Jeweleropens in Birch Bay Square

Published on Thu, Nov 23, 2006 by Tara Nelson

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Jeweler opens in Birch Bay Square

By Tara Nelson

Citrine, rutilated quartz, and fire opal are just a few of the gems that catch Candice Gerard’s eye.

Gerard, owner of Candi’s Jewelry and Gift Gallery, said she turned a life-long hobby with jewelry and gemstones into a business when she opened her original store in Ferndale four years ago, specializing in stone identification, jewelry repairs and custom sterling silver and gold wire wrapping.

“I just love anything that sparkles or glitters,” said Gerard. “It’s a real passion.”

She moved her business from Ferndale to Birch Bay Square earlier this November when she saw an opportunity to expand and reach a new clientele with the redevelopment of Birch Bay Square, formerly known as the Peace Arch Factory Outlet.

Gerard holds a degree in gemology from the Gemological Institute of America in Carlsbad, California. A regular member of the Mount Baker Gem and Rock club, she also stores her collection of stone identification manuals behind the counter.

“I’m always looking at books,” she said. “Even though I graduated, I still like to study.”

She has also hired her sister, Sandra Schoenherr, who has more than 15 years of retail management experience, to manage the store’s specialty gifts.

“We’re really excited to be here,” said Schoenherr. “We see a lot of potential for growth here. It just seemed like the happening place to be.”

Schoenherr said the two have focused on products from Washington such as glass fired with Mt. St. Helens ash. They have also imported novelty items from Spain, Romania, Italy and New York such as stemware made from recycled glass and glycerin soaps that replicate the look and shape of authentic gemstones.

“We want to bring in things that are unique, which is why we expanded into selling giftware,” Schoenherr said. “It’s part business, part hobby.”

Candi’s Jewelry and Gift Gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 1 to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
They are located at Birch Bay Square at 3420 Birch Bay-Lynden Road in Custer and can be reached by calling 366-0121.