After graduating from Clemson with an art degree in 2013, a summer internship with The Met’s jewelry manufacturing division took Holy City native Mariana “Mini” Hay to New York. At program’s end she longed to return to the Lowcountry, and asked her mom, Mariana Hay, if she could join the family business—Croghans Jewel Box (843/723-3594),
a gem of a jeweler that’s been a staple of King Street for more than a century. Mariana agreed, but on one condition: “She challenged me to create a unique Charleston line that speaks to younger people as well as existing customers, and to locals along with visitors,” says Mini.
In November of that year, she rose to the occasion and then some, debuting the first piece from her Goldbug collection (dubbed such as a nod to Edgar Allan Poe’s so-named short story penned on Sullivan’s Island). Since then, the line—which Mini says stars gold-plated casts of actual Palmetto bugs, a native species of cockroach, and bees—has been lauded by the likes of Southern Living, Brides, and more.
Most significant for the engaged set are the stylish cuffs, bangles, necklaces, and earrings—all of which would complement bridal, bridesmaid, or MOB ensembles. Also of note? Bug- and bee-adorned cuff links, money clips, and julep cups that would be great for grooms, and registry musts like cocktail napkins, napkin rings, and ornaments. No matter the item, these so-Charleston creations are keepsakes, for sure.
Find Mini's critters at Croghan's Jewel Box (308 King St.) and on the shop's site