An interview with Holly McHone, who with her husband Kevin, owns Holly McHone Jewelry, 1150 Commercial, Astoria OR 97103.

Elegance, sophistication and warmth illustrate the interior of this shop. Customers who step through the door of this business will immediately feel welcome. Most likely they will be greeted by Seddy, the McHones' standard poodle.

Holly McHone's interest in jewelry started in high school. Later she earned a BFA, but didn't make jewelry at that time. She then set about learning silversmithing and goldsmithing. She has been on her own for eight years and sold her work through galleries before owing a retail store.

Holly McHone Jewelry is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call (503) 325-8029 or visit their Web site at (www.hollymchone.com).

What do you want people to know about your business?

"From repairs to custom pieces we will take care of you. Most of the work is done in-house. I'm not afraid of any job."

How far does your customer base extend?

"We've shipped to several states, including Nebraska, Nevada, and Idaho. E-mail has helped extend our base."

Does custom work play a big part in your business?

"It accounts for approximately 30 to 35 percent of the business."

Tell me something about the custom work you do.

"A lot the of the custom pieces have stories to tell. When a customer brings in jewelry to have such a piece made we talk about where the jewelry came from, etc. This is a very intimate business. A lot of heartfelt emotions are involved."

Has anything about the business surprised you?

"Yes. I'm a process-oriented person; I enjoy making things. I didn't expect to become a gemstone junky."

Do you have a specialty?

"Yes. Making custom pieces."

What can you tell me about the volume your business does?

"Everything is new to us; we've been open since August, but it's been great so far."

- Patty Hardin

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