Ray Griffiths Jewelry — Fit for a Queen (or a Princess!)

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!

 

8 is Great — and Definitely NOT Enough!

1

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!

It’s Time for a Party — And Alex Sepkus Jewelry!

1

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.

Something Old, Something New; The Janis Kerman Custom Design Event

1

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.

 

“Jewelry for the Heart” with a Jamie Joseph Trunk Show and More!

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….???

Merry Christmas From All of Us to All of You!

1

It Wouldn’t be December at Max’s Without a Vicente Agor Trunk Show!

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.

“Wrap Up” Your Shopping This Weekend at Max’s & Win!

1

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!)

 

 

Welcome to Max’s New Website!

1

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!

Welcome to Max’s, Shinola!

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.

We’re Having a (Wedding) Party!!!

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…….

Starry, Starry Night…..and Earrings to Match

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…..

Pretty, Pretty, Pretty: The Adel Chefridi Trunk Show

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.

A 3-Day Custom Event With Janis Kerman

1

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.

Ladies, It’s Time to Put A Ring on It!

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.

A Valentine’s Day Warm-Up This Saturday!

1

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….????

Happy New Year!

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!

Ready, Set, Sale! It’s Time for Max’s Semi-Annual Sale!

1

You Better Not Cry, Better Not Pout — The Anne Sportun Trunk Show is Coming to Town!

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!

It’s a Double Birthday Celebration This Weekend with Vicente Agor!

1

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.

We’re Getting Personal This Weekend With Jewelry By Cari!

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!

The Rings are Coming, The Rings are Coming; It’s the Jamie Joseph Trunk Show!

1

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!

It’s Going To Rain — Raining Color With Pamela Froman!

1

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).

 

We’re Going to the Dogs!

1

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!

I’d Love To Have Your Vote!

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!

 

Erica Molinari is Coming to Max’s!

1

A riddle:   What do an Olympic luge team member, cashmere knit designer and a jewelry designer have in common?

Give up?

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.

Max’s Proudly Welcomes Korloff to Our Collection!

1

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!

Max’s Double Header: Part 2 — The One-of-a-Kind Show!

1

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…..)

Max’s Double Header: Part 1 — The Stephanie Albertson Trunk Show!

1

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.

Happy 4th of July!

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!

It’s That Time of Year — Max’s Semi-Annual Sale is ON!!!

1

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…..

Come Get “Stoned” With Suzy Landa!

1

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.

The Wedding Event!

1

This month, we’re doing something that we’ve never done before.   Rather than just hosting a designer specific trunk show, we’ve invited many of our artists whose work is in the store everyday, to send us additional pieces that are wedding-specific – for the bride and the groom!  Rings (like these beauties from Stephanie Albertson), earrings, necklaces, cuff links, attendants gifts – you name it, we’re going to have it.  And I am absolutely thrilled — big announcement here! — that jewelry designer extraordinaire, and red carpet favorite Erica Courtney will be participating in this event with many of her bridal rings!  I am not only honored, but flattered to have Erica’s beautiful work in the store.   For the wrap up to the wedding event, we’ve invited Suzy Landa to hold a trunk show during the last few days of the event.  While Suzy is best known for her dazzling colored stone jewelry – and she is bringing it all with her — she has expanded her bridal line significantly and it is really gorgeous.  We’ll be posting pictures almost every day of some of the arrivals for the event on our Facebook page, so you can see what’s coming.  Not getting married? Not to worry that there won’t be anything for you in the store this month — there will be plenty to see and a lot of it is new!  June is going to be a really exciting time at Max’s.  The wedding event takes place between June 15 – June 24, and the Suzy Landa trunk show is June 22 – 24.  I hope that you’ll stop in!

Back by Popular Demand — A Custom Design Weekend with Janis Kerman!

1

Ok, let’s be honest with each other.  We’ve all got those pieces of jewelry that we haven’t worn in years, and aren’t ever going to wear in the future but, for whatever reason – and I know that it’s usually a sentimental one – aren’t going to part with them either.  Well, what if you could take those items and convert them into an original one-of-a-kind design?  Well, one of our favorite things here at Max’s is the annual custom design event we have with Montreal-based jewelry designer Janis Kerman, and it’s taking place this weekend.   Janis will be meeting with customers who want to create something new — either from their unused jewelry and gemstones that are currently collecting dust in the drawer, or because they have an idea in mind of what they want but just haven’t been able to find the right thing.  Even if you’re not interested in a custom piece, I hope that you’ll stop by the store to see Janis’ other work– you may have heard me say this before, but I especially love her mismatched, asymmetrical earrings (like the ones pictured — oxidized silver, drusy and carnelian) and overall contemporary style of design. The event runs from Friday, May 18 through Monday, May 21, and if you’d like to meet with Janis to talk about a custom piece, please call the store at 952-922-8364 for an appointment.

 

 

I’m Going Shopping and I Want Your Help!

1

I know that many of you are aware that I’ve been to a number of jewelry markets already this year and, hopefully, you like the new things that have arrived at the store.  Well, my shopping season isn’t over yet, as I find myself getting ready to head out to more shows in the next few weeks to purchase things for the 2nd half of the year (I won’t add anything here about the holiday season — let’s just enjoy the sunshine!)  I’d like to know what you’d like me to look for — more gold jewelry, more charm jewelry so that you can create your own piece, more big stone rings…???  There’s so much great design out there in the market, and I really want to make sure that I’m doing everything I can to make Max’s be your go-to place!  Oh, one more thing…..I’m going shopping for new chocolates soon too!  Last year, I received a lot of input about licorice in chocolate, and I was able to find that from one of our chocolatiers.  What are you hungry for these days?

Max’s 2012 Jewelry Events Launch This Weekend With A Just Jules Trunk Show!

1

We’re getting excited here at Max’s!  That’s because we will be hosting our first designer event of the year this weekend – it’s a jewelry trunk show with Julie Romanenko, the designer of the Just Jules collection.  Julie, who is making a return appearance to Max’s, is best known for her art-deco inspired pieces.  She likes to work with organic shapes, textures and themes, carefully choosing gemstones that favor bright colors and rugged shapes, often leaving them in their natural state to be centerpieces in necklaces, rings and earrings. While she says that some of her favorite gems are chunky odd-shaped pearls, and free-form boulder opals, I think that my favorite are the colored diamonds like the ones in these earrings. The show is Friday, May 4 through Sunday, May 6 which, conveniently, just happens to be the weekend before Mother’s Day.   You really don’t want to disappoint your mother….do you?

It’s a Double Header This Saturday at Max’s; A ShopGirls Live Broadcast and Chocolate Tasting!

1

It’s hard for me to believe, but last Saturday marked the 1 year anniversary in our new location!  The year has flown by, and I’m thrilled that customer feedback is that you like this location more than the other location – so do I!  So, to celebrate a little, I’ve invited the ShopGirls from myTalk107.1 back for another live broadcast from the store. We had so much time last fall when they stopped by, that it took me about one nanosecond to decide that this would be a really fun way to celebrate the occasion.  In addition to the anniversary, what better time to invite Allison and Alexis ….and you……to the store than right before Valentine’s Day,  as we host a chocolate tasting with the delicious confections from Minnesota-based St. Croix Chocolate Company.  Of course, Valentine’s Day isn’t just about the chocolate – jewelry works well too, right?   I hope that you’ll join us for the fun — and the treats! — the live broadcast will take place between 11-1 and the chocolate tasting is from 10-2.  And, because VDay IS right around the corner, we’ll be open this Sunday from noon – 5.

 

Are You Thinking About Valentine’s Day Yet?

Ok, really…..we’re a month into the new year already?  Where does the time go?  So many people think that January is the time that retailer’s get to kick back and take it easy after the hectic holiday season.  Well, that’s not the case here at Max’s, as we’ve spent the month getting ready for Valentine’s Day.  After all, jewelry and chocolate are often the obvious gift choices for Valentine’s Day, and I’m guessing you won’t be surprised when I say that this is one time when we’re all in favor of doing the obvious!

 

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

1

Wow!  It’s really hard for me to believe that we’re at the end of the year!  At this time last year we were finalizing paint colors and maneuvering in between boxes, as we had already begun to pack up our old location in preparation to move.   2011 was an incredibly busy and exciting year for Max’s as we not only moved the store, but we also celebrated our 5th birthday, and were named America’s #1 Coolest Small Store by INSTORE magazine!  I can’t thank all of you, our customers, enough for your support and encouragement along the way – not only this year but throughout Max’s entire life – because I couldn’t have done all of this without you.  As we turn the page and start a new year, I want to wish you and your families a very happy and healthy 2012. I am very optimistic about what 2012 will bring for all of us, and wish you only the best.  Happy Holidays!

 

Ringing in the Holidays with an Anne Sportun Trunk Show!

1

You know it, you tell us you love it and you wait for it every year! Of course, I’m talking about this weekend’s trunk show featuring the work of Anne Sportun.  Since the very first day we opened our doors, Anne’s work has been one of our customers’ absolute favorites, and year after year, she never disappoints.  Anne has done an entire line in black diamonds (how about these stunners?), and we’ve been selling those pieces almost as quickly as they arrive.

To get things going this weekend, I hope that you’ll join us on Thursday, December 15, as we ring in the season with a little holiday soiree.  Join us for some tasty treats – mostly chocolate, of course – as we and other retailers here at Excelsior & Grand stay open late so that you can get all of your holiday shopping finished.  You’ll be able to enjoy special events from the other retailers, along with a sleigh ride.  Ok, so there’s no snow outside, so maybe it will be more like a carriage ride.  Either way, it will be a great evening here at E&G, and I hope that you’ll join us as wrap up this season’s incredible line-up of designer events with the Anne Sportun Trunk Show.  The show runs between Thursday, December 15 at 6 and Sunday, December 18 at 5, with our holiday soiree on Thursday between 6-9.

Vicente Agor Trunk Show This Weekend – A Celebration of Second Chances!

1

For those of you who have been shopping with us for a while, or who have been following us online, you’ll know that jewelry designer Vicente Agor brings his entire gorgeous collection to the store the first weekend of December every year.  You’ll also know that it’s always fingers-crossed around here in regard to the weather conditions for the weekend, as he has been here during some truly tundra-like cold weather, a “minor” snow storm (only 8 inches!) and, in last year’s case, a full-out blizzard. Nonetheless, being the good sport that he is (with maybe a touch of a “go ahead Mother Nature, I dare you” kind of attitude), he maintains that the first weekend of December is all about being at Max’s to help us get the holiday season off to a great, stylish start.  So, with no further ado, I am happy to tell you that we are anxiously preparing for a fabulous weekend with Vicente for a trunk show that will run Friday, December 2 through Sunday, December 4.

I am also really happy and proud to tell you that again this year, we are holding this trunk show as a benefit to support organ donation. Vicente is the recipient of a double-transplant, which makes him the recipient of a second chance at life.  Last year, he shared his thoughts about how this experience changed his life (think Life 2.0) and allowed him the the ability to follow his focus on his passion of designing fine jewelry, and he has graciously agreed to share these thoughts again this year during an artist reception on Friday night.  Joining Vicente on Friday will be Heidi Ash, the chocolatier of 185Chocolat, Brandyn and Mario Negri and Kate Williamson of Sigh Yoga.  Heidi’s chocolate company is named the way it is because she is the 185th recipient of a heart transplant at the Mayo Clinic, and she will speak about how she thinks of her transplant as a joyous experience, as it allowed her a second chance to pursue her dream of creating delicious chocolates.  She will also be sampling her chocolates, so please come hungry!  Prior to opening her yoga studio, Brandyn received a kidney transplant from her then-boyfriend/now-husband Mario.  After the transplant, she knew she wanted to focus on being healthy. Being a dedicated yoga student, she completed her 200 hour certified yoga teaching program. At that point, it became clear to her that she wanted to share yoga with her community and offer a special environment to do it in. Kate Williamson is an instructor at Sigh Yoga who anonymously donated her kidney in December of 2008 which she calls a life-changing experience.  Worth New York has graciously agreed to partner with us for this very special event, and will be hosting a Sample Set Sale of their luxurious Fall and Winter 2011 Collections on Friday and Saturday.

Needless to say, this weekend is going to be really special. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Vicente’s jewelry will be donated by Max’s and Vicente to LifeSource, a non-profit organ and tissue donation organization, the University Transplant Assistance Fund at University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview and University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital. 185Chocolat and Worth New York will also be donating a portion of their sales proceeds to LifeSource.  The trunk show will run on Friday, December 2 (11am – 9pm), Saturday, December 3 (10am – 6pm) and Sunday, December 4 (noon – pm).  The chocolate tasting will run on Friday evening during the reception between 6 – 9pm, and the sample sale will take place on Friday and Saturday (trunk show hours) in the club room next door to Max’s at 3820 Grand Way.

So I hope that you’ll join us.  We’ll have exquisite jewelry, delicious chocolates, and beautiful clothing.  What more could one want?  How about a second chance at life?

Use Your Points This Weekend!

1

Just a little reminder for our existing customers, and a tid-bit of info for those of you who haven’t yet shopped with us.  Every time you buy something at Max’s, you earn 10% of your purchase in the form of points as part of our loyalty program.  Points equal $$$ that you can then use as dollars off against a FUTURE purchase.  As the holiday season kicks off, we’d like to offer you the ability to use your points as you earn them — translation:  10% off everything that you buy this weekend!  Happy holidays and happy shopping!

This Black Friday = Black Jewelry!

1

Shopping at midnight?  Pushing and shoving to get in the door? Going straight from Thanksgiving dinner at grandma’s house to the mall? There are all sorts of ways to initiate the holiday shopping season, and at Max’s, Black Friday has taken on a whole new meaning – it’s all about black jewelry!  How about a beautiful black diamond ring, a pair of dangling black diamond earrings, or black diamonds woven with gold wire to create this pair of stunning hoop earrings like these from Amali.  If diamonds aren’t you’re thing, there are the blackened sterling silver bracelets with brightly colored gemstones, or gold pendants on a black chain or black silk cord, or black rubber necklaces with sparkling pink sapphires.  You get the idea – black jewelry is hot and in style this holiday season!  Oprah has recognized the trend and we were excited to see that she featured items from two of our favorites — Anne Sportun and Sarah Graham.  Of course, if you’re not into the whole black jewelry thing, you can make this silver and/or gold Friday too!  Either way, I hope that you’ll join us today and throughout the holiday season and let us help you find something special for everyone on your list!

We’re Getting Ready for Small Business Saturday!

This Saturday, November 26, is a big day for us at Max’s and for small businesses around the country.  It’s the second annual Small Business Saturday, when people across the country come out and shop to support their favorite local businesses.  This is the second year that American Express has championed Small Business Saturday, and I think it’s fair to say that with over 2 million “likes” on Facebook, it is something of a movement.  In addition to helping build awareness about small businesses, which is good for me and the others who are participating, there’s something in it for you as well.  If you have an American Express card, you will receive a $25 credit on your statement if you shop in one of the participating small businesses on Saturday and spend $25.  Here’s the link that will take you to the registration page and will also let you enter your zip code to get a list of all of the participating small businesses in that area.  So, this weekend, I hope that you enjoy a wonderful and safe holiday with friends and family and enjoy lots of pie, have fun on Black Friday (oh, by the way — we’re opening at our usual 10am time — no crazy, early hours here!), and shop at your favorite small businesses on Small Business Saturday.  I hope that Max’s is one of those businesses for you.

Pamela Froman and A Whole New Meaning for Chocolate!

1

Max’s good friend and fabulous jewelry designer extraordinaire Pamela Froman is returning to Max’s this weekend and we’re can’t wait to see all of her new goodies! Pamela is best known for her use of different colors of gold in the same piece, and his year she has added a chocolate brown color to the mix of yellow, white, pink and green gold.  Needless to say, I of course fell in love with the chocolate brown immediately — go figure!  It’s such a beautiful color, and I love it when mixed with yellow and pink gold — say, maybe, in a stack of rings like this one.  If you’re familiar with Pamela’s collection, you know that another part of her signature style is the hand-hammering of metal which she calls “crushed” and gives her jewelry some extra character.  The show is Friday (11-7), Saturday (10-6) and Sunday (noon-5). As an added bonus, Allison Kaplan and Alexis Walsko, a.k.a. The Shop Girls from myTalk 107.1, will be broadcasting their show live from Max’s between 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.  So I’m hoping that you’ll stop by the store sometime this weekend to Get Crushed™ with us and be dazzled by Pamela’s beautiful creations and a whole new type of chocolate here at Max’s, as well as to hear Allison and Alexis dish on the latest in shopping trends!

 

 

Trick or Treat this Saturday at Excelsior & Grand!

We at Max’s, along with some of our retail and restaurant neighbors here at Excelsior & Grand have planned a great “Fall Festival” for this Saturday, October 29, complete with something for everyone in the family – and that includes Fido!  There will be horse-drawn hayrides, a photo booth, and a face painter, as well as some Halloween treats for the kids who want to go trick-or-treating at the stores.  There will also be a puppy costume contest (thanks to Bubbly Paws) as well as a costume contest for your little goblins, hot cider (thank you Starbucks) and delicious food samples (thank you Gourmet Olive Oil & Vinegar – and at Max’s, you know that that means lots of chocolates.  If you don’t have your pumpkin yet, you’ll be able to stop by the pumpkin patch (Trader Joe’s) in front of CVS to pick one up – it’s free with a non-perishable food or cash donation for Second Harvest Heartland.  And, if you visit all of the participating stores and receive a stamp from them, you can enter to win one of several great prizes.  To wind down after the day (or to revive yourself midday for more shopping!) visit McCoy’s.  Kids under 12 years old wearing their Halloween costumes will receive a free kids meal! And for the adults, enjoy $5 pumpkin pie martinis during the event.  It’s going to be a really great day and the festivities run between 1-5 on Saturday, October 29. Did I mention that we have chocolate samples…..????

This is Definitely a Treat — A Todd Reed Trunk Show!

1

While it is the season of tricks and treats, there’s no mistaking what this weekend will be about at Max’s. It’s going to be a definite treat as we  host a trunk show with the beautiful creations from Todd Reed. Best known for his work with raw and rose-cut natural color diamonds, Todd is also now working with other gemstones — and always coming up with something new and fabulous.  Naomi from Todd’s studio will be here on Friday and most of the day Saturday (but don’t worry — the jewelry will be here through Sunday!), so we’re anxious to see what she has in her bag of treats this weekend — Friday from 11-7 and Saturday from 10 – 6.

Aaron Henry is Coming to Max’s!

1

Well, the State Fair is over, the kids are back in school, and the temperatures are definitely dropping – all signs that fall is really here!  With collections named “Arbor” and “Seasons”, I don’t think there’s a more “appropriate” time of the year to welcome jewelry designer Aaron Henry to Minneapolis and to Max’s for his first visit.  Made with precious metals and gemstones, Aaron’s jewelry is versatile, sophisticated and highly collectible (take a look at more of his beautiful creations here).  National Jeweler has named Aaron one of the Top 100 Designers of the Past 30 Years, so I’m sure you can understand why I am so proud to carry his work.  In addition, his jewelry has appeared in industry and consumer magazines including Vanity Fair, Town & Country, Millionaire and In Style, and Jewelers Quarterly Magazine Aaron as a ‘Designer of the 21st Century’.  He is a 3rd generation jeweler and is fortunate to work with his father who has been making jewelry from a long time, and I’m thrilled that his dad will be joining him for our trunk show!  The show is Friday-Sunday, September 23-25, and while the jewelry will be here all 3 days, Aaron and his dad will only be here on Friday and Saturday. I hope that you’ll have an opportunity to stop in and see his beautiful and truly special creations.