Most Jewelers like to say that their jewelry is original, and in the very broadest sense it is, in that they did, at some time in the past, design the setting. Now what they do is mold the piece and put different colored stones in this "original" setting. In other words they are different colored "posters" of the original art.
In the spring of 1987 Penny & I met at a small Bistro in Birmingham, Michigan. On the way to our cars that evening Penny noticed that my license plate expired in March. She inquired as to my birthday we discovered that we had the same birthday. This revelation only served to compound the other unique events we share: Both Penny & I are middle kids; we both have sisters named Linda. Needless to say Penny went right out and bought a lottery ticket!
In the fall of 1988 Penny & I got engaged and we set a wedding date of September 1991, During this time I was working toward my M.B.A. from University of Detroit and working full time as a Design Engineer. Penny was Chief Designer for Matthew C. Hoffmann Jeweler, in Ann Arbor. In the fall of 1989 following a series of poor business decisions by her employer, we decided to "test the waters", by starting our own company and Penoir Contemporary Jewelry was born.
That spring we did our first art fair. We had 14 pieces of jewelry in our borrowed cases and did more in sales than either Penny & I had ever thought possible. In fact, it took us two more years to have another show where our sales were as good.
In early 1990, with a year of business ownership under our belts and with continuing owner/management problems at Penny's job, We decided that she should devote herself full time to designing jewelry for Penoir and in December of 1994 I tendered my resignation and we have never looked back.
I started my Gemological Institute of America Gemologists degree and also began the slow process of learning to cut gemstones for Penny to use. My full time attention to the business details allowed Penny to again devote all her time and energies to her Art. I like to say that "Penny makes the jewelry and I do everything else". To see a full listing of our qualification go to our education & qualifications page.