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Be charmed 

The quality and personality of Charmz Jewelry remains the same, though their address has changed

Delicate sterling silver chains studded with gems handpicked from the streets of India—the hallmarks of Renu Kewalramani’s one-of-a-kind pieces—have traveled great lengths to reach their destination in downtown SLO. Kewalramani has been making jewelry for more than 12 years, and in November 2007 was persuaded by Jack Hira, her brother and Charmz operations manager, to open her own shop in America.

For the jewelry shop’s first three years, it sat next to Bubblegum Alley but due to earthquake retrofitting, they were forced to relocate. Charmz’s current and permanent location is at 672 Higuera St. where they share the space with Bali Isle.

“It’s a good fit with Bali Isle, and now we just want to get the word out there that we are still here!” said manager Catherine Ford. “All of this is for the love of what [Kewalramani] does.”

Including raw ruby necklaces and black onyx pendants, the variety of precious and semi-precious stones in stock is vast. Kewalramani’s style and designs are influenced by her love for ancient art and sacred architecture. With the benefit of a Ph.D. in biology, Kewalramani examines potential stones for their color, clarity, and shape; the pieces she selects are incorporated into her necklaces and bracelets.

Check out the line of convertible jewelry: pendants that begin as simple shapes but can transform into completely different designs. Each piece is unique—duplicates happen only by request.

“You are walking around with something no one else is going to have,” said Julie Crimee, another longtime manager.

Shoppers can also find fashion and body jewelry at the new location. Charmz offers rings, earrings, belly piercings, and nose piercings in a wide range of sizes and styles. Individual orders can be placed through the store’s Facebook page, which operators recently embraced as a “nice way to stay open to the public.”

The mission of Charmz is to offer customers the highest quality jewelry at the most affordable prices. Costs range from $40 to $400.

“Everyone can come in and find something that they like,” Ford said. “Everyone can find something at their own affordable price.

Weekly sales are intended to keep customers coming back and keep merchandise flowing.

The grand opening sale for the new location takes place Sept. 16 through 19 with everything in the store 30 percent to 50 percent off. One or more $25 gift certificates will be raffled off each day that week.

Another up-and-coming event for Charmz is a monthly five-minute TV slot during which the staff will discuss the energy and properties of that month’s stone. Once they’re more established in the new location, they hope to offer Jewelry Project Days to disseminate information about how to construct your own jewelry.

To contact Kewalramani directly, e-mail renu@charmz.com. Anyone interested in meeting Kewalramani in person? She visits the Charmz location three times a year. For more information and the date of Kewalramani’s next visit, contact shop manager Ford at info@charmz.com.

Fast facts

A Kids’ Cancer Research Foundation is being established in San Luis Obispo. The foundation aims to reroute funding to benefit pharmaceutical research of types of cancer that affect children—primarily Neuroblastoma. The foundation’s goals also include presenting an information resource for parents of affected children. To contact the foundation for more information, or to donate to the cause, call 550-7682 …

Tickets are on sale now for A Night at the Castle, the kickoff/fundraiser for the Alliance for Lupus Research at Eagle Castle Winery in Paso Robles. Tickets cost $25, and the event includes wine tasting, appetizers, raffles, and a silent auction. To buy tickets, contact the Alliance at 462-1022.

Intern Marin Kautz compiled this week’s Strokes and Plugs. Send comments or ideas to Executive Editor Ryan Miller at rmiller@newtimesslo.com.

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