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We Are Puerto Vallarta: Cassandra Shaw Jewelry Named Favorite Jewelry Shop 

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[A shorter version of this article originally appeared in our summer print issue in a section on select winners and finalists in the We Are PV Awards. You can view the PDF of our summer print issue here.]

Cassandra Shaw Jewelry, one of the most recognized and well regarded boutiques in Puerto Vallarta, has recently won the First Annual We Are Puerto Vallarta Favorite Jewelry Shop Award, and was named as a finalist for the coveted Best Business Award. 

As her space has long been an LGBTQ+ destination of choice, the honor is deeply felt. When you visit her shop at Basilio Badillo 276, you will soon discover why.

Cassandra Shaw is a jewelry designer, painter, and business owner based in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Photo by Oscar Almeida.
Cassandra Shaw is a jewelry designer, painter, and business owner based in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Photo by Oscar Almeida, taken in 2023.

I had the pleasure of doing just that recently, and it was a wonderful to reacquaint myself with her vibrant presentation of great art and unique jewelry. Upon entering the eclectic shop, there is an immediate excitement, as the eye attempts to focus on which delight to view first.

Some of the custom made jewelry at Cassandra Shaw Jewelry. Photo by Oscar Almeida.
Some of the custom made jewelry at Cassandra Shaw Jewelry. Photo by Oscar Almeida.

An immense collection of rings, necklaces, earrings, bracelets and more are featured. The pairing of Cassandra’s art, with the highest quality of jewelry that features an array of stones, fossils and other coveted materials, by talented designers from various regions of Mexico is a sight to behold.

I had the opportunity to visit with Cassandra, and ask her some questions about the shop, and her life in PV. I learned that Cassandra originally hails from Vancouver, and first vacationed in PV in 1983 with her sister Candace. They both instantly fell in love with the city that would one day become their permanent home. Candace made the move to PV in 1984, which then provided Cassandra the impetus to make Puerto Vallarta her forever place in 1999.

Her dream was to come to PV, and be a self supporting artist. With that in mind, she studied with the late, great Lucille Shipley who taught her valuable lessons about painting, and much more. Working for a time managing a jewelry boutique, it didn’t take Cassandra long to find her niche designing incredible silver jewelry that highlight the diverse qualities of all who wear it.

Cassandra Shaw, in this photo taken in 2023 by Oscar Almeida.
Cassandra Shaw, in this photo taken in 2023 by Oscar Almeida.

In 2007 she opened her very own shop, named Cassandra Shaw Jewelry; a labor of love. The space became an instant hit, and has flourished for seventeen years thanks to a fiercely loyal clientele, who crave the distinctive treasures that are only found at this iconic location.

Cassandra Shaw Jewelry’s trademark is her well known Chihuahua rescue dogs, which have long featured prominently in her advertising.

Cassandra shared an anecdote of traveling up to the US a number of years ago, when a male flight attendant began admiring the jewelry she was wearing. He commented that the pieces looked like something from the “Chihuahua jewelry store in PV.” She laughed, informing him they were from that store, and she was the owner of it. The icing on the cake was when she pointed out to him the famous Chihuahua’s were on the plane that day, right at her feet.

She smiled recalling the encounter, and added that the aforementioned flight attendant now lives in Puerto Vallarta, and is a regular client.

As we visited, I had the opportunity to ask Cassandra some questions about her shop, and her life here in PV.

I inquired, what makes Cassandra Shaw such a standout amongst local jewelers?

Cassandra responded thoughtfully, “Giving excellent customer service and standing by what I sell, I don’t forget our customers when they leave the shop,” she stated, then continued, “We want buying art, or jewelry here, to be a happy, comfortable experience; we want the customer to really fall in love with the piece they are taking home.”

I then asked Cassandra, what aspect of owning a boutique does she most enjoy?

“The appreciation I receive from my clients gives me a real sense of satisfaction,” she stated, then continued, “After I draw a design for the silversmiths to make, when that piece comes back, it’s like opening a gift on Christmas morning.”

Growing reflective, Cassandra added, with emotion in her voice,  “The charitable organizations I’m involved with gives me a great sense of compassion, it feels good to be a part of that giving, it makes this town what it is.”

Cassandra designs jewelry and more. Photo by Oscar Almeida.
Cassandra designs jewelry and more. Photo by Oscar Almeida.

Speaking of giving back, one of the aspects of that philanthropic spirit that has provided the most joy is her participation in the local animal rescue movement. Cassandra’s sister, Candace initially got involved with this effort years ago and has been active ever since.

“We often have a foster dog here at the store to help them get adopted,” Cassandra shared. The prospective parent pays an adoption fee, and Cassandra Shaw Jewelry does the rest. Candace estimates they have adopted out approximately six hundred dogs over the past fifteen years.

As our visit drew to a close, I ask Cassandra the question I like to pose to everyone who has chosen to make their home in Puerto Vallarta, what is your favorite aspect of living in PV?

She answered thoughtfully, and I felt as if she was speaking for all of us with her heartfelt answer.

She shared, “The great weather, and the friendly people. I feel like we are all a part of a community that cares for each other,” concluding, she added, “the warmth of the sun warms our lives, it brings us a freedom to live our life, and enjoy each moment in this wonderful city we call home.”   

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