Licia Banks will be spending her third Christmas in Manhattan Beach and the owner of Licia B. Jewels said it's been a wonderful three years.
“I try very hard to curate a collection of designers, so that everything has a flow to it in my space," said Banks. "I’ve expanded my list of designers, and I have a personal relationship with all of them, so I know their products are ethically supported and produced. It’s nice to support them, because they’re all small businesses like mine.”
All the designers Banks carries make exquisite, one-of-a-kind jewelry items.
“You won’t find anything like their pieces in a mall store,” she said. “I like to describe my shop as having an elegant but edgy style. I sell many earrings and many bracelets – people are layering them, this year. I can’t point to any one most popular item because everything is unique.”
Banks features many local jewelry and handbag designers.
Her eclectic shop carries custom designed jewelry of all kinds, hand-crafted purses, and collectible William Henry knives for men. Her jewelry pieces include solid silver designs, and those that feature gems ranging from vintage Swarovski crystals to diamonds, sapphires and emeralds.
She notes her focus has shifted so that she is primarily offering jewelry and likely to phase out handbags and purses over time.
“I would like to continue to expand my list of designers, and just continue to bring in people to produce new products, to introduce new gemstones. I like to bring in unusual tourmalines or just gems people don’t usually see. We get a mix of tourists and residents who live here but who can afford to travel, so my goal is to bring in wearable jewelry that’s really different.”
Banks has been in the jewelry business for 35 years. So, she said, there is a lot of the same thing out there. When customers come to Licia B, she is said they can "buy something that they are not going to see someone down the street wearing."
"I get a lot of repeat business because of the uniqueness of what I carry.”
She believes that jewelry is more than just a possession, and that wearing a special piece can create special memories.
Banks counts herself lucky to personally know many of her designers, who use recycled, ethical and environmentally friendly products when possible.
“Customers at my store will never feel they are being presented with mass market items. When I moved here and opened this shop, I wanted to feature local designers. I think the people who live here appreciate that, because they want to support their community.”
The shop is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday; closed on Mondays.
Licia B. Jewels is located at 1300 Highland Avenue #109 in Manhattan Beach. For more information, visit liciabjewels.com or call (310) 546-2601.