Erin MacGeraghty has loved “statement jewelry” since she was an irrepressible child of 17 in the late ‘70’s. Then as now, this soft-spoken local artist designs bold and stunning looks prized by women around the globe.It is a testament to the ageless attraction of her designs that trendy women have sought her out for 40 years.
Erin’s personal and often provocative style creates striking one-of-a-kind pieces. Her joyful jewelry uses precious and semi-precious stones, colorful pearls, and silver or antique gold according to her whim.Although her specialty is a fanciful selection of rings, Erin loves creating earrings and necklaces of prized beauty. “I’m always sketching wild ideas and then making it real” she admits.“I don’t like being limited by the rules.I believe in YES!”Displayed in her shop might be a necklace of shiny lapis lazuli stones with a brushed Etruscan gold clasp, or a bracelet of black seed pearls with opals and gold.So unique are her designs that she catalogues her handmade pieces, as a museum keeps track of its art treasures.She often adds her tiny iconic charm to signature pieces.
Celebrities fly Erin to their homes to personally consult with her and design a show-stopping piece.Erin is too discreet to reveal the names of the more famous collectors of her work, but she’ll dish the details of why they covet her “neck distracting” pieces.
Erin travels the world to bring other artisans’ character pieces to her tiny and colorful shop, which allows her to round out the selection and price range offered to clients.Erin has a wonderfully whimsical way about her, full of fun and fantasy.She encourages patrons “Try wearing multiple pieces, layering and playing with lights and textures.If your wear black or a neutral color, let your jewelry be spirited.”
When you show off Erin’s designs, be prepared for admiring glances or questions of “Where did you get that?”It’s appropriate that this soft-spoken dynamo’s motto is “Live Life Out Loud”.
You can try on Erin’s designs at her magical shop, Erin Mac Designs, open Thursday through Sunday from 10 AM to 6 PM at the Sharon Heights Center, 325 Sharon Park Drive, Menlo Park.The shop is tucked back into the corner.Appointments are available at (650) 854-4740 or go to www.erinmac.net.
Melora Hardin wore this jewelry at The American Idol Season 10 Finale.
From Erin MacGeraghty’s imagination comes fanciful rings, necklaces and earrings
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!”