BlogAudrey

You’re Invited to Breakfast at Max’s for Valentine’s Day!

That well known celebration of love is upon us – you know what I’m talking about – it’s Valentine’s Day! – and you’re invited to Breakfast at Max’s on February 13. We’re calling it “baubles, bites and bubbly” because you’ll be able to enjoy delicious breakfast treats to eat and drink from our neighbors at Blackstone Bistro while you shop for all of your Valentine’s Day gifts. In addition to that, we’re having a live MyTalk 107.1 Shop Girls broadcast going on, because it just wouldn’t be the Saturday before Valentine’s Day around here if Allison and Harmony weren’t in the store talking jewelry and chocolate gift ideas.  And, while Audrey Hepburn can’t join us (and we do think that our cover girl Kate does a great job at channeling Ms. Hepburn from that certain movie about breakfast in front of a particular jewelry store…..), we certainly hope that you will — no reservations needed!  The breakfast fare will be available between 10:30 – 1:00, with the live broadcast taking place between 11-1.  As an added bonus, the first 25 people who come for breakfast will receive a heart “token” from that can be redeemed any time on February 13 at Blackstone Bistro for a cocktail of their choosing.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.  While many dismiss VDay as being too commercial and simply made up, we choose to embrace the spirit of the “season” as we don’t believe that there is ever such a thing as too much love!


JHWBlog

From Across “The Pond” — A Jo Hayes Ward Trunk Show!

The British are coming, the British are coming!  Ok, so not exactly.  But Jo Hayes Ward, who is from Britain, IS coming to Max’s for her very first trip to the store (and to Minneapolis)!  Jo’s work is recognized for its intricate, architectural aesthetic and is really unique and highly contemporary and – well – just very cool. When I first met Jo a couple of years ago, I know instantly that her jewelry had to be at Max’s because it was so beautiful and different from anything I had seen before.  She is part of the Rock Vault, a program run by the British Fashion Council, aimed at highlighting a select group of Britain’s most innovate jewelry designers.  I’m so excited to have her in the store because, in addition to making stunning jewelry, she is an absolute delight.

Keeping with the British theme, we’ll be enjoying a bit of the “High Tea” tradition during the trunk show, complete with chocolate sampling featuring the chocolates of British chocolatier Willie’s Cacao.  I first became aware of Willie’s chocolates a couple of years ago and, when it was finally possible to import them from the UK, I jumped at the chance.  I’m a purist when it comes to chocolate — the less that’s in it the better — and Willie’s is straight up cacao and sugar (except for the bars that have delicious pairings/inclusions like ginger and lime).  You can read more about Willie’s Cacao here — and Willie’s story  is both fascinating and educational.  Yes, there really is a Willie!

The trunk show is Friday and Saturday, February 5 and 6 and Jo and I are both hoping to see you.  Cheers!

 


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All We Need is Love!!!

That calendar-marked day of love is approaching!  Now I know that some (and maybe a lot, but I hope it’s not most) of you are anti-Valentine’s Day, feeling that it’s nothing but a marketing ploy by greeting card and candy manufacturers.  Not wanting to mix holiday metaphors, I say bah-humbug to that.  While it’s true that we shouldn’t need reminders to say “I love you” to those we do in fact love, and that giving a “just because” gift once in while is genuine and truly the best, I have no problem with a forced reminder (and that is not because Max’s is a jewelry and chocolate boutique!) to take a minute to celebrate those we love.

Ok, disclaimer finished.  Because we ARE a jewelry and chocolate boutique, and because Valentine’s Day IS a day known for giving such gifts, we thought we’d put together some ideas for you to get the gift giving juices going!  So, in the spirit of the season, here is a little gift guide filled with some things that we love as gift ideas for the day of love!


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Hygge

A friend of mine recently introduced me to the word and concept of hygge. Given the artic blast of cold that has descended upon us the last couple of days, I’ve found myself thinking quite a bit about this. Hygge is a Danish concept and, as described on the website www.visitdenmark.com, “Hygge means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people. The warm glow of candlelight is hygge. Friends and family – that’s hygge too.” Pretty nice, huh?

All of a sudden, the cold doesn’t feel that bad anymore, as images of sitting in front of the fireplace drinking some fabulous wine (and, of course, I’ll be eating chocolate too) with your sweetie and great friends create a feeling of warmth. I like it — I’ve always wanted to go to Denmark – and now I’m even more tempted! While we don’t have a fireplace here in the store (oh, but now wouldn’t it be so cool if we did), we do have wonderful candles from Graham + Kane. I love these candles – not just because they smell divine, but I so appreciate the attention to detail that has gone into every aspect of them. How fitting, in the spirit of hygge, that the candle line is called Peace, with each candle (No. One, No. Two and No. Three) having individual statements about peace. This is a picture of Peace Three – perhaps the guys at Graham + Kane have heard about hygge before.


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Tick Tock — Max’s Semi-Annual Sale is Winding Down!

Tick, tock – no pressure here, but just a friendly reminder that our semi-annual sale is winding down. Yep, the unsold items go back in the safe at the end of the day on Saturday.  Select items are marked down between 30-80% off of the original price, so I’m thinking it may be worth a trip over to see if there’s anything with your name on it.  As a bonus, you’ll see some new things in our cases too!


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Wrap up Holiday Shopping with Anne Sportun!

Wrapped up that holiday shopping yet? Well, if not, I’ve got a great idea. How about stopping by for the Anne Sportun trunk show to find the perfect gift?!?! Things just wouldn’t be the same around here if we didn’t wrap up the holiday shopping season with an Anne Sportun trunk show.  It just wouldn’t be right. A definite customer favorite, Anne looks to nature for inspiration, striving to combine the precious with the everyday.  Anne’s colleague Suzanne will be in the store Friday afternoon, December 18 through the end of the day Sunday, December 20 showcasing the complete Anne Sportun Collection, including the new Vintage Bridal line and never seen before one-of-a-kind designs fresh from their Toronto Studio.  Join us for some holiday shopping — and, yes, it is ok to give yourself a gift! — at our last designer trunk show of 2015.

 

 


AnnieTrunkshow

Max’s Welcomes Annie Fensterstock!

You know how it is when you see a picture and JUST KNOW that you love something?  That’s how it was when my eyes first fell upon the jewelry from Annie Fensterstock.  The warmth of the gold, the the vibrancy of the colors, the sparkle of the diamonds in classic, yet very modern designs — it was definitely love at first sight.  Fast forward about a year or two when I had an opportunity to meet Annie and, for the first time, set my eyes upon her jewelry in person. Definite swoon.  Since that time, it has been an honor and a privilege to represent her work at Max’s.  Annie’s jewelry is a beautiful blend of ancient goldsmithing techniques and contemporary design and are, I believe, truly works of art.  While we’ve represented Annie for a few years, this show marks her first visit to Max’s and we’re so excited to have her in the store.The trunk show takes place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday of this week, with Annie in the store on Friday and Saturday. I hope that you’ll stop by to see this beautiful collection and meet Annie and, who knows….one of her beauties just might go home as holiday gift that will be sure to wow its recipient.


Erica

Let’s Get Personal This Weekend — With Erica Molinari!

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…..???


BucciHands

Carolina Bucci, Small Biz Saturday, and The Shop Girls!

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 Bucci on 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.


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Ray Griffiths, Max’s and Fashion Group International!

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 Griffiths visited 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.

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PMBells_Blog

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.


ToddBlog

From the Bench: Meet Todd Reed

Welcome to “From the Bench” from Max’s!  We like to tell stories here at Max’s — in particular, the stories of the artists whose work we represent.  From creative inspiration to the “back story” of what a particular artist did before s/he started designing jewelry, we believe that knowing more about an artist can deepen the appreciation for a particular design aesthetic and make an item as much (or more) of a piece of art as it is a wearable item.  Jewelry is all about personal adornment — how we feel about ourselves and what our personal style is (avant-garde, fun and funky, tailored and classic) — and, after all, you’re buying the jewelry to help tell your story to the world, right?

Rather than us always telling the story, we’ve decided that once in a while we’ll use our blog to let our designers tell you their story directly “From the Bench”.  With our trunk show featuring the work of Todd Reed happening this weekend, we thought it appropriate to launch this type of post with the following Q&A and video from Todd where you can hear more about his design inspiration and approach to jewelry.

What role does emotion play in your design? My jewelry can be emotional. A little sad even. There’s a layer that’s wrought with a little bit of angst. And I don’t try to take that away, that’s the privilege of being an artist, you can put a little bit of yourself in it.

What is your favorite gem to work with?  Why? I love any raw material including raw coloured gems and my first pieces were designed with raw rubies and emeralds. I focus on diamonds because they offer the most exquisite beauty, variety and luxury for my designs.

What practices do you employ to ensure your designs are created with ethically- and responsibly-sourced gems and metals? We work with a great company called Hoover and Strong, a refiner and manufacturer that has been providing socially and environmentally-responsible products for more than 95 years. We send them our scraps and get usable pieces of metal in return. All of the metals we use, Palladium, 18ky Gold, 18ky Rose Gold and Sterling silver, can be and are easily recycled. My primary procurement method for stones is opportunistic buying, that is seeking upcycled and recycled stones that come from Australia, Africa, India, Colorado, Brazil, Russia and all around the world.

What inspired you to begin designing jewelry? I got into jewelry design through a job stitching leather clothes. Craft couture, the clothes and handbags were very popular and we expanded into silver components for the pieces. This was the entree into designing and learning how to fabricate gold, silver and gemstone jewelry. The inspiration came from trying to communicate with objects in an authentic way. 

When choosing gems for your work, what do you look for? Unique stones that grab me.

What inspires your approach to design? Everyday life. 

Who is your muse? I don’t have a muse. I see beauty in everything. I’m not designing for one specific person. 

Do you follow trends in jewelry design? I am aware of them and I pay attention to fashion, but I am not influenced by trends.

How had the jewelry industry changed since you got into the business? When I first got into the industry I was the only one using raw stones and textured metals. So much has changed because of the Internet and eCommerce as well.

Where do you see the industry going in the future? I see it shrinking. Great brands will rise to the top, the consumer will dictate and demand quality as well as a unique buying experience. Brands will surpass designers. 

How do current events influence your work? They don’t. I’m totally uninfluenced by social reality. 

What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?  Most of my time is spent thinking about how to have the best jewelry brand. 

What talent do you have that would surprise people? I’m great at painting nails.