By Dulcy B. Hooper

mys·tique (mĭ-stēk’) n. A quality of being special in a mysterious and attractive way.

After an absence of several years, Mystique Jewelers returned to Middleburg and opened its shop in a new location May 6 with a Jude Frances trunk show. Present for the event were many new and returning customers all no doubt happy to celebrate the shop’s return and admire Mystique’s collection.

Elizabeth Mandros, founder of Mystique Jewlers (photo by Joffoto)

Elizabeth Mandros, founder of Mystique Jewelers (photo by Joffoto)

Elizabeth Mandros, Mystique’s founder, is serious about jewelry. “I have always loved the beauty and allure of gemstones,” she said. “And I believe that Mystique appeals to women who have a strong sense of style, know what they like, and want to create a jewelry wardrobe.”

A gemologist by training, Mandros is a native of Alexandria, Virginia. She opened her first location in Old Town, Alexandria, over 25 years ago with the goal of “bringing unique jewelry custom designs to Old Town.” In 2003, she moved to Upperville, Virginia, and continued to commute to her shop in Old Town.

“I’ve been in business since 1991,” said Mandros. “And over the winter, as my business was turning 25 years old, I started to give it a lot of thought. I decided that what I really wanted to do was to open a second store, closer to where I live.”

“I wanted to create an atmosphere that embraces both my love for family and for the equestrian lifestyle,”                     -Elizabeth Mandros

Mandros’s daughter is a student at The Hill School in Middleburg, Virginia, and Mandros said that she wanted to be more personally involved in what is going on in the community.

“It’s not that I minded driving to Alexandria every day,” she said. “I love to work — it is a total passion for me and the drive was just part of that. But I was missing so much by not having a shop here and being able to spend more time where I live.”

“I wanted to create an atmosphere that embraces both my love for family and for the equestrian lifestyle,” she said. “The Middleburg store will be quite different from the Old Town store.”

Mandros said that customers can expect to find “country chic and sophisticated pieces” and that she plans to offer a new equestrian line, along with custom designs and redesign services. Mandros personally selects everything that is in the store.

The Mystique Jewelrs storefront (photo by Crowell Haden)

The Mystique Jewelers storefront (photo by Crowell Haden)

“Because I have been doing this for 25 years, I have a lot of connections around the world,” she said. “I can obtain beautiful pieces at a competitive price, which I then pass on to my customers.”

Mystique Jewelers has a full-time goldsmith who, with Mandros, designs new pieces and reconfigures existing pieces.

“A customer just stopped by the store a few days ago,” said Mandros. “She brought her entire jewelry box and, together, we went through it all. Some we will redesign; some may go up for sale by consignment. But what we are doing is giving new life to what was in that jewelry box.”

Mandros prides herself on attention to detail, customer service and quality products. That commitment and level of detail has been widely recognized, with Mystique Jewelers being awarded the Best of Alexandria and Best of Washington, Virginia, Virginia Living’s Top Wedding Vendor, Virginia Living’s Best Jeweler, Alexandria Business Hall of Fame and JCK Top 50 Designer Retailer. ML

Middleburg Address: 112 West Washington St. Middleburg, VA 20117 | 540-687-3100 | Alexandria Address: 211 The Strand Waterfront Old Town Alexandria, VA 22314 | 703-836-1401