It is with deep sadness that I must share the passing of my dear friend and mentor on Sunday afternoon, January 21, 2018 in San Miguel, Mexico following her courageous two year battle with cancer. Margaret was truly one-of-a-kind! It’s been five years since Margaret retired and sold me her business, but her spirit and influence will live on forever at ME and in each of us that were fortunate enough to know and love her. Our lives are richer because she was in it.
Please remember this beautiful face each time you look at your wedding ring, vintage collectibles, favorite pearls or gold heirloom pieces. She designed each piece with you in mind. She lived her life as if every day was a special occasion and encouraged us to do the same through her art.
Margaret created her jewelry business at the age of 40 after teaching public school art classes for many years. Her vision, unique aesthetic and drive were the foundation of a 30 year business. She never thought of it as a job. It was her passion.
Margaret was never one to do things the easy way. In the early days, she went store to store pitching her work and left behind Goo-Goo clusters to remind people that her unique product was from Nashville. She chose to position her jewelry to the fashion trade rather than pursue the more obvious craft show audience and had lots of success. Her pieces were featured in every major fashion publication in the 90's and had prominent placement in "Sex and The City" and "The Devil Wears Prada". But most importantly, Margaret loved her customers. You were her friends.
All of us have a Margaret story. This is mine. I'd love to hear yours.
I grew up with my mom wearing Margaret’s pieces. I remember going to our Cummins Station Studio and talking with Margaret at McClure’s as a little girl. She always made me feel special. I got my first piece of “real” jewelry on my 10th birthday. Of course it was a Margaret Ellis ring, made especially for me.
A little over nine years ago, Margaret randomly asked me to help her during a busy season and ended up offering me a full-time position to replace a long-time employee that planned to leave. She told me then that it was temporary, because she had retirement in mind. At the time it didn't seem to make much sense, but I knew that any time spent under her tutelage would be time well spent. I was welcomed into the family, taught and encouraged to explore my own designs. I learned a lot and was able to teach Margaret a few things too. We were a great team and had a lot of fun working together. I always knew she believed in me, but two and half years later, Margaret gave me the ultimate compliment. She told me that she had always thought she’d lock the door and walk away, but believed that I had what it would take to carry her business into the future and would love to help me do that. I was excited and a bit overwhelmed by the prospect of buying a business at the age of 26, but December 31, 2012 I did just that. Margaret made me believe I could do anything and made sure that I was ready. Anjy and Edward stayed with me, but Margaret and Fred moved to San Miguel and never looked back as they embarked on their new adventure.
It’s hard to believe that was five years ago! Despite her being so far away, I always knew that I could reach out to Margaret if I needed to for direction, an opinion or encouragement. Her approval meant the world to me. Recently she wrote, ”I have watched (from afar) and think you have done a very good job. I'm impressed, and very thankful.” Margaret knew exactly what I needed to hear and I will cherish those words forever.
Group hug my friends! Margaret's friendship and generous spirit will be greatly missed by us all. I'm so grateful that she chose to pour herself into me. My goal is to provide you with unique handcrafted jewelry that will stand the test of time just like she did for so many years. It's a responsibility that I don't take lightly. Thank you for helping me carry on her legacy. Thank you for loving ME!
A memorial will take place in San Miguel on Wednesday, February 28 at 1:30 p.m. Since most of us can only be there in spirit, I know it would mean a lot to Fred to hear from you. Please mail your notes and cards to:
220 N. Zapata Hwy #11
Laredo, TX 78043-4464