Somers resident Melinda O’Keefe has a passion for making jewelry and has translated her enthusiasm into her profession by opening up two businesses dealing with jewelry.
She is the owner of the jewelry manufacturer Melindesign and It’s A Charmed Life Party Center, where jewelry making parties are held. Both businesses are located at 253 Route 202 in Somers.
O’Keefe said last week she began her jewelry manufacturing business out of her home in 1997 and she moved to her current location in February 2011 because she needed more space. O’Keefe’s husband has created the website for her businesses.
O’Keefe receives designs and samples from her clients and Melindesign manufactures jewelry, which will be sold in stores. O’Keefe said she does jewelry creation with her employees while listening to audio books.
O’Keefe said she felt her business was important because it maintains some domestic jewelry manufacturing. She said she started it to “keep it all in the USA.” Most jewelry is made in China, she said.
It is not easy for Americans to work with Chinese jewelry manufacturers, O’Keefe said. “In China, you have to find an agent,” she said. “You go through three or four people to get your product made.”
O’Keefe subsequently opened It’s A Charmed Life, which has been throwing parties. O’Keefe said started her second business because she wanted “just to do something different.”
Brewster resident Joanne Valentine has the responsibility of putting on the parties, O’Keefe said.
O’Keefe said 10 percent of the money earned from the parties goes to various charitable efforts, including Hope’s Door in Pleasantville, which on its website states, “Seeks to end domestic violence and to empower victims to achieve safety, independence, and healing from the trauma of abuse.”
Parties for youths ages seven and up devote the first 45 minutes to an hour to create jewelry, with the final 45 minutes of the event devoted to the serving of pizza, cake and a beverage for the participants, O’Keefe noted. “They walk out with a piece of jewelry,” she said.
Parties are also held for adults, which typically last about two hours. They feature the serving of small plates of hors-d’oeuvres and beverages, O’Keefe said. The adults create jewelry that is “a little more complex” than the items created by youths, she said.
O’Keefe’s company has also held jewelry making events for bridal parties who were their new pieces at the wedding.
Both youths and adults have a choice of several different jewelry pieces they can make, O’Keefe said.
Melindesign and It’s A Charmed Life Party Center are located at 253 Route 202 in Somers. For more information call 877-336-3635, visit Melindesign.com or send an e-mail to email@example.com. Melindesign and It’s A Charmed Life also have Facebook pages.