23rd Street Jewelers
is a premier family-owned business co-owned by sisters Diane Allen and Mary Kelley. You could say that Diane and Mary got their business started with a little help from Elvis and an 18kt gold red coral ring. Here’s their story:
Growing up, Mary and Diane shared a bedroom and many friends, so sharing a business came naturally. Diane was an artist at a young age, enjoying drawing and painting, which she continued in college. As a young adult she worked in a jewelry store and opened her own home jewelry party business. She then went on to work for importers, manufacturers, and wholesalers in downtown Los Angeles—a part of the world known to have the best jewelry manufacturing. Later she combined her love for jewelry with her artistic abilities and started designing custom jewelry. Diane was hired by Elvis Presley’s Estate to design souvenirs.
Mary was always greatly influenced by her older sister Diane who sparked her love for jewelry when she returned from a trip to Italy with two gifts for her, an 18kt gold red coral ring and a carved cameo pendant, Mary wore them for years. A few years later, Mary would attend the Gemological Institute of America. That led her to opportunities with businesses that specialized in importing and brokering diamonds and importing and exporting colored gemstones. She traveled to trade shows all over the world including Bangkok and Hong Kong.
The year was now 1981, Ronald Reagan was President, the word “Internet” was used for the first time, MTV was launched, Post-It notes were invented, Olivia Newton-John was singing let’s get “Physical”, Britney Spears was born, and Diane and Mary, using their acquired experiences, talents and knowledge opened a customer service based retail jewelry store, specializing in custom made jewelry. Diane had done so well with the Elvis souvenirs, she used the proceeds to start the partnership with Mary–they opened their first store in an adorable white cottage on Wilshire Boulevard near 23rd Street in Santa Monica, and 23rd Street Jewelers was born. It was an immediate success.
In 2003, Mary was living in Manhattan Beach and it became obvious to her that her local community needed a store like 23rd Street Jewelers. So, Diane and Mary opened their second store with an overwhelming amount of support and interest. They are now celebrating 10 years in South Bay with their beautiful, intimate, fine jewelry boutique (located just one block off the ocean). They have been named the premier fine jewelry store in the South Bay two years in a row.
Their Santa Monica and Manhattan Beach stores are highly personalized neighborhood shops that deal in a wide range of fine jewelry from the accessible to the treasured.
“For over 30 years we have enjoyed designing and creating exquisite personal pieces for our growing clientele, which have become treasured heirlooms.”
23rd Street Jewelers are proud supporters of Phase One
Diane Allen is a member of the Medical Board of Phase One. Phase One is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting Phase One clinical research and treatment programs for patients with cancer. Phase One hopes that its efforts to fund Phase I trials and research will help in the fight against cancer by finding treatments that will transform what might be a terminal illness into one where patients can live a full and productive life. Cancer has profoundly impacted Diane and Mary’s family and it was during their experience that they became familiar with Phase One, and all the critical work they do. 23rd Street Jewelers supports Phase One to offer hope to a patient diagnosed today who has been told by others that there is nothing left—just one of many important goals of Phase One.
Please join us in support of this important mission. Diane Allen has designed a “Phase One” Angel pendant—100% of the profit from pendant sales will go directly to Phase One. Phase One is proud to have funded research at some of the most prestigious organizations in Southern California including Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, City of Hope and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Let’s keep it going.
We also proudly support the Manhattan Beach Education Foundation
Founded in 1983 to raise funds and awareness for the public education of Manhattan Beach and South Bay residents, the Manhattan Beach Education Foundation is a nonprofit corporation with its grants benefiting local public schools. Annually they fund critical education programs, at a cost of almost 5 million dollars funding salaries supporting science and reading specialists, art and music teachers, librarians, computer teachers, and college and career planners. Mary and Diane feel very passionate about education and particularly keeping art in schools—a path that allowed them to develop a successful business they love. Mary and her family have been residents of Manhattan Beach for over 22 years, and have raised and educated their three children there. The Manhattan Beach area schools now rank #3 in the State of California.
For the past 12 years, 23rd Street Jewelers has been the Premier Fine Jewelry Partner for Manhattan Beach Education Foundation. Through participation in their live auctions during fundraisers, 23rd Street fine jewelry donations have raised over $200,000.