California Girl Jewelry, which specializes in rare, colored gemstone fine jewelry and is located within the Strawberry Village shopping center, is hosting a holiday party on Saturday, Dec. 10 from 12-6pm. The boutique will be serving cocktails and food.
The shop, owned and operated by the mother-daughter duo of Mariellen Baker and Denise Forbes, opened in 2021 after five years near San Francisco’s Union Square. Originally from the Hudson Valley region of New York, Baker first moved to California in 2000 to work at a tech firm during the first dot-come wave. When that startup joined the legions of others that went bust, Baker focused her attention on her love of art, and leaned on decades-long collection of colored gemstones.
Forbes arrived in 2003 and decided to take classes at the Gemological Institute of America, as Baker began designing her own jewelry and regularly attending gem shows and InterGem jewelry shows throughout the Bay Area. Relying on their dedication to creative uses of “high-quality, colored, rare gemstones you won’t find anywhere else,” Forbes says, and steadfast customer service, Baker and Forbes built their SF shop into a juggernaut, located in an Art Deco building near the Powell Street BART station that was “a hidden gem unto itself,” Forbes says.
The pandemic made the duo think about a relocation, Forbes says, and they were drawn to the former Title Nine space in Strawberry Village. “The outside of the building was out brand color, and the giant window in front stopped us in our tracks,” Forbes says. “You could see our colored gemstones really pop in all that natural light.”
What sealed it was one of a leftover quote from tennis legend Billie Jean King on the walls of Title Nine: “Pressure is a privilege.”
“You have to take risks, and we already had a lot of customers in Marin – so we dove in,” Forbes says. “Our goal is to be the best.”
Forbes says they’ve been looking forward to hosting this event for quite a while, as they have been waiting to have a party since January, when their floor was damaged in a rainstorm. “Our floors have been replaced and we’re ready to party! ” says Forbes.
California Girl Jewelry is within Strawberry Village Shopping Center at 800 Redwood Highway Frontage Rd #124 in Mill Valley.