Fair   57.0F  |  Forecast »

Candace MacMillian's Candy Colored World

This Vero beach resident's flair for flamboyant jewelry has led her to exotic destinations all over the globe

Candace MacMillan (center) and her friend Cindy Wallick go native in a boutique shop in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Their outfits were designed by the young man sitting on the left. 

Candace MacMillan (center) and her friend Cindy Wallick go native in a boutique shop in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Their outfits were designed by the young man sitting on the left. 

Sapphires. Rubies. Black spinels. Diamonds. Emeralds. With a rainbow-hued palette of gemstones and gold – lots of high-karat, luscious gold – one Vero Beach woman has made her dream of designing fine jewelry a reality.

Candace Greco MacMillan’s interest in adornment began at age 3 when she started stringing small, beautiful objects – buttons, rosebuds and pine cones – together into necklaces. On childhood visits to her grandparents’ house in Hollywood, Fla., she mined the ocean for treasures. “If I found seashells I would string them together,” she says, reminiscing about a speckled crab shell she once found. She incorporated it as an eye-catching pendant to a necklace but, because she hadn’t properly cleaned the shell, wearing it was a short-lived joy. “It ended up smelling terrible,” she recalls, laughing.

Candace was born in Cleveland and moved to Marin County, Calif., with her parents when she was 17. After graduating high school she left for Switzerland, where she studied transcendental meditation; back in the U.S. she received a master’s degree in educational administration. She never worked in a school system, however, because a company that made computer chips in Silicon Valley recruited her right out of college. Her job as a shift director lasted less than a year. Hiring and firing (“I got to fire a guy – that was an explosive experience!”) was “not my deal at all,” she says.

Read the entire article in the February 2010 issue