The Bells Are Ringing With A Paul Morelli Trunk Show!

Exquisite.  Detailed. Precise.  Those are the words that I think best sum up the jewelry of Paul Morelli. Every original design from Paul begins with an inspired idea that is culled from Paul’s rich imagination – after all – his parents were theater costume designers for many, many years. I am a huge fan on these bells — so pretty, so feminine and so unique.  Having said that, I really could have posted just about any image of Paul’s work and told you that I’m a huge fan of all of it because it’s true.  His collection is wide and varied, from the these “rain chain earrings” that first drew me in 9 years ago at a jewelry trade show in Philadelphia, to the “confetti” collection that I’d like to sprinkle all over my ears and fingers — and it’s all gorgeous and meticulous in its construction. We often joke in the store about Paul’s jewelry making our hearts beat a bit faster.  I am very honored to have represented Paul’s jewelry for the last several years and can’t wait for our upcoming Paul Morelli trunk show on Friday, October 23 and Saturday, October 24.


Too Much Chocolate?!?!?!????

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!


It’s Time to Celebrate Dads & Grads!

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!


Getting Stoned (Again) With Suzy Landa!

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.


Happy Birthday (to us!)

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!

 


Have You Heard About Mother’s Day?

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?!?!


Amali for Mother’s Day!

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!


Jewelry, Art and Alex Sepkus

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?


Who Says You Can’t Wear Black to a Wedding?

“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!!!!”

 


Spring Cleaning Time — For Your Jewelry Drawer!

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

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!