s
Blog
Anthem in Menlo Park!

 

I'm very excited to share that my friend Janelle Loevner, who owns Anthem a few doors down, is opening a brand new location in Menlo Park. When you walk into Anthem you feel a sort of "je ne sais quoi". Her store makes you feel like you're in a fantasy home-–which is a good thing considering her main focus is interior design!

Her aesthetic is creams and nudes, and patterns with texture and sparkle. She furnishes an eclectic mix of rustic and modern, classy and chic. The store is a trigger for the imagination.

I also want to announce that Anthem in Menlo Park is carrying my jewelry! So while you're shopping for your abode, be sure not to forget about yourself, too.

Below, Janelle talks about some of her favorite things featured in her store, in Silicon Valley Magazine--which is really quite an amazing publication!

Professional Business Women's Conference

As a woman who designs for women and as the mother of two young women-to-one-day-be, I couldn't be more thrilled to represent at the San Francisco PBWC show today (Professional Business Women's Conference).

With Hillary Clinton, Taraji Henson, Memory Banda, and Rosario Dawson speaking, it will be an amazing event. Libby Schaaf--the Mayor of Oakland--will be there, and a dozen others I hope I can see.

I've been doing this show for awhile, and it is always a refresher for me to see so many professional women working together to network, support, and enjoy one another.

Look for Instagrams and Facebook posts throughout the day. And if you can't make it over, know that I'm also providing a 15% online discount to anyone who can't make it to the conference. Use the promo PBWC at checkout, for 15% this week, up 'til April 1.

If you're at the show, 'lean in' over to my booth and say hi!”

Stay beautiful!

-Mabel

Weekend Chic!

Hello everyone, it's Tom again coming to you from the Union street Mabel Chong store. Surrounded by sport bars and athletic wear boutiques, I bring you my 2nd blog.

The topic this week is "Weekend Chic."  Working weekends on a street like Union, I've become somewhat of a "looks critic." Given all I see here, I have a few ideas about the topic.

 

1. Weekend chic in San Francisco shouldn't be about the expression of money. As a general rule I steer clear of the dreadful subject (of money), except to say that chic doesn't rely on money to exist and it can even be the death of chic.

2. Chic is what you bring to your choice of clothes and accessories, appropriate for the activity and with fashion trends in mind—or not.

3. Mabel's brick and mortar presence of course is San Francisco and it's the town I know best. However, with a vibrant online presence Mabel's reach is global, and we are grateful for the introduction.  San Francisco offers so much to those who live and visit here. To list them would be a bit boastful and not fair to those from far away.  And I'm sure there are things to boast beyond San Francisco. That said I encourage everyone to take a moment and google to see what is available to you in your location to enjoy and to bring your chic to that activity.  Create that memory today that will make for a happy life later on!

4) Whether you're a slave to fashion, just a casual observer, or confident of your own style choices and don't pay attention...the fact is trends are big news and influence everything you buy.  We may think we choose the color but it's already been decided for us two years prior by the big 3 forecasters  1) The Color Association of the United State, 2) the Color Marketing Group, and the Pantone Institute. 

So, with that in mind, here are the trends for Summer 2017 that said "Weekend Chic" to me when doing my research for the blog. 

1) Florals.  Head to toe.  Flower Power.  50th Celebration of San Francisco's "Summer of Love."  These are wallpaper-worthy florals.  And yes Miranda Priestly, it IS groundbreaking.

2) Stripes!  Graphic and BOLD...this is not a subtle stripe in demure colors

It is a bright and loud and in your face horizontal and vertical kind of stripe!

3) which segues into the next trend...the Super brights – brighter than the sun!

with the colors all mixed up and clashing.  Never has being what we have been told is wrong ever looked and felt so right!

4) Then over your favorite jeans or a skirt we have SHIRTS worn off the shoulder, or cold shoulder (think Flashdance) with the sleeves down to there and beyond.

the 80's are also on trend with Flashdance released in 1983 and too think Dynasty big shoulders and cinched waists but that's another blog!  More like "Weekday Torture" and not "Weekend Chic." 

5) and lastly, at least for the purposes of this blog is The Sheer Factor or Peekaboo think sundress transitioning from a walk on the beach to an evening concert in the park. It is you who will bring the lovely to the dress.

Fashion or Style don't always have to be at odds.  When they are blended it's a great tool to use when you're ready to freshen your existing wardrobe making it de rigueur and you au courant.  And then empowered by your own personal style you will confidently stride into that weekend of chic enjoying all that your environs have to offer with no worry about having to keep up with the Joneses because the truth is YOU are the Joneses!

Thank you for taking the time to read my little blog, please come see me at 1949 Union and if in the neighborhood Mabel and Kyle can be found at 3242 Sacramento,

Until next time,

Tom

 

Caring for your Gold-Filled and Gemstone Jewelry

Hello everyone, my name is Tom...I am the fellow who usually runs Mabel’s Union Street location.  I started working with Mabel a year ago, and it's been a fun ride.  I retired a little while back but work with Mabel because I love jewelry!

The excitement of owning a handcrafted piece of jewelry made by Mabel Chong is so palpable and raw.  Mabel calls it "Uncivilized Elegance."  Newness fades, though, and over time jewelry may lose its luster.  How do you revive it?  I'll get to that in a moment, but first let's discuss gold-filled jewelry, which Mabel uses frequently, in addition to 14K.

Gold-filled jewelry is composed of a solid layer of Gold, which must constitute at least 5% of the item's total weight, mechanically bonded to sterling silver or a base metal. By comparison gold plating is a miniscule layer of solid gold applied to a brass base and it can wear off rather quickly and expose the brass base product. It does not stand up to heat, water or wear over time. The gold-filled, with it's 5% gold by weight, and with all the gold on it's surface, offers protection from tarnish and wear and even jewelry allergies.

With that little dossier about what gold-filled is, now let's discuss care and cleaning.  Gold filled jewelry has the same care regimen as 14K jewelry: keep jewelry away from chemicals and clean your items regularly with a mild, soapy solution, rinse, pat dry with a gentle cloth, and gently polish with a soft cloth.

And that's it. It really works, and you really want to do it to preserve the sparkle.

For your hard gemstones it is simply Warm water-detergent-soft brush.

For your porous gemstones it is Wipe with damp cloth; wipe dry immediately.

If you're not sure if your gemstone is hard or porous don't guess do a Google search or call us and we will get you that information. I'm going to list some of both types of stones here so you will easily get the general idea.

Hard gemstones where it's OK to use warm water detergent soft brush are:

 

porous gemstones where it's best to wipe with a damp cloth and wipe dry immediately are:

carnelian 

coral 

lapis

opal 

pearl 

 

Some more tips about jewelry care:

1. Taking care of your jewelry is preventive maintenance.
2. Avoid chlorine! Spray on your perfume before putting on your jewelry.
3. Try not to wear the same piece to the gym every time you work out.
4. Don't wear it into the shower every day with shampoo running down your neck.
5. Love your jewelry and your jewelry will love you right back. After all, it's you who are bringing so much to the jewelry, so bring it a little love for making you look more confident, beautiful, and fabulous!
6. You can trust me on that!

Thanks for taking the time to read my little blog post, I hope to see you very soon!
Tom
Mabel Chong, 1949 Union Street
415 345 8833

TREND CALL, 2017

Hello lovelies, it's Kyle time!

After a whirlwind tour with Mabel in NYC for the NYNOW show, and then a little 'discovery' trip of my own last weekend to Los Angeles, sourcing fabrics and styles for a line of clothing I hope to put into production soon, it became apparent that a few trends have big promise this summer and fall. Let's discuss.

 

Embellishments 

This is the year to embellish a few pieces of your clothing with 'added value' items— anything from sequin patterns to plastic discs filled with glitter, like on this dress by Erin Robertson, who won Project Runway in 2016.

Patches

No these are not you grandmother's frocks, but Gucci 2017! Patches are everywhere this year. and unless you've been living under a rock, get out and go buy some patches that suit your style—pronto!—and apply them to your favorite bag, T-shirt, or jeans.

3D Fabric

The clothing below looks almost like lace, but it isn't. It's nylon that has been "printed" with a 3D printer. 3D printers are on the market for nearly $4,000, and enable you to draw up designs on a computer and then print from a variety of fabrics to make clothing that has a unique tensile strength, but also provides innovative new ways to drape. 3D fabrics are trending, and also help eliminate waste! (If 'waist elimination' is part of your program, however, that ball is still in your court!)

Leather

Leather has been styled throughout the years to provide glimpses of what's to come. In the past leather has been typically used more for outerwear, but this year it's invading your closet as a layer to work with your favorite denim, or wool overcoat. Seen here is Belstaff's 2017 Promo. 

 Ath-leisure 

Ath-leisure is casual, comfortable clothing designed to be suitable both for exercise and everyday wear. Combine these elements to create a chic look that is easily dressed up with heels, or dressed down with a sneaker or flat. Ath-leisure easily transitions through the day, from afternoon to evening. Check out the "technical cashmere" lines at Kit and Ace, too!

 

Fur

Fur is daring and monochromatic, taking on color hues found in undergarments. Seen here in Fendi Promo 2017. The blue and grey tones work together beautifully. 

Platforms

Platforms are very much in season. Most designers at Fashion Week had some sort of platform with their looks. Shown below are from Stella McCartney 2016-2017 Winter. It is so pretty with a sort of effortless look, and also super comfortable. Of course they make you look taller, too! I really like them with the ath-leisure look, too.  

 

As always, I'm working with Mabel most of the week at the Sacramento Street store. Stop by and let's talk summer looks, and we'll pair it up with something from Mabel's newest lines, too!

Toodles-

Kyle

NY NOW 2017--DONE!

Hello beautiful!

This was my 10th year of doing the New York Gift Show, and it is always a delight. This year I landed some amazing new accounts, and I am so thrilled!

--Museum of Art and Design, NY, NYC  

--Adornments Fine Jewelry, in Sag Harbor, (I'm finally in the Hamptons!)

--Edgecomb in Portland, Maine   

--Chebellezza in Ponce, Puerto Rico 

--Amaryllis Jewelry in Baltimore, Maryland. 

I took Kyle--my partner in crime--and Tom (Terrific!), and the three of us rocked Manhattan. We built a stunning booth, and highlighted my "Floranecklace collection, as well as my new "X & O" Collection. In the evenings we hobnobbed around town, and found a great ramen at Tabata

Needless to say:

 

The booth looked amazing. I love the little burlap-covered neck forms Kyle made. It got so much attention. 

Four days later, it was all over, and we scurried to break down the booth and get to JFK before the storm arrived! 

So excited to be back in the store again, I hope to see you sometime soon. Look for a blogpost by Kyle coming soon!

-Mabel

"Honest and real." That is so kind.

I was recently interviewed by 32/7, a website that focuses on working and entrepreneurial moms. I posted the article on Facebook, and a kind acquaintance said that my responses were 'honest and real.' How that touches me!

Because that is why I create jewelry. Part of my "Uncivilized Elegance" ethos is to help liberate the best of every woman, to bring out what is honest and real in her, and highlight her unique individual beauty. Thank you, Sive!

Read the article here, or below. I hope to see you sometime soon.

Stay beautiful!

-Mabel

7 Questions with Jewelry Designer Mabel Chong

by KATE ANTONIADES

Oct 28 2016

Anyone watching the fourth season of ABC’s “Revenge” could have spotted the blue-and-gold drop earrings worn by actress Emily Van Camp, or the intricate necklace worn by Madeleine Stowe. But for Mabel Chong, seeing those pieces of jewelry on TV had special meaning: She was the one who designed them.  

The chance to have her jewelry appear on a network TV show in the United States is just about as far-removed from Mabel’s childhood as you can get. The jewelry designer was born in a small farming village in the south of China with a population of only 500. The closest town was an hour away. Her family—she was one of seven kids—moved to Hong Kong when she was 13.  

Mabel’s next move came in 2000 when she arrived in San Francisco. Her job with a pearl wholesale company enabled her to travel to jewelry and gem shows all over the country, and at the same time, she studied history, art history, English, and metalsmithing at City College of San Francisco.  

Just two years after coming to the U.S., Mabel started her eponymous jewelry business, which today has grown to two stores in San Francisco, where she lives with her husband and two daughters, ages 4 and 9. Her beautiful earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and rings can be found for sale at shops, galleries, and museum stores from California to New York.    

We talked to Mabel Chong about her designs, her business, and her life as a working mom.   

1. How would you describe your designs to someone who's never seen any of your pieces?  

Colorful, feminine, intricate, and crafty. I have a certain look but I can't put it into words! 

2. Where do you find inspiration for your jewelry?   

I was born with an appreciation for beauty and style, and I strive to make beautiful things. When I was a little girl in China, there wasn’t much fashion available, but I still managed to find fashion. My only accessory was a flower headband and I wore it every day to school. I adored my mom with her tiny, yellow-gold hoop earrings. Travel, nature, and drawing with my daughters all inspire my designs. 

3. Are there any particular pieces of yours that you would recommend for working moms—for example, something especially suited to wear to work?   

Most pieces are suited for moms to go to work or [go] out at night. Most everything I make is "day-long, year ′round." 

4. What does a typical day look like for you?   

I get up at 6 AM most days and start working on emails with coffee. Then we have to get the girls to school, so I am at work by 10 AM. I set the course for my jewelry-makers for the day, and customers will start coming into the shop around noon. I also [do] quality control and ship everything throughout the day. After 4:30 is my most creative time: I sit down and design jewelry and I will leave work around 6:30.  

5. What are your favorite and least favorite parts of owning your own business?

Favorite: To have a business that sells everything I design and love! Meeting different people every day is amazing; working with different talents—my staff—and working together is a great feeling. Most of my jewelry-makers have been with me for years. We all became mothers about the same time. There is a lot of conversation about kids and husbands.  

Least Favorite: 1. Staffing. It has become very challenging … to find people to work at retail. Because the city is so expensive … it becomes difficult for them to live in the city. 2. Accounting. I was pretty good with math growing up, but accounting is a different thing. Ugh. 

 

6. In the years since you launched your business, what lessons have you learned that would help other women starting out on their own?

Do what you love with perseverance and focus, and believe in yourself. Ask for help when you need it. America is an amazing place to start a business. People are so willing to go out of their way to help you. It is always going to be an up-and-down journey; just ride it with a smile on your face. (I am still trying.)  

7. What do you see as the hardest part of being a working mom, and what does the term "work/life balance" mean to you?

I used to be very guilty that I am a working mom. I don’t spend as much time with my kids and they all have to go to afterschool care. I also travel five weeks a year for trade shows.  

I can’t be as involved at school like other moms. I am very thankful for my husband, who actually works and is very hands-on with the kids and very helpful with my business.  

Work/life balance means when at work, throw yourself in and get your work done. When at home, give 100% of yourself to be with your husband and kids. Again, I am still working on it. 

Click here to shop our collection of Mabel Chong jewelry.

Holiday Shopping Events

Last year my husband arranged for me and a few other makers-designers to hold an ad hoc Holiday Shopping Event, at Salesforce, where he works.

I brought my friend Phuong, from Tourance, and there were a few other vendors (who I didn't know) selling unique items over the course of a three-hour window. We all made some money, but mostly we had a lot of fun. Meeting new customers is always a delight, introducing them to our creations and our businesses, which we consider a member of the family ("it's my baby!")

We'll probably be doing another holiday event this year at Salesforce, which prompted me to think that maybe some of you would enjoy creating an event at your workplace, too. It requires only a little bit of coordination, and we're happy to work with you for a suitable time: maybe a lunch-oriented time works best, maybe a happy hour is better for your group.

We're also open to helping out with holiday giving, and will entertain donating a part of the proceeds to a charitable organization that your company or employee group supports.

If this is appealing, send me a note! I'd love to hear from you, and I'll work with other designers to make it a sweet holiday event. Drop me a line at mabel@mabelchong.com.

Stay beautiful!

-Mabel

 

 

 

October is Tourmaline month. October is Opal month. Octoberlicious!

I first learned about tourmaline and its beautiful variations back in 2004, when I had just started making and marketing my designs. They captivated me because they came in a variety of vivid, beautiful colors, and I was just exploring my newfound confidence with color. i had seen them before, but hadn't had much interest in colored stones---I was mostly a pearl and opaque stone designer.

Their colors and facets dazzled me, though!  Their mix of colors is especially interesting, where in one stone there are two and even three colors. Have a look at some of my Tourmaline designs.

Tourmalines share October with Opals. They, too, are regarded for their display of many colors, and can produce a fiery look from the way they diffract light. Black opals are rarer, though, and release little or no light. Elvis Presley wore an opal pinkie ring! Click here to see my Tahitian Sunset pendant necklace, in 18k gold.

 

  • Page 1 of 5
  • Page 1 of 5