Marketplace: Meredith Marks jewelry store opens a shop on Main Street
March 12, 2019
Meredith Marks always loved fashion and creating art. But it wasn't until a fateful morning that she decided to pursue her passion.
Marks, a jewelry designer, founded her namesake business Meredith Marks in 2009. She designs and sells fine jewelry, and she recently opened a store on Main Street in Park City to display her necklaces, rings and earrings.
She stumbled into the career after an event convinced her to leave her job in the real estate development industry. She was walking down a street in Chicago while on the phone with a general contractor. He told her one of his workers would not be able to come in to work on a house because he was in jail for beating up his girlfriend. Seconds later, a man pushed Marks on the ground and robbed her.
"I decided I didn't want to do business with men who beat women. I sold everything and got out of those businesses," she said.
I decided I didn’t want to do business with men who beat women. I sold everything and got out of those businesses,” Meredith Marks Owner, Meredith Marks Jewelry
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After she left her work, she tapped into her passion for art — she studied fine arts in college — and rediscovered her love for jewelry. She became certified with the Gemological Institute of America and started making and selling jewelry at small trunk shows.
"I just went for it," she said.
Almost 10 years since Marks' first sales, she has sold jewelry all over the world. Celebrities such as Rihanna, Charlize Theron and Chelsea Handler have been photographed wearing her pieces.
Marks continued to grow her business when she moved to Park City five years ago. She sold her jewelry online, in some stores and at events around the globe, but she began to think about having a brick-and-mortar store dedicated entirely to her jewelry.
Then, she met Sally Nadler. Nadler, a Park City resident, had experience in the fashion world but had transitioned to raising kids and volunteering for nonprofits when she met Marks. Nadler loved Marks' jewelry and helped her business grow by hosting a couple trunk shows in Park City and New York City.
As the two women worked together, they began talking about opening a Meredith Marks store in Park City. Marks said a storefront would give the brand good exposure, and Nadler was interested in getting back into the fashion world.
Marks moved back to Chicago while the pair looked for a place on Main Street. They spent more than a year looking when an opening became available last October. They spent the next couple months renovating the space and finding designers to partner with. They opened on Dec. 9.
The store sells Meredith Marks products, as well as handbags and clothing from other designers. Nadler runs the store and Marks, who remains in Chicago, designs the products and visits the store monthly.
Marks said her jewelry is meant to be "fun and wearable." She uses gold, silver and both precious and semi-precious stones, but she also uses a lot of negative space in her designs. She said she does that because she started selling her jewelry at the height of the U.S. economic recession in 2009. She tried to use less gold so it was more affordable.
She also made the pieces versatile so people could use pendants from a necklace and convert them into earrings, for example. She said she finds inspiration for her designs from nature, such as a flower she saw while hiking in Park City.
Almost a decade in, Marks still gets giddy with joy every time she sees her pieces go from an idea to a reality.
"To see something in your brain that you threw down on paper actually come to real life is just amazing," she said.
She recently started designing outerwear, too, and said she plans to grow her brand by designing handbags and other accessories in the future.
511 Main Street