I always make it a point to visit the Brentwood Country Mart in southern California when I’m down there — love the cozy layout and the variety of stores, including jewelry gems Broken English and Pippa Small. When the Marin Country Mart opened in Larkpsur, I certainly made it a point to visit. Though I must say, in it’s infancy, there were still many open storefronts and NO jewelry to mention. Girl, this has all changed with the opening of Hutchinson Fine Jewelry at the end of 2014. This now makes stopping at the Mart a must when I’m up in Marin.
As I entered this jewel box of a store, I was stuck by the stunning display, with three walls of glass-fronted vignettes, representing over 20 different fine jewelry designers. (Note to self: when assisting clients design their new closets, keep this idea in mind!)
Manager Kellie Phinney was very generous in showing me around and letting me play with all the jewels. She told me that the owners, Kary Chendo and Miranda Abrams, choose lines that are utterly unique in their own way. “They want the jewelry to be loved and worn every day, and then passed down.” My philosophy exactly!
I was amped to see they carry The Woods, who I’ve desperately missed seeing ever since Carrots closed in San Francisco. There was a magnetic pull to this mother-of-pearl necklace on a silver and pave diamond chain.
Hutchinson is also one of the few places to represent Carolina Bucci. She weaves magic with gold and silk on a loom from the 1800’s. Take a gander at these necklaces — the detail is amazing.
I tried on this wide bracelet, and it felt like buttah on my wrist, without the calories!
Monique Pean is always one of my faves, both for her designs and her environmental consciousness. How can you go wrong with fossilzed wooly mammoth scrimshaw and diamonds? (Once again, if I had a bottomless wallet…this would be mine.)
Pippa Small is right up there at the top of ethical designers as well. She hand selects each stone she uses, designs around their natural beauty, and uses clean gold, which is, “Gold mined without impacting the environment, respecting labor rights and often produced by community cooperatives.” Brava.
I was also very excited to see Bay Area local, Susie Fox, glittering in the cases. This double drop ball pendant necklace with cognac diamonds is what I would describe as subtle luxury.
I know the collection at Hutchinson is only going to grow, so I will make it a point to stop in more often. Have you visited yet? Do tell!
I was at the jewelry counter at Neiman’s the other day working on a story, and up walked this lovely woman, clearly on a mission. And given that she was holding a necklace, I knew it was one of my favorite types of missions — finding earrings to coordinate with her necklace. Lucky for me, she was open for my assistance in process. Here’s the necklace she brought, with beautiful beads accented by a large polki diamond bead.
I inquired about the necklace’s designer, and she explained that friends of her daughter, Lauren, had made the necklace. Once I explained that I was an image consultant and jewelry blogger, she quickly picked up the phone to ask Lauren the designer’s name. NO surprise to me, it was made by The Woods, who I l-o-v-e, and who I interviewed a while back. (Click here to read that story.)
Vicki, the woman-on-a-mission, was going to wear this with a natural linen-colored outfit to an event up in Napa.
“So I think that a simple diamond hoop would be great with this, don’t you think?”
“I’ve got those, and they just don’t work…”
“Are they too refined for the style of the necklace?”
“That’s exactly right! Too refined!”
She was going for a coordinating, yet not overly-polished look for the earrings. Some oxidized silver with diamonds hit the perfect note, and we certainly knew the right designer’s case to find them in, that of Irit Design, another over my total faves! (Click here to read my interview with her.) And there they were, just waiting to be tried on.
The mix was perfect. The earrings were a compliment to the necklace, but they didn’t overpower it, so the focus is still on the necklace. Since the hoops were a modified shape, they really add some interest, and it’s not a shape she currently had in her jewelry box. In addition, these will be a great choice for her everyday options, as they’re great on their own when just running around the city. This gives them great cost-per-wear. If they were some big, fancy earring that could only be worn for special occasions, they wouldn’t have been nearly as cost-effective.
So not only did this encounter involve two of my most loved jewelry lines, but it was great to meet Vicki, and I have a feeling that I may be lunching with her and her daughter sometime soon! Hope that she had a great time at her event!
I’ve been following The Woods Fine Jewelry for quite some time now, though I’ve only seen a few of their pieces in person at Carrots, one of my fave SF boutiques. When I saw that the two sisters, Shawn and Sam, would be doing a personal appearance and trunk show at Carrots the day after I got home from 3 weeks of travel, game on! I battled major traffic and a parking dilemma, but it was well worth the effort.
The two sisters, based in Denver and Aspen, launched their line about 7 years ago. When I inquired how they co-design while being in two different cities, they told me that they are really each on their own design path. How interesting! But their aesthetic blends perfectly, and their luxe, naturally gorgeous line has really taken off.
Here’s a shot from their website which gives you sort of a feel for their line.
While they have traditionally been known for their beaded pieces, they are now moving more into chains, with a variety of pendants that can be interchanged. Take a look at these gorgeous chains (on my jewelry lust list, for sure!) and this re-claimed deer antler with inlaid diamonds. Seriously, this pendant was the size of my hand!!
Here’s another stunning enhancer, which would look fabulous on a variety of chains.
I tried on a stone arrowhead pendant, surrounded by diamonds, on a pyrite bead chain. Can I say l-o-v-e? Fab on it’s own, or easily layered with other necklaces.
This trunk show was the first time I’ve tried on some of their rings. I think the design on this articulated cross ring is fantastic.
Here’s a shot of me wearing another of their rings, along with a diamond bracelet with a resin horn. Oo la la!
This line really is a natural, organic way to rock some diamonds. Do you think it would meld with your personal style? If so, check them out!