A Jewel Box of Love and Candy

Pasadena jewelry boutique Mimi et Cie. serves up gifts with style and extraordinary service

Thursday, December 5, 2013 | 2:02 pm

It’ s a place of love and candy—candy for the sweet tooth, stacked in shiny glass jars just inside the doorway, and candy for the eyes and heart in the form of dazzling jewelry pieces for the discerning customer.

Mimi Et Cie is a tiny, Parisian-style shop nestled into a corner of Arcade Lane, near the corner of Colorado and Lake. There, San Gabriel Valley native/owner Meshell Sohl (“Mimi” to her family, since forever) acts as shopkeeper, trusted friend, counselor, concierge, ambassador, and consigliere of love for her appointment-only private customers.

Rather than a large outlet serving a constant stream of harried customers, Mimi et Cie is a refined, though extremely friendly, one–on-one shopping experience. For Mimi, as corny as it sounds, it’s all about the relationship with her customers:

“I’ve had customers knock on my door on Christmas Day, because they’ve just received a new watch, and they want me to show them how to use it,” says Mimi. “That’s how intertwined I am with my clients.”

Clients range from CEOs and decision-makers all over Southern California to the young man standing nervously outside a jewelry case, waiting for our interview to end. “He’s going to propose tonight,” Mimi confides to us, gleefully. For her part, she’ll walk him through everything from the restaurant to his suit to the actual presentation. It’s so typical of how she views her relationship with her customers.

While many jewelers come from jewelry families, the tradition actually skipped a generation with Mimi, as her grandfather was a prominent jeweler. Before setting up her own tent, Mimi trained all over the world, including at the exclusive Cartier company headquarters in Paris, France. It was there that the idea for Mimi et Cie was born.

“I love everything French, especially Parisian,” she exclaims. It was in Paris, in fact, that she saw tiny jewelry shops, tucked into side streets and alleyways, run by attentive, customer-oriented jewelers—often just a counter and a few exquisite pieces, lovingly cared for and sold.

Mimi is that idea writ just a little larger. Her recently-expanded shop features a wide range of jewelry items, all unique and inspiring, You can find that hundred-dollar bauble that you can share as a last-minute gift, or you can find that spectacular piece that will create a family legend for generations. It’ll all be served up by the effusive Mimi, who’ll also offer you candy, coffee, and advice, on the house—a jewelry box of a house called Mimi et Cie.

Mimi et Cie is at 696 E. Colorado Blvd. Suite 7, in Pasadena. Ring (626) 628-0880 or visit www.mimietciejewels.com for more information.

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