Tucked into a sun-drenched lower level Wayzata storefront is a gem of a shop: Patrick Mohs Jewelry. Husband and wife duo Patrick Nelson and Mary Kay Mohs are more than store owners; they are true artisans in every sense.
Patrick and Mary Kay attended the Gemological Institute of America in California and are both certified gemologists. They spent years working in various aspects of the industry including diamond buying, design, and working as vendors for a luxury jeweler in the Twin Cities. Marrying in 2006, Patrick and Mary Kay knew their combined knowledge and passion for gemstones and jewelry design could turn into something larger but it would take some time.
Creating their own line began as a hobby; they made high-end fine jewelry in their basement; they traveled the country selling pieces at art fairs; at a show in St. Paul, a woman asked where their studio was located and was surprised to find they didn’t have one yet. She mentioned an open retail space in Wayzata and they moved into that location in 2018.
The process of creating custom jewelry is complex. It is both art and science. It begins with an idea translated into a series of hand-drawn sketches. Both Patrick and Mary Kay assist in the design phase to refine ideas and point out elements both aesthetic and practical. They add, “We explain what will be structurally sound. The longevity of particular choices. Will it be wearable for them? We talk about current trends and help people determine if they want it to be trendy or not.”
Mary Kay creates a CAD model transforming sketches into computer images offering many perspectives on a piece. She then uses a 3D printer to create a prototype that can hold real stones for a clear vision of what the final product will look and feel like.
Patrick then handcrafts each piece using precious metals and gemstones right in the studio, bringing the piece to life. From design to final product, it all takes place working side by side in 600 square feet.
It’s safe to say that not every couple should run a business together, but Patrick and Mary Kay have it figured out. “We both have areas of expertise and we leave it at that.” They stress communication is essential so both people have input but do not step on each other’s toes. They keep notes for future projects, inspirations, and common themes that emerge. When they make pieces for the shop, both must agree in the design phase before moving forward. And while it was a leap to be out on their own, they love the freedom it provides.
Mary Kay beams, commenting, “This is not just our job, it’s our life. It’s a lifestyle.”
Clients feel their passion as they have repeat business from locals as well as from out of state. “We now have referrals from referrals,” Patrick says.
In a world (especially this year) where we can click a button and have anything delivered to our doorstep, Patrick and Mary Kay value the more personal approach. “We have always encouraged appointments and this last year has supported that. We love to serve clients and dedicate time to them, and we respect the time we spend with them. We want to meet face to face and create meaningful things with them.” This past year, they have even Facetimed and met people outdoors to provide clients with the experience and comfort level they desire.
While relationship and service can be absent on online platforms, they do use social media as their art portfolio. Clients can get ideas and see the depth and breadth of what is possible. Customers enjoy the opportunity to have something handmade that is one of a kind and deeply personal. From an engagement ring to a Mother’s pendant, to a family tree necklace, these pieces become cherished collectibles, and Patrick and Mary Kay are at the heart of delivering those treasures.
“We are proud of what we create. Every piece is signed and numbered. We love offering something different and unique. Every family heirloom starts somewhere.” Patrick remarks.
That somewhere is Wayzata.