Sunday, September 9, 2012

Gems at Pebble Beach

Gems at Pebble Beach

Pebble Beach, California is a small coastal town (population 4,531), home to the historical 17 Mile Drive, the Lone Cypress, and the famous AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am golf tournament held here annually in February since 1947, old stomping grounds for golf legends like Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, D.A. Points, and celebrities like Bill Murray, Ray Romano, George Lopez, just to name a few of the “usual suspects”.

The 5,000 acres of Pebble Beach contain eight public and private golf courses. The queen course is Pebble Beach Golf Links (opened in 1919 at the same time with The Lodge), where golfers play eight of 18 holes alongside the ocean with breathtaking views of the coastline. 


But on the third Sunday of each August golfers are banned. On that day - August 19 this year - the 18th fairway becomes the stage for nearly 200 of the most beautiful, unique and highly prized collector cars and motorcycles in the world. The annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, on its 62nd edition this year, is the finest such display in the world, on one of the most spectacular sites. About 15,000 people showed up again this year and all proceeds fromraffles, auctions, sponsorships and ticket sales contributed more than US $1.00 million to charity.


I must have been born under a lucky star because this was the setting in which I was invited to have a trunk show featuring my jewelry designs. For two days, Saturday, August 18 and Sunday, August 19, between 10:00am and 5:00pm, I had my creations on display in front of hundreds of people.  My booth was in the Pebble Beach Women’s Shop right across the putting green in front of The Lodge where the Concept Cars were exhibited. 

7147    7148

I could hardly contain my excitement to see the just-unveiled Bugatti, Maserati, Lamborghini, Rolls Royce, McLaren, Infinity, BMW and Mercedes concept models that no mortal had the chance to lay eyes upon before this event.  Judging from the crowds and the interest surrounding the cars, I believe that the Hennessey Venom GT Spyder stole the show.  It sports a 7.0-liter (427 cid) twin turbo V8 power plant producing 1,244 bhp at 6,600 revolutions, making it the most powerful roadster in the world, and the zero-to-200mph in 15.3 seconds make it the quickest accelerating supercar on the market.  I didn’t waste my breath asking why anybody would need such a powerful car in a country where the speed limit is 65mph, but hey, who’s thinking of such trivial matters when you see a beauty like that? 


But like all exciting things, this event had to come to an end too. I had an unforgettable weekend full of incredible cars, good exposure for my designs and a whole new experience. Paul and Judy Andrews of Texas took home the Best of Show Award for their 1928 Mercedes-Benz, and I went home with a few good sales and a few good new contacts under my belt.   I was sad to see some of my favorite designs go, but I know they will be appreciated in their new homes.  Besides, it is time for “ADORA by Simona” to come up with an exciting and colorful new collection.  Moving on… What’s next?

Crab and Pearls

Crab and Pearls

About a month ago a good friend of mine asked if I could donate for a worthy cause one of the jewelry pieces I created.  I get asked that a lot and I never say “no”.  I always create something new and specific for every fundraiser I participate in, trying to match the theme of the event as best as I can.  This time, the theme was “Crab Grab”, an all-you-can-eat crab event organized by the Monterey Peninsula Sunrise Rotary Club in an effort to raise money for the "Helping Hands" Project, with a mission to create cash grants for Monterey Peninsula Unified School District teachers who need help funding a good educational idea.


I seldom attend the events I donate my jewelry for, but this time I got an invitation and there I went.  As soon as I walked in, among countless other donated items, I could see my creation displayed exactly the way I wanted it to be, on a black velvet stand, with the description card I provided right beside it.  If I could say so myself, it looked very beautiful. To go with the ocean theme, I put together natural aquamarine teardrop beads, freshwater pearls and sterling silver to create a beautiful necklace and earrings set.


To my pleasant surprise, all throughout the evening people bid on it, and when the silent auction was over I learned that it sold for a pretty nice sum.  After the event I had the pleasure of meeting the very classy lady that placed the winning bid.  I introduced myself and thanked her for buying the set and thus helping the cause.  With a very big smile she said:  “Oh, I am very happy to be the lucky winner.  Not only that I made a modest contribution to help children get a better education, but I also got a beautiful jewelry set for myself”.


So at the end of the evening everybody was happy:  The organizers reached their goal of making the local schools a better learning experience, the attendees had a fun evening complete with a gourmet crab dinner and exquisite wines provided by local wineries, almost everybody walked home with something that they bid on, the classy lady got the jewelry that she loved, and I could see my goodwill in action.  It is very fulfilling to know that the funds raised that night will help children expand their horizons and achieve higher goals, and that through my modest contribution I was given the chance to be a part (small as it was) of that.  Congratulations to the Monterey Peninsula Sunrise Rotary Club on an event well organized!

And to end the evening on an even better note, my husband and I bid on and won a one-night stay at the Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa located on the historical Cannery Row of John Steinbeck fame.  But that will be the subject of a future blog when I will be telling you the story of how and when I first got acquainted with Cannery Row.   

If you wish to learn more about the Helping Hand Project, go to