I must say I have quite a few Zoe Chicco aficionados among my clientele. They are drawn to her effortlessly chic dainty chains, slim cuffs with diamonds, and earrings (which she brilliantly sells as singles). Whenever we shop, we have to check out the latest offerings here in San Francisco. While at the Couture show I, too, had to visit her booth to catch up with her and see what she’s been up to. Here’s a shot of the ear party she had going on when I stopped by. (Ear cuff envy!)
If you’re not already familiar with her line, let me give you a little background. She had a high school teacher who taught her soldering, and she was hooked from that day forward. She studied metal smithing in college, and began her line in 2000. Based in Los Angeles, each piece is made in house by her and her team. She has come a loooong way since she began her line in the closet in her apartment in San Francisco!
So fast forward to June 2016, and I found myself gazing into this case, which displays her new Paris Collection.
Always curious as to where designers get their inspiration, Zoe explained that the ceiling in her Paris showroom inspired the collection. Here’s a photo of that ceiling and one of the signature necklaces it inspired. What a cool evolution to see!
Here are a few more of the necklaces, showing how Zoe’s creativity can see different permutations of a theme.
I also like the various earrings in the group, ranging from dainty to bolder than I’ve seen her do before. Love the long drop hoops.
Zoe kindly modeled one of the earrings for me — clever how the large hoop ear jacket can be taken off, leaving you with two totally different looks.
Oh, and I also have to mention Zoe has now added some black pearls to her line. Though not part of the Paris Collection, I had to share them with you. Pretty, right?
I’ve been a fan of turquoise ever since my dad brought me a necklace with turquoise beads from a business trip when I was about 4. (I still have it, in fact!) As a young adult I visited New Mexico, and I couldn’t decide which hue I liked best — from the true blue to the blue-greens. I’ve come to the conclusion I like it all! (shocker, I know) I’m a fan of everything from vintage Native American Squash Blossom necklaces to sleek, modern pieces.
Turquoise, which gets its name from the French words for “Turkish Stone” has been part of the human culture since ancient times. Turquoise beads have been unearthed from 5000 BC, if you can believe it! Throughout history, this stone has been an amulet of protection, a sign of wealth and wisdom. It’s considered sacred by many cultures. In addition, this stone promotes:
-serenity & peace
-aids the immune system
-promotes honest communication
-helps your body detox
With all these amazing attributes in mind, which piece of jewelry from the selection below would you pick if you had a bottomless wallet?
It is true… back in the 90’s when I taught third grade, I had a BIG collection of holiday jewelry. I had wood cut-out necklaces and earrings for every occasion, and even some battery-powered pieces that my students loved. Now that I’m no longer working with little ones, I gave away my collection long ago, because let’s face it…it’s clearly not my personal style! But that’s not to say that you can’t find a more subtle way to celebrate with your jewelry. With the Fourth of July almost upon us, I thought it would be fun to explore options with a star motif. Granted, these would be good all year round, but extra special while watching fireworks burst overhead, don’t you think?
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!