Susan Shieldkret is marching fearlessly into the shaky economy.
She opened a jewelry store on Balboa Island in Newport Beach about a year and a half ago, and another one opened in Laguna Beach this summer.
The Laguna shop, at South Coast Highway and Cress Street, where Mandarin Fine Arts used to be, had a "soft opening" in August, but held its grand opening Oct. 20.
Shieldkret said she believes there will always be a market for the kind of jewelry she sells, which is everything from a $20 faux-gold necklace to an Indian diamond cuff worth thousands. She also stocks purses and elegant Italian-made umbrellas.
"It's all handmade," Shieldkret said of her lines. "With the recession, women want something that looks expensive but isn't. We have an eclectic collection, both high-end and everyday. We run the gamut. I believe that jewelry should be fun to wear and look at."