California’s rent increases are killing community’s gemstones

Abi Khait
3 min readAug 7, 2018

I was thinking to write a post about great local stores that are absolute jewels of the communities. I went to check out one of my favorite stores in San Carlos, CA — Shellies Miniature Mania ( The second I walked in, I felt disoriented and then profoundly disappointed to realize that the store was closing. I was in total shock, I have known this store for about ten years, and it was my go-to location for original jewelry whether for a present or myself.

As I browsed through what was left of the store — not much, I could not but feel a great sense of loss. This place was more than a store to me. It was a place of discovery and joy. I would go there to browse through the shelves and stands to locate a new designer or a new idea. Every present that I bought was loved and cherished by my girlfriends. I saw my friends wear pieces on repeat which meant a lot to me. No more…

I found out the reason for the closure — the owner decided to raise the price by 100%. With such a hike, the store could not justify its existence…

I want to share with you the items that I got and still love very much. I am sure all of these can be bought from other online retailers, but this is not the same for me. I am crushed to know that this fantastic store had to close due to unhealthy rent prices driven up by tech companies. We have an ongoing crisis in the Bay Area of sky-high rents and house prices; now we are losing different businesses… when will it stop…

Below are a few lovely pieces that I would never find if it was not for Shellies!

Christophe Poly. Christophe Poly’s pieces are beautiful geometric original combinations of metal and color. I bought a few for myself and my friends. These items will improve and add uniqueness to any outfit whether you are going on a date or enjoying a family dinner.

Christophe Poly —

Lizzy James. Her pieces are simple and original. They can be rocked with jeans or a cocktail dress. Her items are also multifunctional — bracelets can transform into necklaces.

The store will be closing at some point during the fall of 2018. Instead of it, a restaurant or a fancy shop will most likely open up. Another faceless place that will exist until people are tired of it. Once everyone had enough, the store or restaurant will be rebranded/renamed. And so goes the cycle. There is no connection to the community or people. Simple business of making money.

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Abi Khait

Fashion & Beauty Enthusiast. Organization Freak. Chocolate Lover. My Blog: