We’re getting personal this weekend with a trunk show of Erica Molinari’s jewelry. Erica is best know for her Renaissance Charm collection consisting of hand carved charms inspired by Greek coins with a unique, updated twist. Many of these charms are double-sided with an inspirational Latin phrase and customers have so much fun roaming through her collection to find the charms that best expresses their personality. Erica will be in the store to help you choose from among many possibilities, and she is a lot of fun to be around. It’s time to get your holiday shopping game on and shopping the trunk show (Friday and Saturday, December 4 and 5) is a great way to start!
Oh — one more thing. I’m quite sure that our chocolate selection has never been as sumptuous as it is right now. Chocolate with blueberries, chocolate with ginger and lime, chocolate with toffee and sesame seeds, “gin & tonic” chocolate – anyone out there hungry yet…..???
There will be no turkey hangover this year at Max’s because we’re launching head first into the holiday shopping season! The warm weather this fall has played mind games with us I think but, as the first snowflakes are starting to fall this week, there’s no doubt that the holiday season is upon us. We’re ready for it though, as our cases are filled with beautiful artisan made jewelry from over 40 designers and our shelves are stocked with specialty chocolates from around the world. You know us — we love a good party — and we love that American Express does so much to support small businesses with their promotion of Small Business Saturday. That said, this Saturday is not only a going to be fun, it’s going to be an overall fun (and VERY sparkly) weekend, as we’re having a trunk show featuring the work of Italian jewelry designer Carolina Buccion Friday, November 27 thru Sunday November 29. Carolina is best known for her woven silk thread and gold chain jewelry, and having just been sent the list of everything that she’s sending for the weekend, things are REALLY going to sparkle. And, having the Shop Girls from MyTalk 107.1 here right after Thanksgiving for a live broadcast to help kick off the holiday shopping season is quickly becoming a tradition – Small Business Saturday wouldn’t be the same at Max’s if Allison and Harmony weren’t with us dishing about jewelry, chocolate and all things shopping. So, I hope that I’ve tempted you – beautiful jewelry, delicious chocolates, a Carolina Bucci trunk show and the ShopGirls.
I love trunk shows. We have a lot of them at Max’s and there’s a reason — actually, several reasons. One of the best things about my job is being able to go to various jewelry shows to search for new designers and new products to bring to our customers and the Twin Cities market at large. The other thing is the ability to get to know our designers and really establish a relationship with them that will (hopefully) last a long time. Trunk shows are a way to let our customers have the experience of getting to know an artist whose work they admire. It’s a lot of fun for me to watch the interaction between a customer and a designer — especially once they’ve gotten to know each other over the visits to Max’s. Last year was the first year that designer Ray Griffithsvisited Max’s and the reaction to his work as well as the feedback on getting to know Ray was phenomenal, so we’re excited to welcome him back for a weekend filled with beautiful jewelry and fun. The trunk show is November 13 -15.
Ray has a fascinating back story. At the ripe young age of just 15, Ray began a apprenticeship to jewelry masters and tiara makers at Dunklings Jewellers in his native Australia. When I first met Ray, I asked him about this — just how big could the demand for crowns and tiaras (and their restoration) really be?!?! His response? “When you live in a former British commonwealth, it’s big! Authentic crown work is Ray’s signature and is present on all of his jewelry. Please join us to hear more about this, as well as how Ray approaches design and the jewelry business during a free networking event presented by the Minneapolis/St. Paul chapter of Fashion Group International. The event is on Thursday evening, November 12 between 5:30 – 7:30 in the Excelsior & Grand Community Room. Please call us for additional information.
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.
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!
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!
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 talkabout her approach and how she does what she does.
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!
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?!?!
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!
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?