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We're dedicating this week to the kind of fantastical shopping that most of us only get to experience in dreams. Taking a page from casino parlance, we'll be talking a lot about "whales," those big spenders who feel perfectly comfortable dropping tens of thousands of dollars every night on roulette, or, in our case, on Cartier, caviar facials, and Chanel. Welcome to Whale Week 2013.
The vibe at M. Flynn is definitely not fussy or pretentious. When the words "fine" and "custom" are tacked on to jewelry, it evokes a vision of security guards and snobby salespeople, but this sister-run shop and studio is warm and inviting. Enter their Faire La Fête store-within-the-store and sit with Megan and Moria Flynn as they walk you through a high tech AutoCAD repertoire (3D modeling software) to design the custom piece you've only dreamed about.
The sisters' fine jewelry expertise is a combination of estate findings and designs inspired by custom orders often utilizing re-worked stones, such as the M. Flynn Star Gazer ring which boasts 1.4 carats in diamonds and 1 carat of sapphire, $8,700. Here's what Megan had to say about the bauble business and their South End gem...
What's the single most extravagant item in your store right now? What makes it fabulous?
One of the most interesting pieces we have and maybe our most expensive item in our store is an emerald estate convertible ring, size 6 and priced at $5,950. The ring can be expanded to show beautiful clear emeralds or when closed, it displays a beautiful gold double pave band. We have many women who visit this ring on a regular basis.
What are some things that people always tend to splurge on, no matter the economy?
Women always splurge on their wedding and it makes sense to spend on jewelry you will have forever. We've seen many women come to us looking for special estate earrings or even want to have a piece of jewelry custom-made for their wedding day. We can work together to create something that always reminds them of the day. It's what Kate Middleton's parent's did for the princess! One of my favorite "bride" earrings in the store now are the estate Diamond Deco earrings, $5,040. They are so elegant!
Most requested stone other than diamonds?
We are seeing more and more people use colored stones in their custom jewelry. We've made pink sapphire and green tourmaline rings in the last year. However, sapphires always are the most popular...second only to diamonds.
Highest carat diamond that has ever passed through your store?
Our largest diamond was a 3 carat. However, most of our clients stay under 2 carats and we really work on original designs over the top diamond size.
Any items you collect personally?
My sister Moria and I definitely collect jewelry. Moria is a sucker for necklaces and I love watches! I also love pearls. Our grandmother was a big collector and we inherited the sickness. We buy from auction, jewelry/stone shows, and of course, our own store. When we pick pieces to have in our store and when make our own jewelry, we have a jewelry collector in mind. That's why we use nice findings and material and only buy those brands who do the same.
There's a lot of fun jewelry out there that isn't made well and you won't have it for long. It's better to save up to buy a nicely made piece, even if it's costume. Jewelry is timeless and sets you apart.