Melissa is an inspired artist with a heart for her family and her craft. Her late husband Jonathan Bailey,a Master goldsmith and award winning designer introduced Melissa to the world of Jewelry design and manufacturing.
Together, Melissa & Jonathon expanded their Jewelry repair shop as they began creating what they called the “Chesapeake Collection”. The collection enjoyed great local success in its efforts to capture the varied and beautiful icons still so prevalent about the bay and our coastal water regions. Together they designed, waxed, molded and created several pieces including Skipjacks, fish, waterfowl, oysters, workboats and most importantly, Crabs.
Sadly Jonathan passed in the early 80’s but the dream remained. For almost 34 years now, Melissa has with each waking day opened that small store behind the family home, and each day she aspired to be a better person, a better mother and a stronger supporter of several community events. Melissa is very well known throughout the region for her hard work, beautiful jewelry and her continued generosity in support of so many community and waterman based organizations.
Eventually I met Melissa, fell immediately in love with her and she has blessed me in marriage. Together we have begun the new future of the family business now known as Chesapeake Jewelers. Our old brick and mortar store Bailey Jewelers no longer exists but the Chesapeake Collection is no longer limited to the walls of a store. Several times each year we pack up our extensive inventory and set up our booth at different events and festivals. Often times we are sponsors of these events, and are happy to be so.
You see, we believe in the legacy of the bay, we marvel at the sight of a stately heron gliding silently on to it’s next fishing spot. Experiencing the silent glory of an amazing sunset. Seeing monarch
butterflies on wing in their annual migrations across the vast expanse of the bay. The natural beauty of fish, clams, oysters and of course, those famous crabs.
Most of all, we recognize and appreciate the hard working men and ladies who make their living working the water. How much effort goes into gathering their catch and maintaining their vessels. Vessels which represent not only their livelihood but their safe return home after a hard day on the water. We hope that our pieces exemplify all these things because we know, that you yourself or a loved one once recognized and believed in these things as well.
Thank you for allowing us to introduce ourselves and our collection to you. Thank you to all our
customers and friends that have brought Melissa and I along thus far. We each look forward to seeing you again either at our studio, on the water, or at an event near you.
The late Jonathan Bailey began his career in jewelry design as an apprentice for a Miami Florida based goldsmith making custom jewelry back in the early 60’s, the “old school” way. Jonathan Bailey had an immeasurable amount of design talent and he literally found himself as a designer and
One thing led to another and before long Jonathan Bailey became a featured designer for the Manhattan NY based fashion jeweler TRIFARRI. His designs were new and exciting, Jonathan Bailey was for many years considered to be one of the top 10 jewelry designers in the World. But the high world of commercial jewelry design wore him down, his happiness for his craft became lost.
Jonathan ultimately discovered the Chesapeake Bay region late in his life, he became enamored with life along the shores of the bay. He found solace and appreciation for the natural order of life around the bay. He became well acquainted with life both on and off the water and became a familiar figure to waterman and the creatures that made their homes along it’s banks, tidal creeks, docks and marshes. Jonathan was inspired and opened up a small jewelry repair and goldsmith shop right there in his home garage. Jonathon was finding his way back to what he loved to do.
In only a couple short years he met his soon to be wife and partner, Melissa. Not long after learning more about this talented, accomplished man she encouraged him to once again take up his artistic mantle and thus he began once again creating designs, waxing and molding all of the things he knew and loved about the bay. Workboats, crabs, oysters, waterfowl, fish and Skipjacks.
Together, He and Melissa expanded the little shop to include a show room and thus became Bailey Jewelers. He taught Melissa all he knew of designing and molding jewelry just as he had been taught. Jonathans early designs and creations still remain today, a vital and very desirable part of the Chesapeake Jewelers collection.
James H. of Crisfield, MD
Kaitlyn & Jeff L. of Baltimore, MD
Anna F. of Whitehaven, MD
Kelly F. of Virginia Beach, VA
Margaret D. of Annapolis, MD