One thing I truly love to do is explore new shops and neighborhoods. I’m always amazed how many great places there are, practically in my own back yard. My friend Laura (you may remember her from my great piercing escapade), is like a walking tour book of amazing stores. It’s not just because she loves shopping as much as I do (and she does!), but she is a rep for many home, jewelry, and gift/accessory lines with Aesthetic Movement, so it’s her duty to know all the happening places.
We set our itinerary for various places in Berkeley, Piedmont, and Oakland. I picked her up in SF and headed over the Bay Bridge. First up was Zaver & Mor in Berkeley. I’d met the lovely owner, Rada Sahney, at a couple Women’s Jewelry Association events, so I was very eager to check out her establishment, and it definitely did not disappoint.
She carries some of my favorite lines, such as Tura Sugden, Julez Bryant, and Elyria Jewels. But there were also some lines that I was seeing for the first time. One of my favorite pieces I saw the whole day is this gold and diamond bracelet by Mia Chicco. (One more item for my jewelry lust list!)
I was also excited to see a display of Sharon Zimmerman’s work, who is a local jeweler from San Francisco.
By the time we had (just about) tried on everything we wanted to, it was time to grab a bite for lunch. Since our second stop was going to be Red Bird, right by the Claremont in Berkeley, we popped into Rick & Ann’s for a really tasty meal at their community table.
Sufficiently refueled, we went to Red Bird and began perusing all the lovely clothing and jewelry. This, in fact, is a place where I have purchased many of my favorite items over the years.
I couldn’t resist trying on this unique pearl necklace by Melissa Joy Manning I spotted in the sale case. The organic shapes of the pearls are captivating.
I thought it looked pretty cool layered with the two necklaces I was wearing. And who am I to turn down 60% off?!
Ok…time to hit the road again, and next up was Atomic Garden in Oakland. (Next time I want to explore this area more, as there seemed to be many cute shops on College Avenue!)
I was definitely psyched to visit Esqueleto, which is a jewel box of a store in the Temescal neighborhood of Oakland, curated by jeweler Lauren Wolf. Not only does the store carry her line (the two rings I have on in the photo below), but they have selections from many designers, including a beautiful vintage selection.
I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Mania Mania is branching into the fine jewlery business, and I love this ring by them!
The natural beauty of these pieces by Lou Zeldis also caught my eye.
As fate would have it, jeweler Marisa Haskell, whose line is now named Marisa Mason, was in the shop, so we had to end our field trip by running around the corner in to her boutique as well.
She has a workshop right in the store, and her jewelry is artfully displayed on the walls, making it very easy to try things on.
By this time, the rain was starting to come down hard, and it was time to head back across the Bay Bridge to San Francisco. Our itinerary was clearly ambitious, as we still have many stores left on our list. Hence…part 2, (hopefully) coming in January. If you have any recommendations for additions to our list, please let me know in the comment section below!
You already know that I’m a huge fan of Julez Bryant and her fabulous jewelry line! In my previous post about her from July 2011, I mentioned that she not only designs her own line, but she also will re-design your own jewelry for you. I thought I’d share some of the incredible pieces that I’ve seen her make.
The first is a project she worked on with me. (I figured I should check out the process, right?!) I brought in a couple small, loose diamonds I had lying around, the diamond ring I received for my 18th birthday, and a couple other odd, unused pieces. I was dying for a chunky diamond and silver ring, and here’s what she made for me. Love it!!
When I stopped by one of her trunk shows, I was able to see a couple other re-designs she did for other clients. This first necklace is so unique. It’s made from an old gold necklace and broken bracelet from the client’s grandparents. To this, she added an ivory elephant charm she got in 8th grade and a stunning piece of Sleeping Beauty turquoise. I don’t know about you, but I’m impressed with the “new” necklace!
Finally, here’s an incredible ring Julez designed using diamonds, gold and an untreated pink sapphire. Wow!
I have a feeling that if you take a look into your jewelry box, you have the raw materials for some incredible new jewelry! Julez has trunk shows popping up here and there, and you should really take advantage of her talents. I often post about upcoming trunk shows for designers on my blog’s Facebook page, so be sure to “like” the page and stay up to date with events in your area!