Close your eyes. Imagine rich colors, the temperature of cool metals, differing fabric textures, beautiful stones and sun-aged hands manipulating these objects into works of art. These are the memories from Jessica Piering’s upbringing in Peru, where outdoor markets filled with handmade goods dominate the downtown areas of towns and villages. Now Jessica and her husband Andrew own Magaly Designs, a jewelry design company with a stunning storefront in downtown Plano. Look for the turquoise door and step into the imagination of a true artist.
Jessica grew up in Peru and moved to the States to learn English fourteen years ago. She met Andrew, born and raised in Garland, and never went home. According to Jessica, she has “always been crafty,” and “since I was very little, all I did was wanting to touch things, play with sparkly things.” She has definitely honed her crafting skills and now makes the most gorgeous jewelry for her company Magaly. Jessica’s older brother Juan Zumaeta and his wife Nora, who still reside in Peru, make all of the multi-textured handbags and purses that Magaly features.
Jessica’s husband Andrew is the face of Magaly. He handles the storefront and helps run the business, which includes their online store and social media. For years Jessica and Andrew operated Magaly from home, selling wholesale and to other vendors around the south. It was great for them, but an actual brick-and-mortar location was just the next evolutionary step for their company. The downtown Plano location opened in August 2012 and is the culmination of a lifelong dream for the couple. Jessica admits that while it didn’t take long to deliberate over opening a store when they saw the ‘For Rent’ sign, it was still a scary prospect as an artist — to wonder what people would think of her work. Would they love wearing it as much as she loves creating it?
In the back of the store, a peek into the studio where Jessica creates all her amazing pieces is enough to make you realize you are in the presence of a true artist. A self-proclaimed perfectionist, she is constantly working and reworking materials to create and fulfill her vision. According to Andrew, she’s always working, even when on vacation! Jessica explains that everywhere she goes, she is looking, watching, taking mental notes on the things she sees, and that in turn influences her creations. She has to keep evolving, keep changing her art to keep up with the times and current trends.
Not only does Jessica have a keen eye for design, beauty and fashion, she is constantly researching what works and what doesn’t to fill her store with sparkly goodies. She designs so much that according to Andrew, “she’d sell you the necklace right off her neck!” He says this laughingly, but with obvious pride. They both know how unique her pieces are, but also that she will go right back to her studio and just make another — why hold on to it if it will make someone else infinitely happy to own?
Jessica is very much a down-to-earth artist. She gushes, “I think it’s a very satisfying feeling when you see people like what you do; it makes you work harder.” And she clearly loves what she does. It’s a far cry from her first job in Peru as a card dealer in a casino, but she wouldn’t be here now without all the experiences in between.
She and Andrew not only work well together, but apparently her sense of style and design has rubbed off on him, as he routinely points out different media she can use in her creations. The effect is vice versa too; his business sense and outgoing “people personality” have taught her a lot about how to run the store and what her customers love to see. Jessica and Andrew are currently toying with the notion of a Girls Night Out, where customers can have Jessica guide them through making a creation of their own while enjoying drinks and appetizers. (This writer will be the first to sign up when it happens!)
You want know the absolute best thing about Magaly? It’s local people! Jessica and Andrew spent little time on the decision to open their first store in Plano. They confess it was a no-brainer. They loved “the mom and pop feel of downtown,” as Andrew put it. The charming storefronts and historic buildings fit the look and feel of their dream. The couple wanted Magaly in a location that supports artistic businesses, as well as a location that wasn’t filled with big name chain stores. They both feel that downtown Plano shows our town’s eclectic side, and even love the area so much they recently decided to call it home.
The next best thing you absolutely must know about Magaly is that Jessica’s creations are AFFORDABLE. Yeah, you read that right. In fact, the entire store is budget-friendly, and they sell a lot more than just jewelry. You can find embellished handbags, beaded headbands, Swan Creek candles, decorative trinkets for your home, and even a line of handmade bridal jewelry. Jessica does custom bridal party orders — she even does custom style consulting! Don’t have anything to decorate your outfit for that important event? Call or email and she can hook you up. She has many customers email a picture of their outfit, and she suggests the right pieces to dress it up. This woman could make a burlap sack look couture.
Magaly operates on limited hours, but Andrew says you can count on them being open every Friday and Saturday. The reason is simple: Jessica gets “in the zone” and with her one vice of coffee, creativity is flying through her hands left and right, and sometimes a quiet space lets it fly like crazy. There may be days when you pass the store and it looks closed or the door is locked, but Jessica is always working in her studio in the back. They both want you to call or knock! They don’t mind opening up for you. One of them will make sure you can get in to peruse to your little heart’s content. Believe me, you won’t walk out empty-handed.