Carrie Hoffman’s Tata Earring Collection

Carrie Hoffman began making jewelry inspired by her love of art, design and architecture. She launched her line in 2012 and her designs have evolved into an elevated, modern jewelry collection that strikes the balance between cool and classic. One year after the launch, Carrie was diagnosed with breast cancer and she beat that #($&&@$&)@*$ — YAY!!!!!  As a survivor, Carrie has created the “Tata” Collection.  The earrings in the collection, which we are so proud to carrie at Max’s, are comprised of a minimalist and modern silhouette that represents the woman’s breast. Various gemstones — smokey topaz, garnet, pink tourmaline, pink sapphire, white and black diamond — because, you know, no two of us are alike — are set inverted in the middle of the stud to represent a nipple.  She also has a version with a line in the middle instead of the stone to represent a scar from the incision.

I was first drawn to Carrie’s booth at a jewelry trade show this summer by the wide array of gold huggies and hoops displayed in her booth (full disclosure — we carry these too!), but quickly became equally captivated by her energy and passion.  As someone who woke up what I like to call the “happy side” of the biopsy knife over 10 years ago but who must get checked out every 6 months “just in case”, I have tremendous respect for Carrie using her skills as a designer to help move the research along to conquer this dreadful disease.  Carrie donates a portion of her sales proceeds from the Tata Collection to the Breast Cancer Research Network, and Max’s is donating a portion of the sales from collection to the Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota.

It’s the Spring Ring Fling! 20% Off on ALL (ok, almost all) Rings!

Yep, you read that right.  20% off on all rings!  Woo-hoo!!!!!! We’ve never done anything like this but, like you, we’re so happy to finally see the sun shine and, before we hit the long, Memorial Day weekend that will launch us into summer, we want to enjoy the spring.  We’re thinking you might like to do that too by indulging in a little pick-me-up shiny object!  There is so much from which to choose – silver, gold, diamonds, texture, color stones, big and chunky, fine and delicate.  The list goes on and on!  The fun begins Monday, May 20 and goes through the end of the day Saturday, May 25.

Ok, so there is a bit of “fine print” associated with “The Fling”.  Not much, but you will want to know that the 20% off does not apply to the following:

  • The ring needs to be in-stock.  We are not able to offer this discount to anything that we may have had in the past but that has since sold.
  • Any new special orders or any that are in the works.  The only exception here is if the ring is a production piece that the artist can re-produce, as opposed to a one-of-a-kind, and you need a different size.
  • Any rings that are currently on sale; the news is good here — you will still receive the sale price (any ring that is currently marked down is marked down more than 20%  — it’s just that you won’t receive an additional 20% off.  Many of you who shop our website know that some of the items on our site show at full-price but have been marked down.  As always, we are more than happy to honor the sale price.  We know that this can be confusing and frustrating and we apologize for that and are working on a better way to handle the sale online.  Until that time, you will receive a very happy phone call or email from us letting you know that the ring you just bought for 20% off is actually going to cost you even less.

Pretty straight-forward, huh?  If you’re shopping online, just enter coupon code SPRINGRINGFLING.  If you’re shopping in the store, we’ll see you soon!



A Springtime “Pop-Up” Trunk Show with Jewelry Designer Rebecca Myers!

It’s spring!  We Minnesotans worked hard for it this year and we’re ready for our spring event!  On Thursday, May 2, jewelry designer Rebecca Myers will be in the store with her gorgeous collection.  It couldn’t come at a better time of the year, as so much of Rebecca’s jewelry is nature inspired, with flowers and bees adorning rings, cuff bracelets, and earrings. Rebecca also uses a lot of big, bold, bright stones in her work — and aren’t we all in the mood for some color and brightness right about now!  Join us this Thursday for the fun!

It’s Time for Max’s Semi-Annual Sale!

Did you get some gift cards for Christmas that you want to spend? Did Santa disappoint you a bit this year? Just feeling like doing some shopping? Whatever the reason, it’s a great time to stop in as we have lots and lots of beautiful jewelry to choose from at markdowns between 30-80% off of the original price. Maybe that ‘something special’ you’ve been eyeing for a while is part of the sale.  We only do this twice a year, so it’s definitely worth stopping in.

Not in town or you just want to shop online?  You won’t see our sale prices online so if you’re wondering about a certain piece, give us a call and we’ll let you know if it’s part of the sale.  We are often asked why we don’t put our sale prices online.  The reason for that is that we’re so passionate about the work that our designers do, that we don’t want to cause issues for them when something we have in the store goes on sale but it’s not on sale elsewhere.  Similarly, we don’t want to cause issues for other retailers because of our sale prices.  We only put things on sale that have been in the store for a long enough time that we feel comfortable that our customers have had enough opportunity to evaluate whether it’s right for them.

See the Winners from Cultured Pearl Association of America Competition!

I am so pleased and proud that the Cultured Pearl Association of America chose Max’s as one of only 2 retailers in the country to showcase the winners, runners-up and some of the other entrants in this year’s competition.  There are some really fabulous pieces to see (and they are available for sale!) — and oh, the creativity!  Here is a description of the various categories as described by Jennifer Heebner for the CPAA.


For the past nine years, the Cultured Pearl Association of America (CPAA) has challenged the international design community to innovate with pearls—an ethically sourced and sustainable gem whose beauty and contributions to aquatic environments worldwide often aren’t celebrated enough. [Beautiful pearls only come from pristine waters.] That’s why the CPAA has partnered this year with Max’s to better promote these beautiful gems, better acquaint Minneapolis-area consumers with them, and give winning pieces a bigger platform for exposure.

The winning pieces and several honorable mentions from the 2018 CPAA International Pearl Design Competition are now on display and available for purchase through Dec. 7. From $600 pearl-and-paper-clip-motif earrings in gold with diamonds to a one-of-a-kind pair of South Sea and akoya pearl earrings with diamonds, these designs aren’t ones you’ll see anywhere else!

When designers create jewels for contests, they let their imaginations run wild in order to create masterful styles worthy of recognition and heirloom status. That goal has been accomplished and them some with this year’s winning pieces.

Drop by the store to see the following jewels and nab your own piece of lustrous design history.

The Categories:

President’s Trophy. This top prize is given to the piece deemed the most beautiful and original design concept that is well made, celebrates pearls, and leaves a lasting impression of pearls as must-have gems.

Winner: Rivoli earrings by Adam Neeley of Adam Neeley Designs in Laguna Beach, Calif. Made in 14k, 18k, and 22k gold with golden South Sea pearls, cream-to-white akoya pearls, and diamonds.

Luster Award. This winning piece represents the evolution of a best-selling pearl jewelry design and bears a covetable and marketable concept with wide appeal for the marketplace.

Winner: Day-to-Night pendant necklace by Hisano Shepherd of Little h Jewelry in Los Angeles. Made in 14k gold with sliced and carved Tahitian pearls and black and colorless diamonds.

Orient Award. This winning piece appeals to an emerging pearl jewelry collector—someone who has never before thought of wearing pearls—through attractive design, innovative use of pearls, and an accessible price.

Winner: Orbit pendant by Timo Krapf of Timo Krapf Jewelry in Pittsford, N.Y. Made in platinum with a Tahitian pearl and cord and inspired by anticlastic raising.

Visionary Award for Classic Styles. This winning piece is attractive, creative, and salable, championing a fresh look for an iconic pearl style—strands, studs, bracelets, or a ring—to help change the dated perception of pearls in the market.

Winner: Time is Now Convertible Skull necklace by Jennifer Pusenkoff of Jennifer Pusenkoff Designs in Essexville, Mich. Piece features Tahitian pearls, a white South Sea pearl, a white freshwater pearl, a carved howlite skull, diamonds, and 18k gold components. The piece transforms for wear in different ways.

Wedding Day Pearls. This winning piece best captures what a contemporary bride might wear on her wedding day.

Winner: Rivoli earrings by Adam Neeley of Adam Neeley Designs in Laguna Beach, Calif. Made in 14k, 18k, and 22k gold with golden South Sea pearls, cream-to-white akoya pearls, and diamonds.

Fashion Award. This winning piece features a creative compilation of materials fashioned into a youthful, high fashion, and original pearl jewelry design that looks as if it came straight from a Paris runway.

Winner: Sea Star earrings (pictured) by Mary Kay and Patrick Mohs of Patrick Mohs Jewelry in Wayzata, Minn. Made in 18k gold with golden South Sea pearls and diamond accents.

Spotlight Award—Akoya Pearls. This new category for 2018 focuses on designs where 75 percent of the piece features one type of pearl—the akoya pearl for this year. This winning piece should make viewers think about akoya pearls and all their colors, including natural-color baby blue akoyas in addition to classic white, in a way that is fresh and modern, challenges the standard of designs that feature it, and entices a non-pearl-lover to start collecting.

Winner: Flex cuff by Sean Gilson for Assael in New York City. Made in 18k gold by way of the anticlastic raising technique for flexibility and has akoya pearls.

Honorable mentions for the U.S. Division that will also be in store include:

  • The Southern Magnolia ring by Ashleigh Branstetter
  • Harmony mother-of-pearl ring by Gina Ferranti of Gigi Ferranti Jewelry
  • Pink Ombre ring by Hisano Shepherd of Little h
  • Opulence necklace by Hisano Shepherd of Little h
  • Il Festino ring by Hisano Shepherd of Little h
  • Spiral Collection earrings by Hisano Shepherd of Little h
  • Dancing Butterflies ring by James Kyllonen of Kyllonen Luxury
  • Lydia Grows necklace by Lika Behar of Lika Behar Designs
  • Golden Waves ring by Mary Kay and Patrick Mohs of Patrick Mohs Design
  • Paper Clip earrings by Mastoloni
  • Crushed Ombré ring by Pamela Froman of Pamela Froman Fine Jewelry





Are You Ready? It’s Time for Max’s Semi-Annual Sale

It’s summer and you know what that means – time for Max’s semi-annual sale! We just got home from a big buying trip and it’s time to make some room for all of the new great jewelry we selected for the store, so now is a great time to stop in and see if something you’ve been eyeing for a while is on sale.  While not everything has been marked down, there certainly is a lot of jewelry that is part of the sale, we are all pretty sure that you’re going to love it! With reductions in price of anywhere between 30-80%, how could you not?

Let’s talk the sale and buying online.  It’s no great secret that when people shop online they sometimes “shop around” looking for a price advantage at one store vs. another.  That’s ok.  We’ve all done it.  We don’t want to impact another store’s business by advertising that a piece is on sale that another store is selling at full price. And let’s be honest here — putting a sale price online is, after all, a form of advertising.   We also don’t want to negatively impact any of our designers who are selling off of their websites who may not have marked a piece down.  The only reason that we put jewelry on sale is that it is been around for a little longer than we had expected and we need to make a bit of room for what’s new.  Make sense?  I hope so.  By all means, if you’re wondering what’s on sale and you can’t get into the store, especially if you’ve been eyeing something for a while,  please, please, please call or email us and we’ll let you know.  Similarly, if you wind up buying something online that is marked down in the store, you’ll be getting a happy call/email from us about a refund!

At the same time that you’re enjoying the sale, you might also want to feast your eyes on some of the new jewelry that has already begun to arrive.  Lene Vibe, I’m talking about you…..!!!!

Many Thanks for 12 Great Years at Max’s and Here’s to Many More!

Happy Birthday to us!  We’re 12! Ok, so that may sound a little self-promoting I know.  Honestly though, given all of the challenges since we opened our doors, I am quite proud that we’re still standing — and standing stronger than ever!  While there have been some tough times that have made for some long days, the truth is that these 12 years have really flown by.  We opened our doors, we moved our location (I know that it was just across the greenway, but a move is a move if you have to pack and unpack all of the stuff!), won a few “best of” awards and watched some of our retail neighbors flourish while, sadly, some have closed or moved elsewhere.  And the babies!  Members of the Max’s team have brought 4 little people into the world while they’ve been here.

During the past 12 years, however, a few things have remained constant.  The single biggest of these, and the most important to us, is the support of our customers.  Your support, encouragement, friendship and smiles mean the world to us.  We love what we do and we are so grateful that what we are doing here at Max’s has meaning to you.  Since the first day of creating the vision for Max’s, one of the most important things to me was to create a space that was inviting and welcoming to our customers in order to display what we believe to be the best “artful” jewelry.

Jewelry is about self-expression.  I’ve always said that, while trend watching is fun, the most important thing in selecting and buying jewelry is how you feel about what you’re choosing to put on your body.  You might choose something because of the material it’s made from, because of the inspiration behind the piece, because of the occasion it represents, or because it’s just downright beautiful.  Whatever it is that moves you to say “yep, that’s the one!”, it’s our hope that you’ll feel great every time you open your jewelry drawer and see it and put it on your body.

We’ll be heading into the jewelry markets soon to find some new wonderful things to bring your way.  We’re never content to rest on our laurels, and are excited about what the next several months — and years — will bring!  Now it’s time to celebrate with some chocolate!

Ray Griffiths is Going to Show You How to Give Your Mom the Royal Treatment!

We’re getting ready for Ray days at Max’s! Just in time for Mother’s Day, we’ve got a trunk show featuring the jewelry of New York designer Ray Griffiths on May 11 and 12 — and Ray will be in the store the entire time. Ray began his career more than 40 years ago in his native Australia, where as a teenager he studied the fine art of restoring and designing crowns and tiaras worn by royalty. He learned how to create the grid-like pattern found in gold crowns, which gives each piece a distinctive design element and visual heft while allowing it to remain light and easy to wear (after all, all of those jewels get heavy and could give you a headache). Fast forward to today, and that Crownwork® technique that was part of the vintage jewelry Ray was restoring is now his signature and present in all of his jewelry.

Ray’s work is inspired by the Edwardian and Regency eras, Spanish Moors, and Roman Greco, as well as his love for mid-century architecture. He has received numerous honors for his work, and his line include rings, earrings, necklaces, pendants, bracelets, wedding, custom work, and his Everyday Ray casual collection.  We think that Ray’s is a true master at this craft, creating jewelry that is absolutely stunning with workmanship that is second to none. On top of that, Ray is one of the most delightful people to be around and we’re so happy to welcome him back to Max’s.  With Mother’s Day on Sunday, this is a great time to visit the store.  You won’t be sorry that you did!




Springtime Artisan Wedding Ring Event!

I can hardly believe it, but we’re getting ready to celebrate our 12th year in business! Wow! I know it sounds like a cliche, but I have to ask… just where does the time go? One of the things that has changed for us over the years is that our selection of wedding jewelry has really expanded. If you had asked me 12 years ago about our wedding business, I would tell you that it was nowhere on my radar screen. That portion of our business grew because of our customers.  The year was 2006 and the term “alternative bridal” had just barely begun to be uttered. Fast forward to today, and we have over hundreds of wedding designs from several designers representing a number of styles. The wedding and engagement rings at Max’s range in style from classic elegance to edgy luxe, with the common thread of being hand-crafted by skilled artisans. Alternative, traditional, vintage, modern – we’ve got them all! Some of our rings are highly organic in their design, and some use nontraditional materials for wedding jewelry, such as black steel in the band or a red diamond as the center stone.

We’re doing something that we’ve never done before at Max’s with a special wedding ring event. Between April 6 and April 21, over 250 rings from more than 15 of the designers we represent will be available at a 20% discount*!  You can see some of them here — we try to keep our website as up-to-date as we can, but there are even more that are included in the event.

Allow me to share a bit about our approach to bridal/wedding sales.  When we work with wedding customers, our goal isn’t to sell the biggest diamond. We prefer to offer the very highest quality diamond in an exquisite setting that evokes the wearer’s individual style.  We also love to share the story of each piece of jewelry and the designer who created it. We’re not about selling trends but, rather, helping our brides and grooms find that piece of jewelry that best expresses their personality and fits their lifestyle.

I hope that you’ll stop in between April 6 and April 21 to explore our wide assortment of rings for both her and for him!


*no adjustments on prior purchases

*discount does not apply to custom orders when there is any change to the design of the ring presently in the store (e.g., choice of stone, number of stones)

*the offer will be extended to ring size special orders

*reward points will not be earned on purchases that are a part of this promotion

*existing reward points may be used on these purchases

So Just What Does Chocolate Have to do with Jewelry!?!?!???

Hi there friends of Max’s!  Happy New Year!  It’s been a long time (ok, waaaayyyy too long of a time) since we’ve chatted.  Things got a bit crazy here toward the end of the year and we thank you for that because the craziness was all good.  We love what we do, the designers we represent, and the opportunity to be surrounded by beauty and creativity on a daily basis. You make this possible for us. We so appreciate your support, encouragement and patronage — and the fact that you keep us focused on bringing our “A Game” to the store — at holiday times and every day.

One of the things that I am often asked by people who are first discovering Max’s is “So just what is the story behind the combination of jewelry and chocolate?”  I wish I had a really intriguing answer to this, but it is really pretty simple – they’re two things that I really love and, when I went about creating Max’s, decided that they make a wonderful, luxurious pairing.  Jewelry is an indulgence and so is chocolate.  In my pre-Max’s corporate life, I travelled close to 100% of the work week.  My little secret “stash” that I carried in my briefcase was a bar or 2 of really, really good chocolate.  It became my reward after a particularly brutal meeting or long day.  Something to look forward to when I returned to my hotel room.  Fast forward to the world of jewelry, and I decided that chocolate makes perfect sense as a complement to the jewelry we represent — it’s artistic, vibrant, handcrafted and thoughtfully created.  There is one thing that it has going for it that the jewelry doesn’t — it’s delicious!

A Thousand Reasons to $Stack!!!

A picture tells a thousand words, right? Well here at Max’s, the jewelry analogy to that is that the a great ring stack just could be worth a thousand dollars! Join us on September 22 and 23 for the Sarah Graham trunk show and ring stacking party and be entered in our Instagram contest to win a $1000 credit to be used for Sarah’s jewelry! Come in and build a ring stack– you can start your stack from scratch, or add one or more of Sarah’s to a stack that you already wear. We’ll take a picture of your stack and post it on Instagram, and people will vote on their favorite stack. The person who gets the most likes will win a $1000 credit at Max’s for Sarah Graham jewelry. Not a ring stacker? Not to worry as Sarah is bringing jewelry from all of her collections including her newest collection called Trigon. Sarah is known for her use of blackened cobalt chrome combined with high caret gold and diamonds to make jewelry that is at the same time a bit edgy as it is elegant and highly sophisticated.

So, come in and join the party September 22 and 23.  You have nothing to lose except the possibility of winning $1000!  To spend on jewelry.  Really fabulous and cool jewelry.  Yes, we’re serious!


From the Bench: Redesigning Jewelry with Janis Kerman

It’s spring cleaning time! I’m not talking about cleaning out your clothes closet – I’m talking about cleaning out your jewelry box. You know those things that are sitting there that you are never, ever going to put on but that you just can’t part with. They may be family heirlooms, or things that evoke special, sentimental memories but just don’t reflect your current style. I’ve got a solution – join us May 4-6 for our custom design event with jewelry desigver Janis Kerman. Blending the old with the new by using stones and metals from your existing jewelry, Janis can create a design that matches how you dress and live today. Finished jewelry from her collection will also be in the store, including her famous asymmetrical earrings which are definitely a customer favorite.

Janis has been designing jewelry for 45 years.  Her first exhibition was in her hometown of Montreal and, once again, The Guild in Montreal will hold another Janis Kerman exhibition — this time, a retrospective of her career.  As part of the run-up to the exhibition, MetalAid conducted this fabulous interview with Janis about her career — the early days, how she approaches her work, inspiration and what comes next.

I met Janis Kerman in February 2006 at a small, juried trade show and immediately knew that her stunning jewelry needed to be a part of Max’s.  In retrospect, “knowing” what the store needed is a strong statement because we wouldn’t be open for another 3 months so I was shopping for inventory with a hope and expectation of who our customer would be and what s/he would like.  Not only did I immediately realize that her contemporary designs aligned with my personal taste, but also with the premise of “jewelry as art”, which is an underpinning of what Max’s tries to represent to our customers.

Fast forward 10 years, and Janis and Max’s are still together!  Her annual custom design event has become a must-do event for many of our customers as she has breathed new life into those family heirlooms and “stale” jewelry pieces.  If you’re interested in a custom design, please give us a call in the store to make an appointment. Also, need I remind you that Mother’s Day is just around the corner? Graduation season?  I think you probably get the point — more about that later!