December 10, 2009

local gift guide: jewelry

Jewelry is my go-to gift when I’m looking for something unique for my mom, sisters, and friends. I feel especially compelled to shop local this season after reading this in a New York Times Style Magazine article on holiday shopping: “Stores overcrowded and chaotic? Leave. Consider places that are dying for your business, dying without your business; patronize mom and pop shops. Your target gift has sold out? It’s overpriced? Cross it off the list - regroup.”

Molly M Designs, Mabel Chong, and Joy O Designs are three local designers whose jewelry will make special, memorable gifts.

Molly M Designs

Molly McGrath is an architect who found that laser cutters have potential beyond architectural models. Molly transforms AutoCAD renderings into laser cut earrings, pendants, and prints. Each style comes in a variety of sizes and many pieces are made from sustainable materials. The photos above are part Molly’s Botanicals collection. You can buy Molly M Designs at or at stores like Doe on Haight, Lavish on Hayes, Picnic on Polk, and Wink SF on 24th St. in Noe Valley.

“Drops 2” from Molly M’s new Layers collection.

Mabel Chong

I stumbled upon Mabel Chong’s shop at Church and 25th a few months ago and immediately fell for her delicate gold necklaces. Mabel’s jewelry is classic yet modern and she will tailor some pieces to your preference (I asked her to put a light blue stone on the necklace above and extend the chain a few inches). Bring a canned food item to the store by this Friday and receive 10% off your purchase. Watch out for the limited hours though: Thu-Sun, 2-6pm. You can also shop online at

Joy O Designs

Joy Opfer’s flagship store, Studio 3579 at 18th and Dolores, is just two blocks from my house so I often find myself admiring her jewelry while waiting in line for Bi-Rite ice cream. Not only is she a hit with the locals, celebrities like Anne Hathaway and Cameron Diaz have been spotted wearing Joy O’s hammered hoops and simple thin cuffs. The necklace above is from her new sustainable line, Kyler, which is all handmade from recycled and recyclable materials.

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