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Meet Margarita Druker of Persona Jewelry in Beacon Hill

Today we’d like to introduce you to Margarita Druker.

Margarita, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Born in Moldova, I achieved the true American dream that I had been promised as a child. I began my career very young, graduating high school at sixteen years old and college at nineteen. I was one of the youngest students ever to graduate Babson College with an advanced degree in Entrepreneurship & Marketing. I like to think I am quite possibly the inventor of the “pop-up” concept, especially within the Boston & New York restaurant and entertainment communities.

I self-created partnerships with empty venues and visionary Boston dreamers to create one-time, or long-term dining, entertainment and event venue spaces. Many of these spaces are in operation over a decade later. Next came restaurant management, with a variety of foodie names throughout the city including the launch of Great Bay restaurant in the Hotel Commonwealth (now Island Creek Oyster Bar).

This is when my personal and professional life merged with my husband Gary Shteyman who had recently become a master jeweler after 13 years apprenticing and creating his own lines of jewelry in Newton. It was time for the next career move. At the age of twenty-two, I launched my jewelry company, Persona Jewelry. In the year 2004, the Hotel Commonwealth in Kenmore Square was the talk of the town. Promised as an extension of Newbury Street, the fashion trail that begins at the Boston Common and would now trail past Mass Ave through to Kenmore Square. Stores opened, stores closed, but Persona remained resilient.

When remodeling threatened the future of the store on the eve of our ten year anniversary at Hotel Commonwealth, we took the opportunity to start fresh, moving to historic Beacon Hill, where I had always envisioned my Bijoux of a store.

Over three year on Charles Street has proven that success can come from happy accidents by those with the skills to navigate them. I have been continuing my business ventures simultaneously as I am developing my own, online, jewelry insurance and appraisal “lockbox” concept, while also freelancing as a real estate developer. I’m excited to keep pursuing and creating new ideas in entrepreneurship within the Boston metro.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
After ten years at our premier location in Kenmore Square, we found ourselves virtually homeless. It was a happy accident thankfully, that led to the best move we could have encountered. Beacon Hill is our true home. Prior to the move, our idea of a jewelry shop was quickly turned into a custom design jewelry showroom. We anticipated more foot traffic, but we didn’t get it. So we decided we would set appointments for custom design and that is how we survived for ten years.

After our move to Beacon Hill, we found the nuances of historic buildings and very close neighbors new and challenging, but it allowed us to change how we operate and learn from other self-owned small businesses.

Every experience in business ownership is complicated, but the final success makes it all worth it.

Persona Jewelry – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We consider ourselves the premier custom designed jewelry shop in Boston. We do full custom design or help clients create their vision from their head to paper, and from paper to product. This allows us to develop close relationships with our clients, really our friends. We also sell our own line of fine jewelry and several lines from local Boston designers and artisans of costume and funky jewelry.

We specialize in engagement ring custom design, cleaning out jewelry boxes to create one-of-a-kind items, as well as selling from our cases.

We are most proud of how loyal and committed our amazing clients are. We enjoy receiving tins of holiday cookies from our clients and taking them out for coffee when they stop by. It’s a real community that has developed.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
We are looking to be innovative, but also attainable. I think that’s our definition of success. We want to offer the most exquisitely beautiful jewelry, but in a way that every person feels comfortable with. If they can’t afford it, or they are confused about how/what we are doing, then it’s a losing battle for all. That’s why we offer Diamonds, 101 classes, to inform, we have real meetings directly with our jeweler. People can be as involved throughout the process as they like.

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