Saturday, January 30, 2010

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Meet Marie

Marie A. (Sparacio) Mac Donald

Growing up Marie worked on the family farm. Her first job away from the farm, ironically, was working at Lapitina Jewelers in Vineland during the holiday season. After graduating from college she accepted a position at Bridgeton Senior High School teaching U. S. History from 1972 to 1977. She then resigned her position and accepted a teaching position at Shalick High School when it first opened in the fall of 1977 and continued teaching social studies there until the birth of her daughter, Antoinette, in November of 1983.

In June of 1982 Marie married Roderick "Rod" Mac Donald (that's me). We just celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary.

Although she was formally trained in education, Marie's first love was business. She often remarks that if her father had any other kind of business she would have followed in his footsteps. Farming, however, is a difficult career for a female and so she was led down another path.

After the birth of our daughter Marie chose to be a stay at home mom and she loved it.

In 1985 Marie's sister Patricia and her husband Roy opened Patriciana Distinctive Gifts. A special feature of the store was its bridal registry. Marie trained with The National Bridal Service and served with he sister Patty as Bridal Consultants. That position lead Marie to pursue her dream of opening her own business. Couples would ask about wedding bands and so she saw the opportunity to start her jewelry business specializing in custom designed wedding bands which lead to the creation of The Maria Collection. Patriciana Distinctive Gifts was the incubator for Marie's business. The Maria Collection began as a department within the store. God blessed Marie and her business grew. In the Fall of 1994 the store moved to it's current location at 1048 North Pearl St.

Integrity, quality and style have been the hallmark of Marie's jewelry business. She has traveled around the world to bring different and new jewelry to her customer's. Marie received her formal training from the Gemological Institute of America and belongs to The Jewelers of America as well as the New Jersey Jewelers Association. She is also a member of the Woman's Jewelry Association and her business was recently accepted into The American Gem Society.

Marie will tell you that she has been blessed with the support of her family and the community. As a woman who started her own business she was aware of the enormous risk she was taking yet the desire, the drive and the challange to create something special for our community pushed her on.

In November of 1999 Marie opened her second store, Diamonds & Design, at the corner of Main Road and Landis Avenue in Vineland NJ. Soon she will celebrate 25 years in business.

Although time has passed, her philosophy of "One Look ... See The Difference" in quality and style continues to inspire her to be your ideal choice for diamonds and distinctive fine jewelry.

Knowing Marie, it's a sure bet that Diamonds & Design - The Maria Collection will continue to serve our community with integrity, quality and style for many years to come and I am very proud of her.