You gotta love a woman who says the following things: “Jewelry is the greatest gift … It always fits, easily ships & won’t go to the hips!”, “You look so thin in those Pearls“, “Happy Wife, Happy Life“, “Give her what she REALLY wants!“. Meet Barb GrOb, the vivacious Designer/Curator of The Key West Jewelry Bar ~ One of a Kind and Rare to Find Art Accessories. If you know me, you know I LOVE jewelry ~ but not the shy, small, delicate pieces often sold in fine jewelry stores. Oh no, I like the bold, big, splashy, one of a kind jewelry that is more usually found in crafty places. “…Local Luxuries! … Objects of Desire…!” Do I really need to tell you I was enrolled even before I saw the store?
We met Barb at the Farmers Market. Of course, the reason was our sweet Irish Setter, Mick. Key West is an overwhelmingly dog friendly town, EVERYBODY loves Mick, thinks he’s handsome and needs to give him a pet. Barb came over to introduce herself to Mick and Michael. I walked up and Barb noticed my beautiful Lois Hill designed silver bracelets that I wear most of the time and said, “You’ll love my store, please stop by” and gave me a $10 off card. Barb was wearing great, unique jewelry so I checked her website and the first three pieces displayed were all items I’d happily wear. Hmmm, great jewelry, discount coupon, did I need any additional motivation to go? I stopped in the other day and was pleased to see Barb was manning the shop. She didn’t remember me from a few weeks ago but zeroed in on my necklace and said it looked like something that I could have bought in her shop. She was right. The windows and displays were filled with my kind of jewelry. Now comes my dilemma. Overall, Barb’s beautiful jewelry is well priced but not inexpensive (actually there is a wide variety of prices, I just really like all her very special pieces). Her jewelry is unique and beautiful but you need to understand, I’ve got a lot of outstanding jewelry AND I’ve started making my own jewelry AND have invested in a ton of gorgeous beads, stones, pearl and trinkets to create my own designs. There were a few pieces I definitely would have scooped up if I didn’t already have something very similar already or all the makings of a piece. Nothing jumped out and caught me by the throat and said you HAVE to buy me so ‘for the time being’ I’m passing on making a purchase. Of course this may also be influenced by the upcoming trunk show on Thursday that will have a lot more pieces than were displayed in the store.
Barb designs a fair amount of the jewelry and buys in other pieces from all over. This allows the store to have a wide range of fabulous pieces with varying styles but always impactful. (It also allows Barb to fulfill her dream of traveling around the world, smart woman.) In the back of my mind, I’m wondering if I can sell my jewelry to her or trade for pieces. I’m at a point where my designs are solid but I need a little refinement on finishing the pieces so they look really professional. I’m going to be working on that while I’m here. Hmmm…..
Flash forward to the show. Michael and I get there right at the start because I wouldn’t want to miss getting a great piece because someone else was walking out with ‘my” treasure. The show was smaller than I expected but it had a large variety of lovely pieces. Michael saw a delicious bracelet that he had me try on. It had beautiful turquoise stones set in silver with pearls and other gems. I promised one of the sales people I wouldn’t steal it but wanted to wear it for a while as I was browsing. I saw a pair of earrings I liked that Barb was modeling but Michael didn’t particularly care for them so I passed and told him I was ready to check out. He made a big deal that I should continue looking which surprised the sales staff and made them laugh.
We walked around some more and Michael admired a necklace that Barb was wearing for a second time and had me try it on. It was a large statement piece made of beautiful golden quartz. I had on the wrong top so it didn’t look that great but Michael really liked it and it looked great on Barb, so we added that to the bracelet. I went back 3 or 4 times to the earrings that had caught my eye early on and decided I needed to get them. They were stunning and kept catching my eye. They have a large chunk of red coral surrounded by crystals, Michael loves red and I have a great red coral necklace that I made that they will look beautiful with. My birthday is coming up this month and Michael has now completed his shopping for me – I’m just wondering if this also covers Christmas and next year as well!