Marcy Feldman, in the Jerusalem-motif sukkah she painted, models the Star of David necklace she created.
Marcy Feldman, in the Jerusalem-motif sukkah she painted, models the Star of David necklace she created. (David Sachs)

Jeweler Marcy Feldman’s Star of David necklace is a must-have symbol of pride.

People started noticing early last year when Professor Deborah Lipstadt, the nationally known Holocaust scholar and author, began wearing a striking Star of David necklace. She gladly shared on Facebook and elsewhere that its creator was local jewelry artist Marcy Feldman, owner of Heartwear Designs. 

Feldman and Lipstadt, a professor of Modern Jewish History Studies at Atlanta’s Emory University, are longtime friends since participating in the Young Leadership Cabinet of United Jewish Appeal.

Feldman said Lipstadt told her “she never felt the need to wear a Jewish star, but in this climate of antisemitism, she feels compelled to wear one.”

Marcy’s Endless Love Rings (top left); Pendant by an Israeli artist that incorporates Roman glass (top right); Marcy’s 3-D Hoop Earrings (bottom left)
Marcy’s Endless Love Rings (top left); Pendant by an Israeli artist that incorporates Roman glass (top right); Marcy’s 3-D Hoop Earrings (bottom left)

Marcy (Tatken) Feldman, a native Detroiter who graduated from Mumford High School, has been creative all her life. Growing up, she made and sold potholders door to door in her neighborhood. As a teen, she sold her own beaded jewelry on street corners. Later, wanting to do more advanced work, Feldman was told “you need to learn to cast to incorporate metal with beads.” Casting was a new skill, but she took to it.

The Feldman family observed Sukkot this year in a sukkah she painted years ago. It has colorful Jerusalem scenery and Sukkot prayers on the walls. This time, the sukkah featured pipe cleaner chains and other decorations Marcy made with her young grandson Finn.

When she was unable to use her teaching degree from University of Michigan, Feldman worked 13 months as a bench jeweler at the former Motif Manufacturing Company in Downtown Detroit’s David Whitney Building. “I earned $1.85 an hour, sizing rings for Hudson and Kmart and other stores all over the country,” she said. 

At age 22 in 1970, Feldman became an activist trying to unionize the shop. She had one victory.

“We wanted the day off before Thanksgiving, but they said we couldn’t because of running into the Christmas holiday,” she recalled. Instead, the workers got a vacation day after Christmas.

Feldman began making her fine jewelry in 1971, when gold cost $35 an ounce.

With Michael, her attorney husband by her side, they spent the next 20 years selling Marcy’s jewelry to national retailers, including Saks Fifth Avenue. They exhibited at wholesale shows for buyers, such as at the Javits Center in New York City, and traveled the national art fair circuit for 30 years.

Heartwear Designs, the company they established in February 1982, was also the name of their boutique fine jewelry store in Birmingham for 10 years, near the Birmingham 8 theater. 

In 2004, Heartwear Designs took the form of an online gallery to showcase Marcy’s distinctive clean, classic and contemporary jewelry designs. In her workshop, she works with sterling silver, 14K and 18K gold, platinum and gemstones to create one-of-a-kind pieces. She talks about jewelry in the lighthearted live show she broadcasts most Sunday afternoons on her Marcy Feldman Facebook page.

Judaica pendants crafted by Marcy Feldman
Judaica pendants crafted by Marcy Feldman

Hot Item

Did Lipstadt’s endorsement increase sales for Heartwear Designs?

“Oh, my!” Feldman exclaimed. “People wanting the same necklace that Deborah wore on TV bought 21 of the 26 Star of David necklaces we’ve sold in 2021,” she said. “I custom-make each one. They’re in sterling silver, 14K gold — rose gold and yellow gold — and the stars can be thicker or thinner.”

Professor Deborah Lipstadt wearing the Marcy Feldman necklace she helped popularize.
Professor Deborah Lipstadt wearing the Marcy Feldman necklace she helped popularize. Courtesy Deborah Lipstadt

With free gift wrapping and U.S. shipping (worldwide is available), Feldman’s Judaica designs also include chai-shaped jewelry and hamsa hands. She fashions them in 14K gold and sterling silver. Prices for the latter material start at $75.

Feldman also carries creations from other artists including jewelry from an Israeli designer that incorporates 2,000-year-old Roman glass from Israel. These cost $45 and up. 

“My pretzel and hoop earrings are great gifts, as are my gold-filled Endless Love rings at $115,” Feldman added. “They are selling like hotcakes!” 

Marcy’s Pretzel Earrings
Marcy’s Pretzel Earrings

More on Marcy Feldman

Occupation: Jewelry designer/owner of Heartwear Designs

Family: Husband, Michael, development director for the Jewish Historical Society of Michigan; three children and spouses, Ronit and Eric Wagman; Noah Feldman and Chloe Whitmus; Joanna “Jo” Feldman and Andy Kushnir; and three grandchildren, Finn and Jake Wagman and Goldie Kushnir

Affiliation: Adat Shalom Synagogue

Volunteerism: Founding president of Friends of Pasteur School Detroit, since 1996 

Business Phone: (248) 540-2839

Social Media: heartweardesigns.com; Marcy Feldman and Heartwear Design Facebook pages 

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