By Rachel Ravina, Staff Writer
(Oct. 31, 2019) Beach Memories owner Michele Krempa embarked on a new journey Friday evening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at her Main Street jewelry store.
“The best part of my job is when people come in and they smile,” Krempa said.
While the grand opening was this past Friday at the shop on 106 N. Main St., Krempa said the store officially opened on Aug. 9.
Krempa said that the store will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. She added that she also plans to stay open until 8 p.m. on Fridays during the holidays.
During the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Krempa said she felt welcomed by the town, residents and fellow merchants. Local, state and national dignitaries in attendance also said a few words.
Berlin’s Mayor Gee Williams called the town and the business community “an extended family,” as he recalled Berlin’s revitalization efforts in recent decades.
“We’re so excited for you, and looking forward to much success, and wel- come to the family,” Williams said.
Williams also recognized State Sen. Mary Beth Carozza (R-38). Carozza said a shop like this is a real asset to Berlin.
“When mayor mentioned that ‘Mary Beth’s like family,’ part of that also is I spend a lot of money in Berlin,” Carozza said. “Because I believe locals should support locals, and we really have that.”
Rep. Andy Harris (R-1st) agreed. He emphasized the importance of small businesses, and they role they play within the overall economy.
He then wished Krempa luck on her new venture in town.
“You have a jewel here, no pun intended,” he said.
Krempa said she’s looking forward to sharing her handmade jewelry with Berlin’s residents and visitors.
“I felt for the type of work I was doing that Berlin brings in the type of customer that I’m looking for,” Krempa said.
While Beach Memories is Krempa’s store, she also uses the studio to produce wholesale beads for about 200 retailers across the nation and in the Caribbean through her company, Seachelle Designs.
“I think it’s just going to benefit the community because … it’s going to be a Berlin locally made product, and people can come watch the art of the working the glass,” Krempa said. “That in itself is always fascinating.”
Larnet St. Amant, executive director of the Berlin Chamber of Commerce, agreed.
“It’s just a nice way for our town to grow in another aspect and … not nec- essarily made in America, but made here in Berlin, which is huge for us,” St. Amant said.
In addition to manufacturing, Krempa said her retail store has jewelry ranging in styles and price points that can be a keepsake for residents or visitors.
“When people do visit the town that aren’t local, they’re going to be able to take a memory back with them, especially with our beads that have the Ocean City sand in them,” Krempa said.
Krempa said she has other gifts and products crafted by American artists that keeps with the overall beach theme of the store. The shop is also equipped with a “hot glass studio” and all of the beads are made on the premises.
Krempa said she plans to hold classes where people can learn more about the glass bead making process. She added that there’s a weeklong glass bead-making class for $300. The class would run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the first day and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the second day.
Krempa said she also wants to hold a holiday jewelry class “where people can make fun Christmas jewelry.” Ad- mission would cost $50 per class.
As for her business philosophy, it ap- pears the golden rule doesn’t just apply in life, but also in her work. She added that she strives for exemplary customer service.
“If a customer ever has a problem with a piece of jewelry, we are there to fix it for them and make it great, be- cause I … want to treat my people like I want to be treated,” she said.
For more information about Beach Memories, visit facebook.com/beach- memories/.