Going behind the scenes of Mark Patterson Jewelers is as easy as entering its showroom. That’s because Patterson and his business partner/wife Josette, a designer, sculptor and painter, designed their store in the style of an open-kitchen restaurant, allowing anyone a fascinating glimpse into how much experience and care go into each piece of jewelry. “This was something that was designed into the space from the beginning, so customers get a full and unique experience,” says Patterson.
And it’s a view that might benefit even current jewelers. That’s because Patterson and Josette’s reputation as master designers is nearly three decades old. They met as students at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), Mark concentrating on gemology and Josette more interested in design. After graduation, Patterson, who is also trained in traditional Swiss goldsmithing techniques, taught at the GIA in New York City before he and Josette started their own jewelry business.
Soon, they were creating unique high-quality pieces that sold to some of the top retailers in New York’s diamond district, such as Tiffany & Co., as well as all over the country. In fact, their combination of creativity and knowledge soon had them in great demand, even earning Patterson the JQ Magazine 2009 Designer of the Year award, and allowing him to start his popular bridal collection, called Promise.
Moving back to Orange County and opening their open kitchen-style store a few years ago has only made their designs all the more exciting, says Patterson.
“It’s so much better to have direct contact with the consumer,” he says. “We make new designs all year long but when we sold only to retailers we could only get feedback a few times a year at big trade shows. Now, we get instant feedback all day long.”