Vineyard Haven • Edgartown (888) 227-8275
Founded in 1966, our full-service jewelry store features an outstanding selection of fine jewelry. We also provide quality repairs, custom work and friendly, professional customer service. Many of our handcrafted designs, available in gold, silver, and platinum, are inspired by the natural coastal beauty of Martha’s Vineyard. Others reflect the Island's maritime heritage, its unique architectural landmarks, and the imagination of our customers with a favorite memento or occasion they want to remember. Readers of Martha’s Vineyard Magazine have voted CB Stark the Island’s “Best Jeweler” every year since 1996.
Collecting CB Stark jewelry has become a tradition for Vineyarders and visitors alike. Over the years, we have crafted more than five hundred original designs, and each year we launch new pieces that quickly become Vineyard “must-haves.” As the Vineyard’s popularity as a wedding destination has blossomed, so has the store’s collection of fine engagement rings and wedding bands, with great options for custom designs and creative bridal party gifts. Over time, our customers have become friends, and we’re now forging friendships with the grandchildren of some of our original customers. With inviting, well-stocked storefronts in two convenient locations – year-round in Vineyard Haven, seasonally on Main Street in downtown Edgartown – and a comprehensive online offering, CB Stark makes it easy to find the perfect piece of jewelry for any occasion.
photo credit: Alison Shaw
Vote here for next year!
Main Street Park Is Lasting Memorial to Cheryl B. Stark, by Landry Harlan, Vineyard Gazette, May 26, 2018
Meet your merchant: Margie Meltzer of CB Stark Jewelers, by Brittany Bowker, Martha's Vineyard Times, October 6, 2017
Cheryl Stark, Island Jewelrymaker and Businesswoman, by Julia Wells, Vineyard Gazette, January 3, 2017
The Charmed Life - Celebrating 50 years, by Julia Wells, Martha's Vineyard Magazine, September, 2016
Jewelry With Island Charm, by Corinne Grousbeck, Boston Common Magazine, July, 2010
Jeweler C.B Stark Marks Forty Years, by Max Hart, Vineyard Gazette, June 2, 2006
The Beatles topped the charts with “Yellow Submarine,” Ronald Reagan entered politics, skirts inched up, the war in Vietnam dominated the news, Betty Friedan spearheaded the National Organization for Women, and gasoline cost thirty-two cents a gallon.
Perhaps most importantly to our story, however, in the summer of 1966, Brooklyn-born Cheryl Barbara Stark hopped the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard to teach jewelry making.
Nineteen-year-old Cheryl discovered a laid-back, friendly island, a place that felt vastly different from the mainland. Though academics weren’t her strong suit, she had recently found her niche at the School of The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, where she had learned silversmithing and jewelry making.
“I was a good athlete, not a scholar,” Cheryl says. “But when I found out that you didn’t need SATs or a high school diploma to get into the Museum School, I put a portfolio together and went to Boston.” Thanks to Mr. Dale, her Scarsdale high school art teacher, who had taken a course in jewelry making and taught her everything he knew, Cheryl was accepted. “I had finally found something I was good at,” she says.
A good fit
And on Martha’s Vineyard, she found a place to put her skills to good use. The Island was populated by scores of artists, musicians, and tradespeople who had flocked there to escape the pressures of a changing culture, thereby creating their own. After teaching at an artisans’ collective in Vineyard Haven, Cheryl opened a small seasonal studio and retail space in town at the top of Union Street with friends who worked in silver and leather, then moved to her own shop in a garage on Water Street. In the off-season, Cheryl operated a booth on 47th Street in New York City’s Diamond District, selling her work to renowned retailers Cartier and Georg Jensen, among other clients.
But in 1969, Cheryl settled on the Vineyard year-round, supplementing her artisan income by scalloping, house painting, splitting wood, raking leaves, carpentry, and waitressing. In fact, when Margery Meltzer, a recent philosophy graduate from the University of Cincinnati, returned to the Island in late 1971 to make it her full-time home, she saw Cheryl busy shingling Leslie’s Drug Store in Vineyard Haven. Cheryl and Margie met and clicked like a well-made clasp.
Settling down to business
By taking on the artistically inclined Margie – and in the process discovering she has great business instincts too – Cheryl was able to build CB Stark into a more serious venture. After teaching Margie how to polish, hammer, solder, and do repairs, both women could soon design, create, and sell their jewelry, enabling them to grow into new retail spaces in Vineyard Haven, Oak Bluffs, and Edgartown, shuffling locations as they figured out the business.
Margie had first come to the Island in 1968 with college friends and fell in love with the beauty of the land and sea. Shortly after she began to work with Cheryl in 1972, she assumed responsibility for all in-house jewelry production. “I designed and created all the map pieces that we sell,” Margie says, pride evident in her voice. She recently spearheaded the design of CB Stark’s new Gingerbread Collection – earrings, charms, and beads in sterling silver and 14-carat gold – inspired by the ornamental wooden trim on historic cottages in the Oak Bluffs Camp Ground. In addition to remaining a vital part of the Stark design team, Margie has begun creating abstract paintings in her free time.
Like many partners, Cheryl and Margie are yin and yang – Cheryl, the more gregarious, traditionally worked the front of the shop, while Margie, the more introverted, oversaw the myriad details that comprise a thriving year-round jewelry business.
When they moved to their current location at 53A Main Street in Vineyard Haven, the pair had been partners in both work and life for about eight years. From a twelve-foot-square garage space to a large, more serious space on the main shopping drag, CB Stark evolved into a full-service jewelry store. “It was all a learning process,” Cheryl explains. “Neither of us came from a business background. We started carrying jewelry from other designers to fill the space.”
“Down in the garage it was just the two of us,” Margie adds. “We didn’t need help. When we moved up here we realized we couldn’t sit at the bench all day. We had to be on the floor helping people.”
Growing and evolving
The times, they were a-changin’ and CB Stark changed right along with them. From a two-woman seasonal operation in a garage to a year-round jewelry business with a full-time location in Vineyard Haven and a seasonal location in Edgartown, Cheryl and Margie grew from hammering out peace signs and toe rings for walk-in customers to maintaining a wide selection of fine jewelry and signature Island mementos.
“We built our business by creating remembrances for people who don’t live here,” Margie says. Their Island-themed charms and pendants in iconic shapes include a bunch of grapes, the silhouette of the Vineyard land mass, the Island town signs, the Black Dog logo, and many others, totaling more than five hundred original designs that the team has created in gold, silver, and platinum.
And as the business expanded, so too did the staff. CB Stark is proud to maintain four full-time, year-round employees, as well as numerous seasonal additions. “We couldn’t do it without them,” Cheryl and Margie say, nearly in unison – no surprise, since the couple has been sharing their lives and their business now for more than four decades.
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