8 is Great — and Definitely NOT Enough!

Today is Max’s 8th birthday!  The most common response I’ve heard as I mentioned to people that our birthday was coming up at the end of the month is “Wow!  I can’t believe it’s 8 years already!”  To me, I don’t know if there are more days when it seems like the time has gone by quickly, or more days when I feel like we’ve always been here.  What I do know is that I really have been able to recognize my dream of owning a successful jewelry store and, for that, I am grateful to so many people; most especially, our customers.  The support, friendship and encouragement have been beyond measure, and I thank you, thank you, thank you.  The same holds true for our designers who are part of the Max’s collection of fine jewelry — I am so proud to represent your beautiful creations.  I also love it that I can call many of you my close friends.

When I was first putting the plans together for the store, I knew that I wanted to create an environment where people would feel comfortable and just want to hang out – kind of like the old “Cheers” bar – you know, where everyone knows your name.  I love it that not only have we gotten to know so many of our customers, but that they have gotten to know a number of our designers and have formed their own relationships.  We’ve added some new faces to our lineup of artist events this year, presenting an opportunity to develop some more new friendships.

The best present that we have is to do what we love.  It’s especially sweet because, for us, it means that we’re surrounded by beautiful creations (ok, the chocolates make it sweet too!) all day long.  We did receive another great present this week though — we were named to Town & Country‘s “The List: America’s Leading Independent Jewelers in 2014”.  I can’t tell you how proud that makes all of us.  That’s when it really hit me — we’ve done a lot in 8 years.  I hope that you’ll stay tuned though, because 8 is DEFINITELY not enough!

It's Time for a Party — And Alex Sepkus Jewelry!

This winter has been sooooo cold, sooooo snowy and soooo long, and we are anxiously anticipating lots of blooming flowers next week thanks to all of the rain we’ve had this week, and the fact that it’s (finally) May!  Last fall, Max’s became the Twin Cities’ exclusive retailer for Alex Sepkus jewelry, and I couldn’t be any  more proud of that.  We’ve decided to now celebrate the addition of Alex’s jewelry to the Max’s collection with a party!  Alex’s jewelry is recognized world-wide for its modern take on designs from earlier times including the Baroque and Renaissance eras and is often described as “playfully quirky”. Each piece of his jewelry is like a mosaic made from gold, platinum, diamonds and colored stones — a compilation of many intricate pieces that has to be done under a microscope.  The rings in this picture are some of his “candy rings” which are among some of my favorites from this very extensive collection.  We’re having a trunk show featuring Alex’s collection on Friday and Saturday, May 2-3, with an opening night reception and wine tasting with our friends from Amusee on Thursday May 1 (6pm-9pm) – and, yes, the jewelry will be available for purchase that evening.

But wait — there’s more!  May just happens to be Max’s “birthday” month (May 22 is the exact date for anyone who is keeping track), and we think that calls for a party too!  So, whatever it is that brings you in, I do hope that you’ll stop by to help us welcome spring (yes, puh-leese), see some absolutely gorgeous jewelry, and help us celebrate our birthday.

Something Old, Something New; The Janis Kerman Custom Design Event

Spring cleaning isn’t just for the garage, and “something old, something new” doesn’t apply only to brides.  I have a feeling that many of you are like me when it comes to the issue of “old” jewelry that’s sitting around in the back of a dresser drawer.  It could be things that caught your eye at the time but are now far removed from your style, or maybe it’s some heirloom pieces that belonged to others in your family that you don’t quite know what to do with – but you do know that you’re not wearing them very often (or ever at all).  For me, it was an issue of realizing that I had some beautiful things that I wasn’t wearing very often.  I still really liked all of them but, because I now mostly wear jewelry from the artists whose work we represent in the store, I wasn’t wearing them.  Enter Janis Kerman.  Janis is a master at taking your “old” jewelry — pearls, diamonds, charms and other stones – and designing a piece that you’ll actually wear.  This necklace is made from my mom’s pearls that I wore to my wedding, pearls that my husband gave me when he was my fiancee, aquamarine earring studs and an aqua/diamond necklace that he gave me, and the bracelet and earring jackets that I wore to my wedding.  This is now such a special, sentimental piece of jewelry that I love to wear — and look how many individually sentimental items I can wear at once!

So, if you have some of that “old ” jewelry — come on, you know you do! —  I invite you to think about scheduling a design appointment with Janis to create something special for you.  In addition, Janis has her own line and is well known for her asymmetrical “mismatched” earrings that I absolutely love.  The custom design event and trunk show will take place Thursday, April 24-Saturday, April 26.


"Jewelry for the Heart" with a Jamie Joseph Trunk Show and More!

It’s that time of year again — time for our annual live broadcast with The Shop Girls of myTalk 107.1!  We’re excited to welcome Allison and Harmony and, this Valentine’s Day, we’re going to make this an extra special — and important — day in the store. February is National Heart Month, and we want to encourage you to think not only about the heart of everyone who is on your Valentines list, but also about YOUR heart, so we’ve got some teamed up with the University of Minnesota for what I know will be a fun AND informative event. I hope that you’ll join us on Saturday, February 8, as Dr. Monica Colvin-Adams from the U presents information about heart disease prevention and answers your questions — including any you might have about all of the news lately regarding the benefits of eating dark chocolate (you have been hearing/reading about that, right…???)  In addition, we’re featuring a trunk show of fine jewelry artist Jamie Joseph’s collections.  Jamie’s jewelry is a customer favorite, and the vibrantly colored stones she uses just might make your heart skip a beat.  The trunk show takes place both Friday and Saturday, February 7 and 8, and a portion of the proceeds from the sales of Jamie’s jewelry will be donated to the Lillehei Heart Institute.  So, a live broadcast with The Shop Girls on Saturday along with must-know heart health information, a fine jewelry trunk show Friday AND Saturday along with chocolate sampling — coming up at Max’s on February 7-8.  Did I mention that Valentine’s Day is right around the corner….???

It Wouldn't be December at Max's Without a Vicente Agor Trunk Show!

The holiday season is here and we’ve got you covered with three great jewelry designer trunk shows.  We’re getting things started this weekend with our friend and jewelry designer extraordinaire Vicente Agor who has just released his new collection called “Swell”.  This collection is really stunning and very appropriately named.  This holiday, we think it’s all about letting it shine and we think that this collection epitomizes that.  It’s a bit retro with a modern age – think Great Gatsby and the art deco period – think red carpet understated elegance – think beautiful black and white gems highlighted with gold – and you’ll start to get a feel for what the Swell collection is all about!  Friday, December 6 – Sunday, December 8.

"Wrap Up" Your Shopping This Weekend at Max's & Win!

I have to admit that I’ve never been much of a Black Friday shopper. Don’t like the crowds. Don’t like the pushing and shoving. Don’t really care for the madness.  Small Business Saturday on the other hand is something different because it supports retailers who are really trying to do their own thing — creating things, creating value, creating long-lasting customer relationships.  Having said all of this, I like a great offer just as much as the next person and love the buzz of the holiday season.  This year,  Max’s is going to kick off the holiday shopping season with a special opportunity between Friday and Sunday that goes like this:

Spend $100 or more at one time (sorry, no combining of sales across the weekend) and enter a drawing to win one of the following:

1. A $100 Max’s gift card

2. A $75 Max’s gift card and box of chocolate-covered-sea-salt-sprinkled caramels from V Chocolates (yes, “those caramels!)

3. One of 3 gift packages that includes $25 worth of chocolates and a $25 Max’s gift card

So, how about shopping “small” with us this weekend and wrapping up all of your holiday shopping (maybe with some of these fabulous “wrap” bracelets!)



Welcome to Max's New Website!

Max’s online store is open for business!  After 7 1/2 years, we thought that it was time to change things up a bit — we’re now inviting you to shop online with us as well as in the store!  We know that plenty of you like to do your scouting and research after hours from the comfort of your home (are you sitting on the couch right now?) and while we love nothing more than seeing you in the store, we realize that many of your want to buy it when you see it and may not be able to get into the store.  Since the holiday shopping season is upon us, we couldn’t think of a more perfect time to launch the new site.

I’m sure you can appreciate that it takes  a lot of time to add all of our products to the website.  We’re working on it constantly,  so please check back often to see what’s new.   At the outset, we’re focused on our jewelry items, but you’ll be able to add home/gift products to your shopping soon and we’re working on the chocolates.  As always, you can call us or send us an email to add additional products to your order.

We’re really excited about this!  I hope you that you like the new website as much as I do — and I’d love to hear from you.  In the meantime, let’s go shopping!

Welcome to Max's, Shinola!

Twin Cities, meet Detroit. Detroit, meet the Twin Cities.

I’m incredibly excited to announce that Max’s will be representing Shinola, a new company based in my hometown of Detroit. Taking their name from the shoeshine manufacturer of the early 20th century, the new era of Shinola launched in fall of 2011. They partnered with Ronda, a world class Swiss movement manufacturer, to help them build a state-of-the-art watchmaking factory in Detroit, and then trained Detroit locals on the delicate process of movement and watch assembly. As makers of watches, leather goods, journals, and bicycles, they celebrate the beauty of industry and investment in the American workforce.

If you know us already, you know that Max’s prides itself on representing artists who both design and produce their work.  I knew, therefore, that Shinola would be a great fit for Max’s when I saw their commitment to domestic production.  Shinola’s men’s and women’s watches, including the movements, are fully assembled in Detroit. Their bicycles are also assembled in Detroit, using handcrafted, lightweight steel frames out of Waterford, Wisconsin. Their premium leather is produced by Horween, one of the longest continuously operational tanneries in America, and their journals are made in Ann Arbor, Michigan (GO BLUE!!!)

Now for the personal part of the story.  I was born in Detroit and grew up in the surrounding suburbs.  Max’s is named for my grandfather, who owned Max’s Jewelry Company for 54 years in Hamtramck, Michigan, a city within Detroit’s borders.  I have watched the continued challenges in Detroit with much sadness, and cheer on every bit of good news that comes from the city.  It is with utmost sincerity I say that Shinola is a very bright spot in the Motor City; I really do believe they are poised to do great things for my hometown. But beyond that, their American-made watches are simply gorgeous, featuring all high quality components and a classic design.  I think you’ll love them just as much as I do.

Oh, one other thing — when I first looked on Shinola’s website and saw that the their watch factory is just down the street from Hamtramck, it put a big smile on my face.

Some things are just meant to be.

Starry, Starry Night…..and Earrings to Match

I first met Genevieve Yang at an American Craft Council show soon after I opened Max’s.  I was new in the world of jewelry store owners and she was new in the world of jewelry designers. I was drawn to her work and we had a nice conversation and we said we’d keep in touch.  We did for a while, but I didn’t see her at shows for the next few years so I didn’t pursue it.  Fast forward to the JCK show in Las Vegas in 2012 when she was named a Rising Star and my eyes landed on her new (to me) collection based on the moon, stars and wild mountain landscapes.  I fell in love with this collection for multiple reasons — the workmanship is flawless, the inspiration is so different, and it all comes together in a way that really exemplifies the question I often like to ask — “Is it jewelry as art, or art as jewelry?”  I truly do think about Genevieve’s moon-and-star inspired jewelry whenever I look up and see a beautiful full moon, which there will be next week.  The contrast of the diamonds against the oxidized silver has a very literal daytime/nighttime feel and that, combined with the imagery that the stars and moon represent, makes me daydream a bit as I sit and write this…..

Pretty, Pretty, Pretty: The Adel Chefridi Trunk Show

There are a lot of words used to describe jewelry:  cool, funky, big, bold, dainty, blingy, edgy.  The word that I think best describes the work of Adel Chefridi, who is in the store for a trunk show this weekend, is pretty.  That’s it — no extra words needed.  Unless it’s very — as in VERY pretty.  I love it that Adel says “the colors of natural gemstones are the best complement to the natural beauty of people.  My work is an attempt to present the innate beauty of both the gemstones and the wearer.” There is so much to love about Adel’s work — the collection is wide-ranging from  sterling silver rings, earrings and pendants with a sprinkle of gemstones (perfect for mom — you do realize that Mother’s Day is Sunday, don’t you?) to a beautiful white and yellow gold line.  In fact, many of Adel’s rings from the gold collection have made their way to the fingers of some of Max’s brides. So if you need a gift for mom, you have a few graduation gifts to get, or you’d like something new “just because”, then we’ve got you covered with this weekend’s trunk show.  Friday, May 10 from 10-7 and Saturday, May 11 from 10-6.

Ladies, It's Time to Put A Ring on It!

Tired of winter yet?  Ah, yeah, that would be quite the understatement.  While it looks and feels pretty nice outside today, we think that the weather folks have been using the “s” word a bit too much in their descriptions of upcoming weather.  Well, we’re pretty tired of winter and are ready to “ring” in spring, so we’re holding a Jamie Joseph trunk show this weekend.  We can’t wait to see the blues, pinks, greens and yellow stone rings that she sends – we know that they’ll be a perfect way to get in the mood for spring.  Large stone jewelry is all over the market right now, and we just love the way that Jamie does it.  The trunk show is this Friday and Saturday, March 15 and 16.