We all collect something for one reason or another, whether it’s items of sentimental value, articles of beauty or objects of personal interest.
My current fixation includes fashion accessories, shoes and handbags to be exact. Why these two categories? Well, they tend to be on the affordable side, require little space (though it may be time to make room again) and they continue to fit no matter how my body changes.
I am passionate about my treasures because they inspire me, empower me, and even define me. Should you ask me to give up one of my precious pieces to share with the world, I would be very reluctant to comply.
You can imagine my curiosity when I stumbled onThe Passionate Collector
. After all, who would go through the trouble of collecting things they’re passionate about only to turn around and let it go? Susan Shieldkret, Nancy Doll and Britt Samuels are three people who have made it their lives’ mission to do just that in Newport Beach, California.
Susan – Store Owner
Susan’s love of stones and jewels was cultivated at an early age thanks to her mother, a jewelry designer. Her love for the gems prompted her to collect ladies’ jewelry from near and far and sell them out of her home so that she can share her joy with others around her. That was eleven years ago. Today, her in-home operation has evolved into an elegant boutique situated in a quaint Newport Beach shopping village. Susan’s collection has grown with the help of Nancy, the store manager who joined her team in 2014, and Britt Samuels, the curator who just celebrated his one-year anniversary with the boutique in May. Nancy and Britt brought their vast knowledge within the fashion retail industry with them to help carry on the boutique’s stated mission, which is to find that special something that will give each of their customer’s confidence a boost. It is a secret weapon to local shoppers when they need an exceptional piece to complete their look without breaking the bank or when a unique present is needed for that special someone.
The store is a menagerie of extraordinary gift ideas and stylish accessories. While women’s jewelry still holds a significant stake in the store, the range of selections have expanded to also include home gifts along with men’s and women’s accessories such as beach essentials, scarves, a skin care line and bags. The charming shop boasts over 60 brands and presents a retail experience that is both comfortable and elegant to those who step foot in it. Unlike department stores, the service is personal and intimate and the complimentary gift-wrapping service will insure that the presentation is just as memorable as the gift within.
In my recent show-and-tell session with Britt and Nancy, I was introduced to a new line of men’s underwear from Pullin.
Men’s underwear is not something that I usually shop for since my husband has his own mail order source. However, I was open to learning more about these whimsical trunks. Manufactured in Portugal, this French-based brand has creatively designed men’s underwear with colorfully printed images of various subject matters and constructed them to be comfortable, breathable with resistant to fading and rolling at the waistband. It is both artistic and functional; the complete European package. While persuading my husband to change his underwear ways may not be in the cards, I certainly wouldn’t mind trying them myself as lounge wear. When I admitted that to Britt, he said that he actually has clients whose daughters steal them to do just that.
Thanks to Britt’s involvement over the last twelve months, The Passionate Collector extended its retail spectrum to include even more men’s accessories. Being a man of style himself, Britt wanted to make sure that the unique fashion needs of his fellow men were also being catered to.
When asked what their current obsessions are within the store, Nancy brought out a rattan purse made by Purses for the People. It immediately brought to mind the popular 80’s sitcom, The Golden Girls. However, unlike its vintage cousin, the modern version has mixed weave exteriors and lined interiors with functional storage pockets.
It’s definitely not your grandmother’s bag. She also loves the colorful and fun Lucia necklaces made using upcycled plastic water bottles which are perfect for fashionable travelers. Britt pulled an urban style Venque duffle that can be easily converted to a backpack for ease of carry to show off the line’s versatility, he is also in love with the architecture-inspired jewelry line, Louven. Trends aside, Manjusha and Azaara are collections that they believe will stand the test of time.
With price tags beginning around $50 and going up to $6,000 for the one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces, there’s something for everyone.
Thanks to the boutique’s celebrated reputation, Britt and Nancy are not only able to evaluate designs they scout out at tradeshows but also have the designers knock on their door requesting to be included. Admission to tradeshows are often expensive for jewelry designers and not affordable to up-and-coming artists. Therefore, in addition to showcasing known brands like Uno de 50
The Passionate Collector often is seen to be the entry point for emerging designers. The benefit of shopping within a curated collection like that of The Passionate Collector is that you are sure to be one step ahead of the fashion curve. I dare you to go in and not fall in love with something.
Whether you are local or just vacationing in the area, I encourage you to stop by for a peek. I have a feeling you will be hard pressed to walk away empty-handed.
Newport Coast Shopping Center
21115 Newport Coast Drive
Newport Coast, CA 92657
Special thanks to:
Nancy – Store Manager
Britt – Store Curator
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