolate!
Welcome to our blog for 2015! We’re delighted to have you join the conversation about all things jewelry. We’re often told that coming to Max’s is like walking into “Cheers” where everybody knows your name. We love that comparison! We strive to create a casual environment where shoppers feel warmly welcomed and informed as they browse our collections.
With this being the season when so many couples become engaged, we wanted to kick off the new year with a special focus on wedding gems. At Max’s, we carry the lines of more than 50 of the world’s most respected fine artisan jewelers – many of them have wedding-specific collections and others have pieces ideal for couples who wish to have something more alternative. The common thread that weaves all of our designers together is a commitment to creating stunning, artistic work that’s handmade applying superior craftsmanship to designs using the finest, ethically-sourced gemstones and precious metals. When we work with wedding customers, our goal isn’t to sell the biggest diamond – rather, we will offer the very highest quality diamond in an exquisite setting that evokes the wearer’s individual style and we will be able to share the story of each piece of jewelry and the designer who created it. That’s what sets Max’s apart from other jewelers. That, and the chocolate – it wouldn’t be a visit to Max’s without ever-present samplings from our many collections of gourmet chocolate confections!
Some of our wedding customers favor a bold, edgy look like those found in Todd Reed’s ring collections while others prefer a more delicately organic approach found in the Anne Sportun line. For couples seeking bespoke pieces, perhaps refashioning Grandma’s gems into an updated look, Max’s works with designers like Janis Kerman who are known for their custom work. With our vast array of designers representing a wide variety of aesthetic sensibilities at a variety of price points, there truly is something for everyone at Max’s.
In addition to wedding jewelry for the couple, Max’s offers fabulous gift items and accessories for the wedding party, from jewelry to handcrafted glass and other gift items. And for your guest favors, why not consider a gift of Max’s chocolate? Your guests will love you for it!
Thanks for visiting our blog! Please take a look at our collections and stay in touch – we’ll keep you updated with posts about jewelry trends, news from our shop and occasional posts from our designers.
Ok, so I know that there are skeptics out there who believe that Valentine’s Day is a holiday that’s been made up and hyped by the retail industry to spur sales. You know what I have to say about that? Bah humbug! I mean, c’mon — who can argue that saying “you’re special to me” is EVER a bad thing? We’re going to keep the holiday spirit alive with a TenThousandThings trunk show between February 11 and February 14 (that date ring a bell?) I’ve long been a fan of this jewelry and, last year while in the jewelry market, had the opportunity to meet with them and agree that Max’s would be a perfect venue for their designs. Our customers have been loving this jewelry since it arrived here — especially the necklaces that incorporate their signature technique of gold or silver beading on chain. They certainly stand on their own, but really make a great statement when layered. The price point of this deep and varied collection is very broad, making it a perfect option for many of your VIPs this Valentine’s Day!
Is that a question or am I about to tell you? How about a bit of both? I would be remiss, however, if I didn’t start things off by thanking you — our customers and friends — for your support and business last year. We love what we do at Max’s and we know that we couldn’t do it without you, and it’s my hope that you feel that from us every time you’re in the store. We’ve been busy making plans for 2015 which we’re confident will be better than ever, with new beautiful jewelry, trunk shows with artists who have never been to the store before and, of course, new chocolate confections that are sure to please the palette. I have often said that I think that most people believe that January is the time when retailers kick back and take it easy after the craziness that a busy holiday season can bring. That’s not the case at Max’s, as we roll right from the winter holidays into Valentine’s Day planning — we DO sell jewerly AND chocolate after all!
We’re going to start our event schedule early this year, kicking things off just in time for the day of love (anyone have a special gift they plan to buy?) with a Lauren K trunk show on February 6 and 7. Lauren describes her jewelry as bohemian chic and girlie with a bit of an edge. She says that her inspiration is not a particular stone or setting but, rather, the women she wants to reach –women who want feminine, beautiful jewelry that they can buy for themselves and wear everyday like their favorite perfume – I love it! It turns out that Lauren’s grandfather was also in the jewelry business and that she, like me, eventually came to the realization that the jewelry business was in her blood, so I guess you could say that it’s a perfect match between us. I can’t wait for you to see all of the beauties that Lauren has designed that will be in the store.
I met John, who works for Paul Morelli, at one of the very first trade shows I ever attended. I was about 3 months away from opening the store, and the Morelli booth was stationed at the very front of a hotel conference room where the trade show was occurring. The odd thing is that I didn’t even know about that show when I headed out of town — I had gone to Philadelphia for a larger show and found myself “stumbling” upon this smaller show. Such great luck! I was immediately taken with all of Paul’s beautiful jewelry (who wouldn’t be?) and thought it needed a home at Max’s. My friend who had come to the show with me encouraged me to hold off and wait a bit to gauge the response to the store, what was selling, etc. Solid advice, very practical. Ok, so fast forward about 18 months — time for another trip to Philadelphia (which, conveniently, is the home of Paul’s atelier where all of his gorgeous creations are…well…created). I called John and asked him if we could meet because I hadn’t been able to get the jewelry off of my mind. I was happy to learn that he hadn’t forgotten about Max’s either. Some things are just meant to be, and thus began the relationship with the The House of Paul Morelli.
I have lots of favorites of Paul’s work, and a couple of pieces have made their way straight from our showcases to my jewelry box at home. However, I have rarely swooned as much over a promotional photo as I did when I saw this one. Not only do I love the jewelry depicted (those of you who know me know about my “thing” with bracelets, and that ring — I mean — c’mon!), but I love what this image is saying. This, to me, depicts a woman who is strong, knows what she likes, gets what she wants, understands the importance of looking good and likes her scotch — gotta love all of that!
All of us at Max’s are really excited to welcome John to Max’s this weekend for his first visit, and cannot wait to see all that he is bringing with him. I hope that you’ll join us; the trunk show takes place on Friday, October 10 from 10am – 9pm, and Saturday, October 11 from 10am – 6pm. On Friday night, between 6-9, we’ll be celebrating the show with a cocktail reception. Expect to be wowed!
When I first met Ray Griffiths, he explained the crown work motif found on all of his jewelry by way of telling me he had been a repairer of crowns and tiaras in his native Australia; I laughed. Out loud. I mean — really now — just how many crowns and tiaras can there be in the world that need repair? When you live in a former British colony he told me, there can be a lot. Hmm, makes sense when you put it that way.
I love Ray’s jewelry. I love the crown work, I love the workmanship and quality, I love the stones and I love the way it feels when you wear it. In addition to being a master designer and craftsman, Ray is also passionate about the gemstones that make their way to his pieces. In his view, a perfect stone has no character or as he puts it, “no street cred”. It’s the imperfections – the inclusions and the color bands — that give a gemstone value, and “that make it real”. Gotta love that too because, well, isn’t it the imperfections that make all of us “real”? This is serious jewelry made by an artist who is very serious about his craft but who, when you interact with him, is tons of fun! That’s why I think you’re going to want to join us for this very special weekend as we welcome Ray to Max’s for his first trunk show. There’s an opening night reception from 6-9 on Thursday, June19, and the fun continues all day on Friday and Saturday, June 20-21. Come on in and find a crown that best fits you!
Today is Max’s 8th birthday! The most common response I’ve heard as I mentioned to people that our birthday was coming up at the end of the month is “Wow! I can’t believe it’s 8 years already!” To me, I don’t know if there are more days when it seems like the time has gone by quickly, or more days when I feel like we’ve always been here. What I do know is that I really have been able to recognize my dream of owning a successful jewelry store and, for that, I am grateful to so many people; most especially, our customers. The support, friendship and encouragement have been beyond measure, and I thank you, thank you, thank you. The same holds true for our designers who are part of the Max’s collection of fine jewelry — I am so proud to represent your beautiful creations. I also love it that I can call many of you my close friends.
When I was first putting the plans together for the store, I knew that I wanted to create an environment where people would feel comfortable and just want to hang out – kind of like the old “Cheers” bar – you know, where everyone knows your name. I love it that not only have we gotten to know so many of our customers, but that they have gotten to know a number of our designers and have formed their own relationships. We’ve added some new faces to our lineup of artist events this year, presenting an opportunity to develop some more new friendships.
The best present that we have is to do what we love. It’s especially sweet because, for us, it means that we’re surrounded by beautiful creations (ok, the chocolates make it sweet too!) all day long. We did receive another great present this week though — we were named to Town & Country‘s “The List: America’s Leading Independent Jewelers in 2014″. I can’t tell you how proud that makes all of us. That’s when it really hit me — we’ve done a lot in 8 years. I hope that you’ll stay tuned though, because 8 is DEFINITELY not enough!
This winter has been sooooo cold, sooooo snowy and soooo long, and we are anxiously anticipating lots of blooming flowers next week thanks to all of the rain we’ve had this week, and the fact that it’s (finally) May! Last fall, Max’s became the Twin Cities’ exclusive retailer for Alex Sepkus jewelry, and I couldn’t be any more proud of that. We’ve decided to now celebrate the addition of Alex’s jewelry to the Max’s collection with a party! Alex’s jewelry is recognized world-wide for its modern take on designs from earlier times including the Baroque and Renaissance eras and is often described as “playfully quirky”. Each piece of his jewelry is like a mosaic made from gold, platinum, diamonds and colored stones — a compilation of many intricate pieces that has to be done under a microscope. The rings in this picture are some of his “candy rings” which are among some of my favorites from this very extensive collection. We’re having a trunk show featuring Alex’s collection on Friday and Saturday, May 2-3, with an opening night reception and wine tasting with our friends from Amusee on Thursday May 1 (6pm-9pm) – and, yes, the jewelry will be available for purchase that evening.
But wait — there’s more! May just happens to be Max’s “birthday” month (May 22 is the exact date for anyone who is keeping track), and we think that calls for a party too! So, whatever it is that brings you in, I do hope that you’ll stop by to help us welcome spring (yes, puh-leese), see some absolutely gorgeous jewelry, and help us celebrate our birthday.
Spring cleaning isn’t just for the garage, and “something old, something new” doesn’t apply only to brides. I have a feeling that many of you are like me when it comes to the issue of “old” jewelry that’s sitting around in the back of a dresser drawer. It could be things that caught your eye at the time but are now far removed from your style, or maybe it’s some heirloom pieces that belonged to others in your family that you don’t quite know what to do with – but you do know that you’re not wearing them very often (or ever at all). For me, it was an issue of realizing that I had some beautiful things that I wasn’t wearing very often. I still really liked all of them but, because I now mostly wear jewelry from the artists whose work we represent in the store, I wasn’t wearing them. Enter Janis Kerman. Janis is a master at taking your “old” jewelry — pearls, diamonds, charms and other stones – and designing a piece that you’ll actually wear. This necklace is made from my mom’s pearls that I wore to my wedding, pearls that my husband gave me when he was my fiancee, aquamarine earring studs and an aqua/diamond necklace that he gave me, and the bracelet and earring jackets that I wore to my wedding. This is now such a special, sentimental piece of jewelry that I love to wear — and look how many individually sentimental items I can wear at once!
So, if you have some of that “old ” jewelry — come on, you know you do! — I invite you to think about scheduling a design appointment with Janis to create something special for you. In addition, Janis has her own line and is well known for her asymmetrical “mismatched” earrings that I absolutely love. The custom design event and trunk show will take place Thursday, April 24-Saturday, April 26.
It’s that time of year again — time for our annual live broadcast with The Shop Girls of myTalk 107.1! We’re excited to welcome Allison and Harmony and, this Valentine’s Day, we’re going to make this an extra special — and important — day in the store. February is National Heart Month, and we want to encourage you to think not only about the heart of everyone who is on your Valentines list, but also about YOUR heart, so we’ve got some teamed up with the University of Minnesota for what I know will be a fun AND informative event. I hope that you’ll join us on Saturday, February 8, as Dr. Monica Colvin-Adams from the U presents information about heart disease prevention and answers your questions — including any you might have about all of the news lately regarding the benefits of eating dark chocolate (you have been hearing/reading about that, right…???) In addition, we’re featuring a trunk show of fine jewelry artist Jamie Joseph’s collections. Jamie’s jewelry is a customer favorite, and the vibrantly colored stones she uses just might make your heart skip a beat. The trunk show takes place both Friday and Saturday, February 7 and 8, and a portion of the proceeds from the sales of Jamie’s jewelry will be donated to the Lillehei Heart Institute. So, a live broadcast with The Shop Girls on Saturday along with must-know heart health information, a fine jewelry trunk show Friday AND Saturday along with chocolate sampling — coming up at Max’s on February 7-8. Did I mention that Valentine’s Day is right around the corner….???
The holiday season is here and we’ve got you covered with three great jewelry designer trunk shows. We’re getting things started this weekend with our friend and jewelry designer extraordinaire Vicente Agor who has just released his new collection called “Swell”. This collection is really stunning and very appropriately named. This holiday, we think it’s all about letting it shine and we think that this collection epitomizes that. It’s a bit retro with a modern age – think Great Gatsby and the art deco period – think red carpet understated elegance – think beautiful black and white gems highlighted with gold – and you’ll start to get a feel for what the Swell collection is all about! Friday, December 6 – Sunday, December 8.
I have to admit that I’ve never been much of a Black Friday shopper. Don’t like the crowds. Don’t like the pushing and shoving. Don’t really care for the madness. Small Business Saturday on the other hand is something different because it supports retailers who are really trying to do their own thing — creating things, creating value, creating long-lasting customer relationships. Having said all of this, I like a great offer just as much as the next person and love the buzz of the holiday season. This year, Max’s is going to kick off the holiday shopping season with a special opportunity between Friday and Sunday that goes like this:
Spend $100 or more at one time (sorry, no combining of sales across the weekend) and enter a drawing to win one of the following:
1. A $100 Max’s gift card
2. A $75 Max’s gift card and box of chocolate-covered-sea-salt-sprinkled caramels from V Chocolates (yes, “those caramels!)
3. One of 3 gift packages that includes $25 worth of chocolates and a $25 Max’s gift card
So, how about shopping “small” with us this weekend and wrapping up all of your holiday shopping (maybe with some of these fabulous “wrap” bracelets!)
Max’s online store is open for business! After 7 1/2 years, we thought that it was time to change things up a bit — we’re now inviting you to shop online with us as well as in the store! We know that plenty of you like to do your scouting and research after hours from the comfort of your home (are you sitting on the couch right now?) and while we love nothing more than seeing you in the store, we realize that many of your want to buy it when you see it and may not be able to get into the store. Since the holiday shopping season is upon us, we couldn’t think of a more perfect time to launch the new site.
I’m sure you can appreciate that it takes a lot of time to add all of our products to the website. We’re working on it constantly, so please check back often to see what’s new. At the outset, we’re focused on our jewelry items, but you’ll be able to add home/gift products to your shopping soon and we’re working on the chocolates. As always, you can call us or send us an email to add additional products to your order.
We’re really excited about this! I hope you that you like the new website as much as I do — and I’d love to hear from you. In the meantime, let’s go shopping!
Twin Cities, meet Detroit. Detroit, meet the Twin Cities.
I’m incredibly excited to announce that Max’s will be representing Shinola, a new company based in my hometown of Detroit. Taking their name from the shoeshine manufacturer of the early 20th century, the new era of Shinola launched in fall of 2011. They partnered with Ronda, a world class Swiss movement manufacturer, to help them build a state-of-the-art watchmaking factory in Detroit, and then trained Detroit locals on the delicate process of movement and watch assembly. As makers of watches, leather goods, journals, and bicycles, they celebrate the beauty of industry and investment in the American workforce.
If you know us already, you know that Max’s prides itself on representing artists who both design and produce their work. I knew, therefore, that Shinola would be a great fit for Max’s when I saw their commitment to domestic production. Shinola’s men’s and women’s watches, including the movements, are fully assembled in Detroit. Their bicycles are also assembled in Detroit, using handcrafted, lightweight steel frames out of Waterford, Wisconsin. Their premium leather is produced by Horween, one of the longest continuously operational tanneries in America, and their journals are made in Ann Arbor, Michigan (GO BLUE!!!)
Now for the personal part of the story. I was born in Detroit and grew up in the surrounding suburbs. Max’s is named for my grandfather, who owned Max’s Jewelry Company for 54 years in Hamtramck, Michigan, a city within Detroit’s borders. I have watched the continued challenges in Detroit with much sadness, and cheer on every bit of good news that comes from the city. It is with utmost sincerity I say that Shinola is a very bright spot in the Motor City; I really do believe they are poised to do great things for my hometown. But beyond that, their American-made watches are simply gorgeous, featuring all high quality components and a classic design. I think you’ll love them just as much as I do.
Oh, one other thing — when I first looked on Shinola’s website and saw that the their watch factory is just down the street from Hamtramck, it put a big smile on my face.
Some things are just meant to be.
Everyone loves a wedding, right? We believe that love is always in style and, to show how serious we are about that, we’ve asked several of our designers to send us additional jewelry selections for you to choose from if you’re getting ready to march down that aisle. We’re going to kick things off into high gear on September 20 and 21 with a trunk show featuring the fabulous work of Todd Reed. The following week, between September 26 – 29, we will be hosting the Anne Sportun trunk show and Anne herself will be in the store ready to work with you and even do some custom designs. Because it’s a party, we’ve got some extra goodies lined up. Leslee Miller, Certified Sommelier and owner of Amusee, will be in the store on Saturday, the 21st and again Saturday the 28, for a wine tasting and she’ll be providing some wedding wine tips that will hopefully help you make a great selection for the big day. We will also have some floral ideas for you in the store from florist Arts & Flowers and, of course, lots of chocolates to try.
Ok, so you’re not getting married? Don’t let that keep you away, as both of these shows will include plenty of jewelry from Todd and Anne’s everyday collections and lots of chocolates to try. Oh, did I already mention that? Hmmmm…….
I first met Genevieve Yang at an American Craft Council show soon after I opened Max’s. I was new in the world of jewelry store owners and she was new in the world of jewelry designers. I was drawn to her work and we had a nice conversation and we said we’d keep in touch. We did for a while, but I didn’t see her at shows for the next few years so I didn’t pursue it. Fast forward to the JCK show in Las Vegas in 2012 when she was named a Rising Star and my eyes landed on her new (to me) collection based on the moon, stars and wild mountain landscapes. I fell in love with this collection for multiple reasons — the workmanship is flawless, the inspiration is so different, and it all comes together in a way that really exemplifies the question I often like to ask — “Is it jewelry as art, or art as jewelry?” I truly do think about Genevieve’s moon-and-star inspired jewelry whenever I look up and see a beautiful full moon, which there will be next week. The contrast of the diamonds against the oxidized silver has a very literal daytime/nighttime feel and that, combined with the imagery that the stars and moon represent, makes me daydream a bit as I sit and write this…..
There are a lot of words used to describe jewelry: cool, funky, big, bold, dainty, blingy, edgy. The word that I think best describes the work of Adel Chefridi, who is in the store for a trunk show this weekend, is pretty. That’s it — no extra words needed. Unless it’s very — as in VERY pretty. I love it that Adel says “the colors of natural gemstones are the best complement to the natural beauty of people. My work is an attempt to present the innate beauty of both the gemstones and the wearer.” There is so much to love about Adel’s work — the collection is wide-ranging from sterling silver rings, earrings and pendants with a sprinkle of gemstones (perfect for mom — you do realize that Mother’s Day is Sunday, don’t you?) to a beautiful white and yellow gold line. In fact, many of Adel’s rings from the gold collection have made their way to the fingers of some of Max’s brides. So if you need a gift for mom, you have a few graduation gifts to get, or you’d like something new “just because”, then we’ve got you covered with this weekend’s trunk show. Friday, May 10 from 10-7 and Saturday, May 11 from 10-6.
Can we all just agree that it’s about time that spring showed up? Spring is a great time for that “out with the old, in with the new” thing, so it only seems appropriate that it’s the time of year that we welcome jewelry designer Janis Kerman back to Max’s for a trunk show and custom design event. We will have quite a bit of Janis’ work in the store for you to purchase from the case, but she is best known for taking your “old” jewelry that you haven’t worn in years, and aren’t ever going to wear in the future and making it new and fabulous again with a custom design that fits your current style. Working with Janis is also a perfect opportunity for anybody who is interested in a custom designed engagement ring or wedding band. It’s easy to do – all that we ask is that you call the store to schedule a private design appointment so that we can be sure there’s enough time for Janis to create some sketches for you. The trunk show and design event run from Thursday, April 25 – Saturday, April 27.
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Tired of winter yet? Ah, yeah, that would be quite the understatement. While it looks and feels pretty nice outside today, we think that the weather folks have been using the “s” word a bit too much in their descriptions of upcoming weather. Well, we’re pretty tired of winter and are ready to “ring” in spring, so we’re holding a Jamie Joseph trunk show this weekend. We can’t wait to see the blues, pinks, greens and yellow stone rings that she sends – we know that they’ll be a perfect way to get in the mood for spring. Large stone jewelry is all over the market right now, and we just love the way that Jamie does it. The trunk show is this Friday and Saturday, March 15 and 16.
You may have heard me say this before, but some people have actually told me that max’s should be called the Valentine’s Day store given that we sell jewelry AND chocolate. While I’m not crazy about the name, I have to admit that I do love it that we’re so well prepared to be your one-stop destination for your Valentine’s Day shopping — or the shopping that someone is hopefully going to be doing for you! To get you in the mood for the big day, we’ve invited Allison Kaplan and Alexis Walsko, the fabulous ladies of The Shop Girls from MyTalk107.1, to join us on Saturday morning, February 9 for a live broadcast from the store. And wouldn’t it be nice to enjoy some of that chocolate that you might be buying for others or a tasty beverage while you’re looking for the perfect piece of sparkle for your Valentine? Uh huh, sure it would! So on the same day as the live broadcast, we’re going to have a chocolate and wine pairing event between noon-4 with Amusee. Amuesee’s owner and certified sommelier, Leslee Miller, will be on hand to pour and pair a number of international wines to with our artisanal chocolates. You don’t want to miss this one….it’s time to warm up before Saturday night’s snowfall and, more importantly, for Valentine’s Day! It’s all taking place this Saturday, February 9. Jewelry, chocolate, wine…..did I mention that Valentine’s Day is next week….????
Once again, I find myself asking the same questions I seem to be asking every year at this time–how in the world can the year be over already and how did it go by so quickly? I certainly don’t know the answers to those questions, but what I do know is that I couldn’t possibly ask for better customers! Your continued support and encouragement mean the world to me and I can’t thank you enough. 2012 was a great year for us as we introduced several new designers to Max’s collection of fabulous artists, hosted several designer trunk shows as well as a one of a kind show and our first-ever bridal event. Also new for us last year was a chocolate and wine pairing just in time for the holiday season (we thought that this was such a good idea, that we’re going to do it again in a few weeks before Valentine’s Day!) We’ve already started to plan our event schedule for the new year (besides the chocolate and wine!), so stay tuned for details because I’m confident it’s going to be really great — and a lot of fun. In the meantime, our semi-annual sale is underway, with savings on select items of at least 50% off of original prices, so you don’t want to miss this. On behalf of everyone at Max’s, I wish you and your family a happy and healthy new year. See you in ’13!
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Drumroll please…..it’s time for our last designer event of the year! Join us as we wrap up 2012 with the Anne Sportun jewelry trunk show from Thursday, December 20 through the end of the day Saturday, December 22. One of your, our customers, definite favorites, Anne’s inspiration comes from nature and it really shows in the simple elegance of her organic designs. Earrings, necklaces, bracelets (these wrap bracelets double as a necklace!) and, of course, rings — and you thought your holiday shopping was finished! Anne has also really expanded her bridal line so maybe that’s the part of her collection that will be of interest to you. This is typically our most popular event of the year, so I hope that you’ll stop by — Thursday from 10-7, Friday from I can’t promise it, but I’ve heard that Santa might even make a stop at the show!
We’re having a birthday party this weekend! Actually, we’re having 2 birthday parties! Our friend and jewelry designer Vicente Agor returns to the Twin Cities to launch his brand new retro-inspired collection of black, white and bold colors on mother-of-pearl background. We are celebrating with Vicente this weekend with a double-birthday party in honor of his 50th birthday and the 10th anniversary of his double organ transplant. As always, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of Vicente’s jewelry will be donated to Life Source and to the University of Minnesota. On Saturday, we’re going to really add to the festivities with a wine and chocolate pairing between noon and 4 with sommelier Leslee Miller of Amusee.
But wait, there’s more! It’s going to be hopping at Excelsior & Grand as our friends down the street at Gourmet Oil & Vinegar are having a holiday open house with holiday entertaining appetizer ideas (and, by ideas, I mean samples!) and a visit from local food personality Sue Zelickson. So, as you can tell, this is the place to be this weekend — for fun and for some great holiday gift shopping It’s the Vicente Agor Trunk Show and Birthday Celebration on November 30-December 2 with a wine and chocolate pairing on Saturday the 1st, and a holiday open house at Gourmet Oil & Vinegar. We hope you’ll stop by and join in the holiday cheer.
Can you believe it? It’s Thanksgiving and, besides the prerequisite stomach ache that often accompanies the holiday, it means that it’s “game on” when it comes to holiday shopping. I have absolutely no patience and no tolerance for all of that “shop on Thanksgiving night, shop at midnight, door-buster, deal, deal, deal kind of stuff. Nope, I won’t have it! What I will have (besides that extra helping of stuffing) is a good time trying to create a fun time for our customers. To kick off the holiday shopping season this year, we’ve asked one of our newest additions to the Max’s collection, Jewelry By Cari, to join us for a trunk show this Saturday, November 24 and Sunday, November 25. This is a really fun line as you get to put the pieces together — charms, dog tags, pendants and gemstones — that best signifies your life. Cari’s husband Rory will be in the store to hand-stamp your important initials, names, dates and sayings while you wait. There are rings, earrings and bracelets too, and we think that this is a great way to give something really personal to those on your gift list. Of course it wouldn’t be a trunk show without lots of chocolate samples all around, and even though it’s 60 degrees today, it is supposed to be a bit cooler this weekend, so we’ll have a cup of hot chocolate (and I’m talking hot chocolate — NOT cocoa!) ready for you.
Don’t forget that Saturday is Small Business Saturday, and the nice people at American Express will give you a $25 dollar credit on your statement if you have registered your card and spend $25 in a registered small business. You can’t beat that!
We’re having a trunk show this weekend featuring the jewelry of Jamie Joseph and that means lots and lots of big, bold and beautiful stone rings. Jamie is definitely a customer favorite here – as a matter of fact, I first heard about Jamie from one of our customers and you could say that we began to carry her jewelry due to customer demand. Jamie’s jewelry had always been about the stones – she designs all of the rings, earrings, necklaces and bracelets and her husband is the lead stone cutter in her studio. Working together, they convey their artistic vision by focusing on bringing light, shape and an organic feel to some of the most beautiful stones in the world. Jamie’s collection will be in the store between Friday, November 9 and Monday, November 12 but, since no two stones are alike, that means that most of her jewelry is one of a kind, so you might want to get here early!
p.s. there will be earrings and necklaces too!
You know that song “It’s Raining Men”? It’s happy, it’s fun — right? Well, that’s the song that plays in my mind when I look at this picture — except that it’s ‘earrings’ and ‘color’ instead of ‘men’. I am so glad that our friend Pamela Froman is making a return visit to Max’s with all of her latest and greatest, including so many of these beautiful stone earrings. If big stones aren’t your thing (think “different strokes for different folks” — clearly, I’m into an old song mood today!), there are so many things to love about Pamela’s collection. Some people are drawn to her work because of the heavy pounded texture on her gold that she calls “crushed” or the way she seamlessly blends multiple colors of gold – yellow, white, rose or green – into the same piece of jewelry. Whatever it is that catches your attention, one thing is certain – Pamela’s jewelry is unique and stunning. I hope that you’ll stop by to meet Pamela and see her collection — the show is Friday, November 2 (11-7), Saturday, November 3(10-6) and Sunday, November 4 (noon-5).
I mean that in a great way! Just in time for Halloween, and thanks to the organizing chops of our neighbors at Bubbly Paws, the retailers here at Excelsior & Grand are hosting Woof ‘n Treat on Saturday, October 7 to benefit Homeward Bound Dog Rescue. There will be trick or treating for both 2 and 4 legged friends at the stores in the area with, of course, extra chocolate sampling happening here at Max’s, a dog costume contest, horse drawn hay rides, a photo booth, a jumpy castle and tattoos for the kids, a food truck, beer samples for the adults, a pumpkin patch and so much more. The event is from noon – 3 and it’s going to be a really fun day for the entire family here at Max’s and at all of the participating businesses at Excelsior & Grand. A portion of the proceeds from our chocolate sales for the entire day will be donated to Homeward Bound. Woof!
Since we’re in election season, I thought I’d get in on the action! I received great news earlier this week when the oh-so-nice-and-wonderful folks at Mpls. St. Paul Weddings magazine informed me that Max’s has been named as a Diamond Awards finalist by their national panel of judges in the category of outstanding wedding jewelry. Thank you so much! As one of the three finalists in this category, I’ve learned that we’re also in the running for the People’s Choice honors which will be chosen solely on the basis of online voting from the public. This is where I am humbly asking for your vote — only, of course, if you think we deserve it! While I of course want Max’s to be named #1 for wedding jewelry in the Twin Cities by the national panel, getting the People’s Choice recognition from our customers and supporters will be the most meaningful to me; that’s why we’re here — for our customers. The thing about this that is most rewarding to me is that when I first conceived of Max’s and put the plan together, as well as when I began to buy for the store, the wedding market was never on my radar screen. It’s only because our customers began to respond to our “non traditional” jewelry for their big day, and ask for more, that we began to really focus on wedding jewelry. We love working with couples to help them find those unique rings and other adornments that are compatible with their own style and personality. Don’t see it? We also want to work with you and one of our many designers to create a one-of-a-kind piece. We’re happy for you and the new life you’re about to start, and we think that buying your rings should be a happy, fun occasion and a hassle-free experience. So, there won’t be any robo-calls, I don’t have any buttons or bumper stickers, and I certainly don’t have any TV ads (although I did approve this message!) I’d simply like to say that I’d love to have your vote. By the way, you can vote everyday!
A riddle: What do an Olympic luge team member, cashmere knit designer and a jewelry designer have in common?
The answer: Erica Molinari is all 3! After an 18-year career as a member of the U.S. luge team and as a competitor in the Winter Olympic games, Erica got into the business of design, wanting to create something for herself. Her collection of gold and sterling silver double-sided charms, coupled with pearls that are embellished with small diamonds, are so much fun to go through to select the ones that best represent your personality for a custom charm necklace or bracelet. Erica will be in the store for a trunk show between Thursday, October 11 and Saturday, October 13. And as if jewelry isn’t enough, Erica is bringing her collection of cashmere knits to the store for the show – a collection of adorned hats, gloves and scarves – perfect for this time of year! I hope that you’ll join us as we welcome Erica to Max’s for her first visit to the store with both her jewelry and cashmere collections – Thursday from 11-7, Friday from 10-7 and Saturday from 10-5.
One of the things that is the most fun and exciting for me is to work with our jewelry designers and to select what I want to carry in the store. People often ask me how I decide, and I have to tell you that it’s not easy, because there are so many talented people in the world creating really beautiful and unique jewelry. It’s exciting when I find something – or someone – new – something that I haven’t seen before and, I hope, something that you haven’t seen all over town, if it all. One of the things that I found this summer at the jewelry shows was in a category that’s brand new for us – watches! I haven’t wanted to carry watches at Max’s because I felt as though everything great out there was already well represented in town. Then I saw what can only be described as the uber-cool, chic and – well – gorgeous timepieces from Korloff. French designed and Swiss made, these watches are double-faced – one side is sporty and the other is more formal – and the straps are reversible too. It’s different for us right? When I saw these, I knew that this is the type of watch I want to wear. I’m really excited about these and I hope that you’ll like them too – let us know!
While we hope that the Stephanie Albertson trunk show is enough to entice you to come visit the store this weekend, we thought we’d work a little harder to make it almost impossible for you to stay away by having a second event at the same time! We’re launching our one-of-a-kind event this weekend (and this is the first time we’ve done this) with items from many of our artists that will not or cannot ever be replicated. How is this aquamarine and 18k gold bracelet from Klaus Spies for starters? We think it’s pretty gorgeous. So while I believe, and hope that you do too, that we always have beautiful jewelry, there will be so many new things in the store this weekend that are just – well – fabulous. The one-of-a-kind show begins on Friday, September 7 and runs through Sunday, September 16. (p.s. to make it a complete triple-threat, there will be chocolates…..)
The fair is over, the kids are back at school, so it’s a perfect time to launch the second half of our 2012 event schedule! Things get going September 7 with a trunk show and personal appearance with jewelry designer Stephanie Albertson. When asked about her designs, Stephanie says: “My jewelry is about color and having fun. I love the whimsical, magical and expressive power of jewelry. My jewelry allows the wearer to make a personal statement and express their individual sense of style.” We think that these oxidized silver bangles with gemstones surrounded by the warmth of 22k gold says that you’ll be stylin’ this fall. The trunk show runs from Friday, September 7 – Sunday, September 9.
We’ll be closed on the 4th to enjoy the fireworks. We hope that you have a great holiday and we’ll see you on Thursday!
Yep, it’s that time of year again and I’m serious about it! If it’s on sale, it’s marked down to at least 50% of its original price. Yes, you read that right and while not everything that you’ve been admiring might be on sale, we’re serious about moving out the old to make room for a lot of new. Maybe you’ll be more tempted by our new arrivals….hmmm…decisions…..
No, no, no. Not THAT way! I’m talking about the unbelievable display of gorgeous colored stone jewelry that is here with us for her trunk show. Suzy’s use of exceedingly well-cut gemstones makes an otherwise pretty piece of jewelry pop out of the case as something truly spectacular, and the richness of the colors is just amazing. Suzy’s jewelry is “happy” jewelry” and that’s not just the view of the sales staff here at Max’s — that’s what our customers say about it. This is definitely adult candy! The trunk show runs from Friday, June 22 through Sunday, June 24.