Editor’s note: With the holiday gift buying season in full swing, we’re visiting some of Menlo Park’s locally-owned stores in the hopes of reminding readers that shopping begins at home.
Surrounded by dazzling stones and hovering butterflies, Erin MacGeraghty proudly admits Erin Mac Jewelry in the Sharon Heights Shopping Center in Menlo Park is “not your typical jewelry store.”
“I remember one time I was sitting on the floor with my dog,” she recalled. “A woman walked in and sat on the floor next to me. The result was a new pendant for her.”
Erin started working at what had been her parents’ store as a teenager and has been operating it on her own since 1974. A transforming moment was the birth of her son 15 years ago. “He’s always been a magical child,” she said. “He grew up here, learned to walk here — hence the double padded carpet.
“When he was six, we went to lunch at the Mexican restaurant El Cerrito here in the shopping center and he told me that I should start designing jewelry. I told him that I loved designing for a particular woman and he said, ‘Choose you.’
“So I really started branching out, taking people’s mother-in-law jewelry and transforming it into something they can wear.”
As an example of her creativity, Erin showed us her Egyptian pyramid ring (pictured above). “I think and sketch and things pop out,” she said. “The ideas never stop.
“I think of them as ‘yes rings.’ Yes you can, yes you deserve it. I really don’t like playing by the rules. That’s why I like designing.”
While rings may be her specialty, she also has a wide selection of necklaces and earrings. “Many of the necklaces are Victorian belt buckles I’ve turned into necklaces. The one I’m wearing today I designed in high school.’
Erin views her shop as a place to have fun. “Jewelry is about love,” she said. “For me, it’s about sending a woman off feeling better than when she came in!”
Photos by Scott R. Kline