Two minutes with Susan Shieldkret and it’s clear she named her store, The Passionate Collector, for herself. After years of volunteer work and raising two children, Shieldkret, 64, began collecting unusual pieces on her travels and selling them at fundraisers and out of her home. In 2008, she opened a store on Balboa Island, followed by another in 2010, in Laguna
Beach. In 2013, when she realized neither provided her customers with enough parking, she closed them and opened in Newport Coast Shopping Center, just minutes from her home. The larger space gives her more room to display her growing inventory of eclectic jewelry and accessories. “I’m a firm believer that accessories make the outfit,” she says.
Shieldkret stocks such desirables as a fish-shaped crystal minaudiere from Rockwell Tharp, $445; silver-fringed and graffitied clutches by Louise Farnay, $330; men’s watches by Minneapolis-based Padron, about $500; and designer Lisa Marinucci’s pendant necklaces made from vintage jeweled brooches and Swarovski crystals, which sell for as much as $700.
Her customers highlight their jeans and T’s with one amazing accessory, she says. “They’re not about little diamond studs; they’re looking for statement jewelry.”