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Meet the Mazzas!

Croghan's is excited to host Jeff Mazza with his daughter Alexis Mazza in our store Thursday, April 27 and Friday April 28 from 10 until 5.  The Mazza family has been in the jewelry  business since 1870.  Jeff and Alexis are 5th and 6th generation.  Jeff will be upstairs with his bold and colorful jewelry which often features coral and turquoise and seashells. Downstairs we will have Alexis with her award winning collection which features gold and diamonds and is chic and delicate and edgy.

 This is their first time together showing their jewelry under one roof.  We thought it would be fun do a Father Daughter Q and A. Scroll down to see their answers to our questions and to see a few photos of their work.


When did you each know that you would enter the jewelry business and follow in the footsteps of 4 generations in the manufacturing business?

Jeff:  

When we were young we loved getting to work with Dad. Especially the trade show in New York, where we got to see all the women in their furs and jewels, and the business owners from Texas that wore their cowboy hats with their suits.

I think there wasn't much thought about continuing the business. It was a good business and family as well. Today manufacturing in the United States is difficult so there are other careers that the next generation is considering.

Alexis:
I knew I wanted to enter my family’s business in the jewelry industry as soon as my father took me to his shop when I was a little girl. I found it fascinating to watch, start to finish how a piece of jewelry could be produced. The jewelry would be valued by so many who would eventually purchase and wear the designs. Knowing that I could some day create that valued piece of jewelry was invigorating.


How has The Mazza Company changed from 1st to 6th generation?

Jeff:
The 1st generation joined the boom in Italian coral in Naples in 1870. The expansion continued with conch shell cameos. My grandfather came to the US to trade coral for turquoise with the Native Americans. My father and uncles supplied stones to the most prestigious jewelry houses and then began the Mazza line. Over my lifetime we have continued to expand our capabilities, while we are still making handmade jewelry in New York.
Alexis:
believe Mazza has evolved with each generation, being flexible with our business strategies and learning from one another’s experiences has definitely made an impact our family's business.
 

Jeff,  your wife runs a retail store in Long Island where you live and now your daughter is in the business... what's it like working with women after only having brothers and graduating from the all male Washington and Lee in the 80's? 

Jeff:
My mother was a strong woman, and most of the small business owners I dealt with from when I first got into the business were and continue to be women. One of the first orders I took was from Mrs. Ramsay. Most of the buyers in the large stores even when I came to work as a child were tough women. In the world of fashion women have been the true force since the beginning.
 

Alexis, tell us about your education!  Did you have to talk your father into manufacturing these edgy totally different designs or was he on board immediately?

Alexis:
I graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology two years ago.  I studied jewelry design ,and obtained a Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts. During my college career, my family always encouraged me to enter my designs into emerging designer contests, but I never really had the time. When I started working in the jewelry industry, I was finally able to set time aside to create designs I was passionate about.  I entered the Centurion 2017 Emerging Jewelry designers Competition. My family was hesitant on my designs because they were very youthful and contemporary, but lo and behold I got a phone call from Centurion a few months after the entry, and I was one of three winners in a worldwide competition.  I then forced myself and my father to put my designs into work and start the company I dreamed of creating, LexiMazz Designs.
 

What's your favorite thing about Charleston... besides Croghan's Jewel Box? 

Jeff:
My favorite thing about Charleston is the history that is all around. I hope it doesn't get too cosmopolitan.

Alexis:
My favorite part about Charleston, besides Croghan’s Jewel Box of course, would have to be the charm of the city and the amount of activity there is; shopping, eating, a fun nightlife, wonderful people, and so much history between the city itself and it’s architecture. A very inspirational place.
LexiMazz Designs (Above).
  The Mazza Company (Above).

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