Unique, original jewelry
I’ve always felt jewelry is such a personal adornment. It can be fun and funky. It can add color or polish. It can be a reimagined heirloom. A token of remembrance of an experience or a person.
When we got engaged, Andy hand-selected my diamond and chose my setting (and matching band) from a privately-owned jeweler. We both wanted something special and different.
At Meeka Fine Jewelry in Camp Hill, proprietor and jeweler, Monika Krol, offers original and custom designs for all occasions, including collections from a curated list of fellow artists.
Her shop is not only beautiful but her — and her guest artists’ — work is high-quality, gorgeous pieces of all styles.
Monika tells her story best, so I chatted with her about how she got her start and what Meeka is about (and why you should shop there!).
Sara chats with Meeka Fine Jewelry owner/jeweler Monika Krol
When did you first become interested in jewelry and jewelry-making?
I first fell in love with jewelry making my freshman year in college at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. I took an elective in metalsmithing and found myself staying in the studio until they would close down for the night.
How did Meeka Fine Jewelry come to be?
I had been working as a bench jeweler for my college professor and mentor for 8 years (which I absolutely loved)! I started thinking about creating my own line of jewelry and where I could sell it. My husband and I found an intimate, 750 sq ft storefront in downtown Camp Hill, and decided to open a jewelry boutique.
What is your focus or theme at Meeka? What sets you apart?
Meeka carries handmade jewelry by independent artists from around the country. Their work is only carried in a handful of stores and we love having a personal relationship with each of them. We seek out collections with creative and unique designs, unusual gemstones, and excellent craftsmanship. We are truly excited and honored to have the opportunity to sell their beautiful jewelry at Meeka!
What is the experience like for customers at Meeka?
We love getting to know our customers! We strive to make Meeka a welcoming and fun experience, whether you’re looking to buy or there to have fun and try beautiful jewelry on.
What is your mission at Meeka Fine Jewelry?
We believe jewelry should be timeless. We don’t follow trends, because our goal is to help the customer find something they will love forever.
How can people shop Meeka Fine Jewelry?
Meeka has two brick and mortar locations, our flagship store front in Camp Hill, PA and a new location in Newport, RI. Our entire collection, from both stores, is available online at meekajewelry.com
Do you offer custom work, and how does that process work?
I do work on custom designs for customers as well as facilitate custom pieces from the designers we carry. It’s best to sit down with the client to discuss design, timeline, and budget to determine if I or one of the jewelers we carry is the right fit for the project.
Why should people be interested in your style of jewelry?
Jewelry is very personal. We strive to carry a diverse selection of unique pieces to appeal to many shoppers. Each of our designers operates on a small scale so the designs we sell are either limited production or one of a kind. Customers are supporting Meeka as a small business but also each of the artists we carry.
What are your favorite pieces to make? What are your favorite pieces to wear?
I love collecting and bezel setting unique gemstones in gold (18k yellow gold is a dream to work with). Each of the pieces I own was either gifted to me for a special occasion or which I acquired for myself to commemorate a time in my life. I attached meaning to each of the pieces I wear.
What are some misconceptions people might have about jewelry shops like yours, and how can we overcome those?
I think the biggest misconception is that the work we carry is out of budget. Meeka carries a wide range of price points and although some pieces are more of an investment, many of our customers prefer to purchase a well crafted future heirloom rather than a handful of costume jewelry pieces.
How are you coping during the quarantine? What do you envision for the other side of this pandemic?
Meeka has been fortunate enough to retain its staff during this time. We are all working from home and maintaining our usual online presence while also working on some fun new projects. Our website was already set up and continued to do well for us, for that we are very grateful!
What’s next for Meeka?
This year we are working to establish our young Newport, RI store, which opened June 2019. Meeka will continue to bring in new artists as part of our “Visiting Collections Project.” We also have a super fun group exhibition that we are putting together in collaboration with a well-known jewelry enthusiast in the industry (stay tuned for the announcement!).