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Injury impetus for new business

Sandra Mayberry in her shop.

By Marcus Wright
Special to the Michigan Citizen

DETROIT — It would be hard to convince Sandra Mayberry there is no silver lining in clouds. Mayberry founded S&M Jewelry Designs after suffering a work-related injury. Mayberry opened S&M Jewelry Design at Gibraltar Trade Center on Jan. 24, 2010. She proudly shows the $20 bill from the first sale she made.

S&M moved to the Russell Bazaar in August 2010. Mayberry calls herself a loyal Detroiter and when the opportunity to move her business to Detroit presented itself, she didn’t hesitate. Mayberry characterizes S&M as “The best of custom and retail jewelry sold at affordable prices.” She said S&M also does conversions such as converting earrings for pierced ears to clip-ons.

She referred to it as guilt-free shopping. “We keep everything under $20,” Mayberry said. “We do have a few pieces that cost $20 or more but most are $20 or less.”

“We also provide jewelry designs for special events; weddings and bridal showers, and parties. We do lots of church events.”

Mayberry worked for the Detroit Fire Department, EMS division, where she injured her ankle and had to have surgery. She was home, couldn’t work and was bored. A friend came over and showed her how to make jewelry. Mayberry’s daughter came home from college and began taking her to fairs where she could show and sell her jewelry.

Mayberry had really become interested and had been told because of her injury she would not be able to return to EMS. Her daughter went back to school and Mayberry asked her sister-in-law to work with her. “I started to work full-time and business was good,” Mayberry said. “My customers are satisfied. They bring friends. When people say they are coming back, they do.”

Mayberry said she would get more business if more people knew about the Russell Bazaar. “The Russell Bazaar needs more promotion. People go to Eastern Market when they hear Russell. We’re actually on Clay,” Mayberry said. “Still, I recommend Russell Bazaar for opening a business. It is an inexpensive way of gaining experience.”

Mayberry said S&M shares space with a clothing booth which sells dresses, skirts and blouses. Usually when a woman buys clothing she is also looking for jewelry. Mayberry said the clothing booth is owned by woman who works full-time at another job. “When she’s not here, we help her out, make sales for her,” Mayberry said. “It has worked out very well for both of us.”

Mayberry has lived in Detroit 41 years. She has three children and four grandchildren. “I’m very proud of my children and I love Detroit. My husband and I live in the first house we bought after getting married,” Mayberry said. “Most of the people on my block are retired and we look out for one another.”

Contact Marcus Wright at

Photo Courtesy of Marcus Wright


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