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From $30 brushed gold “fun” hoops to a $3,000 raw ruby necklace, Marla Bertsch and Monica Ellis know what women want. The longtime friends and jewelry lovers founded M & M Gems eight years ago, selling and designing custom jewelry, including such top sellers as Champagne or rose-cut diamonds set in oxidized silver, as well as raw stones like green onyx, sapphire, or fresh water pearls. Bertsch, whose mother is a jewelry designer in New York, says M & M pieces are both amazing and affordable. Rather than merely accenting an outfit, their jewelry is often the focus, a spectacular way to dress up basics, whether an LBD or a T-shirt and jeans. “I build what I’m going to wear each day around my jewelry,” says Bertsch. M & M also re-designs rings and other pieces for clients, using diamonds, say, from grandma’s ring or a wedding ring after a divorce. The line, sold privately, is also carried at Poppy Boutique and Browtique in Rancho Santa Fe. (mm.gems@hotmail.com, www.facebook.com/mmgems)


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