by Cindy Joyce, Correspondent
Gabrielle White and Sean Gray, comprise a duo of excellence, as owners/designers of Downeast Jewelers, LLC, located at 63 Dublin Street, Suite # 3, in Machias. Gray stated, “We still have a lot of people driving around, missing us.” The description of the physical location is on Rt. 1, at the top of ‘College Hill’, across from the University of Maine in Machias.
Gray purchased the business from Brett Leighton of Leighton Jewelry & Design, earlier this year.
What this ‘sparkly’ couple has to offer the community, is a ‘gem’ of treasures. Both White and Gray have studied at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), with extended experience in jewelry design. Certification in Gemology, allows Gray to assist with anyone’s diamond/gem needs. White completed the Graduate Jeweler Program, where she learned to work with gold and set stones.
Regarding Gray’s first jewelry experience, he stated, “For me, it would be the very first running around the eastern seaboard, selling rocks and minerals. These would be agate, tourmaline, just any mineral from the earth that was pretty. I sold the rocks and minerals for about four years”. Gray then worked with his Mentor, Brett Leighton, creating one of his first pieces. “That was the ignition to my creative side”, he said. ”I really enjoy the creation of my pieces”, he added. The expertise to take a customer’s piece of jewelry & promote beauty in the piece is significantly important, according to Gray.
White starting jewelry design around the age of ten, according to her. “My dad found a copper spool of wire when he was cleaning out the garage that his grandfather had, so he gave it to me. I always loved being creative and making things with my hands,” she stated. At ten years old, White started wire wrapping sea glass, then later gained interest in glass fusion, dycrylic earrings & other jewelry mediums. White started metalsmithing classes at the Maine College of Art , around the age of 15, according to her. During her junior year of high school, she started making jewelry for a boutique in Kennebunk. She also has participated in scholastic competitions at Heartwood College of Art.
While both White & Gray are very creative, they compliment each other, with different styles. White enjoys the creativity of the more dainty pieces, after experience in Los Angeles for 6 years, while Gray enjoys working on larger pieces, according to them. “I like it when the stone is the centerpiece. It’s all about the stone to me”, stated Gray. It’s a well balanced team of different jewelry creations, for the community. A style for everyone.
The love of jewelry making has brought this talented couple together, not only in business, but as a couple. Gray said, “When we very first met, she came to my store and she was buying Maine tourmaline, to take home to California, to create. During that time, she came in to buy, we started talking and while we were talking, she reminisced on how she wished that she would come home and create a store in Maine. That was one of her goals! As the couple conversed back and forth, they realized they had so much in common, they could also become a couple.
Located in Maine, both White and Gray agreed, that a nautical theme, was the perfect décor for their jewelry store. Beautiful starfish, sea turtles, shells and many more ocean related items, adorn the walls and cases, to display the couples’ works of wearable art. “We both love the ocean. We love to go to the beach & relax and listen to the sounds of the ocean. Deep blue and seafoam green are some of our favorite colors”, said Gray.
Grand Opening of store, to be announced at a later date, and will likely take place before Christmas, according to White and Gray.
Maine Tourmaline, custom design, jewelry repair, watch batteries, coin, estate jewelry and much more is offered at Downeast Jewelers, LLC, as well as silver, gold & coin purchasing. Free cleaning & inspection is always offered on site.
Each creation has a special story to tell, for individual customers. There’s a special creation that stands out for Gray. “An elderly woman in a nursing home could no longer wear her ring. Her husband was actually in the same nursing home. He wasn’t able to wear his ring, either. She came to us to figure out what we could do with it”, stated Gray. Using his expertise design skills, Gray merged the two wedding bands, together, with each in the shape of a heart. The two bands became as one. A beautiful creation to commemorate a love story, of many years. The original engraving from the band was also kept in the design. “It’s pieces like this that really make us love what we do, as we’re able to create pieces that mean so much to people”, said “Gray.
Engagement rings and bridal sets are the hot sellers of the moment, according to both, White and Gray. “We definitely want to expand the Bridal”, stated White.
‘Step by step’ custom design is offered by Downeast Jewelers. White’s photoshop skills allows the customer, to see their piece, each step of the way. Sequencing photos are offered to the customer, for them to view their piece.
Regarding jewelry repair, “Nothing Is Sent Away”, stated Gray!!...All work is completed ‘in house’.
The hours of Downeast Jewelers are currently, Tuesday through Friday, 10AM – 5PM, and Saturday, 10AM – 3PM. Extended hours, to be announced. They can be found on Instagram/Facebook @Downeastjewelers . Phone: (207) 735-7561
Owners/Designers, White & Gray definitely have created a love story of their own, through their work. Let them help, create yours!
Please welcome White & Gray to the business community and bring this article to their store for a 10% discount on all services or merchandise.
Custom Design by Sean Gray. Photo by Cindy Joyce, Correspondent