A Hidden Treasure

Having grown up with the same last name as the famous pirate Captain Kidd, in addition to having a grandfather who was a treasure hunter, it’s no surprise that Kelly Kidd now owns a treasure-themed business. Kidd’s Jewelry Heist opened in February 2012, and was founded by Kidd and his business partner, Redd Carter. Both are professional musicians, and when they’re not touring or recording, they’re hosting private events at their store and making jewelry for customers.

“We thought why not do something where we’re uncovering loot and then giving it back to kids and people that want to come discover it?” Kidd remarked. “That’s why most of our stuff is inside trunks. It’s more of a found object vibe rather than a traditional bead shop, which we’re not.”

Owners Kelly Kidd and Redd Carter. Photos by Kamala Kirk

Located in the back of Dinosaur Farm on Mission Street, Kidd’s Jewelry Heist is a unique retail and interactive jewelry making parlor that hosts private events for birthdays and other special celebrations. It also has a wide selection of beads, gemstones and other treasures that customers can choose from, then have made into customized necklaces, earrings, bracelets and keychains. 

Kidd, who creates all of the designs by hand along with Carter, used to design jewelry for celebrities such as Tori Spelling, as well as for the Home Shopping Network. But as time passed, he realized that he wanted to blend entertainment with jewelry making, and thus the idea of Kidd’s Jewelry Heist was born.

“We offer a completely serviced experience,” Kidd explained. “We don’t ever leave anyone on their own or put tools in anyone’s hand. Obviously you can do what you know how to do, but we’ll do everything for you. We don’t offer classes or workshops, we just want our guests to focus on the design and less on technical skills. Here you can walk around, pick out stuff you like, we’ll do the work, and then you go home with a finished piece.”

 While the shop is open during the day to those who want to come in and browse the ready-made jewelry for sale, Kidd recommends calling in advance to ensure that there isn’t a private event going on. 

“We prefer that people think of us as a restaurant with windows of opportunities, so that no one gets upset if they can’t get in,” Kidd said. “Occasionally we’ll host multiple events, but we usually do one at a time so we can really focus on one group and their needs.”

The store’s retail offerings include a variety of contemporary designs made by Kidd and Carter. In addition to jewelry making parties, Kidd’s Jewelry Heist also rents its space out by the hour to those that want to host their own events like murder mysteries, game nights or private film screenings. With everything from Houdini posters on the walls to a vintage jukebox, the store has a unique appearance that further lends to its appeal. 

“We love set design, which is why our space looks like a theme park,” Kidd pointed out. “We wanted the Old Pasadena vibe and found a lot of our stuff at estate sales. Our whole thing is, imagine if Bonnie and Clyde had a hideout with bits of luxury sprinkled throughout. We’re in the process of redesigning our front entrance area so there’s more room for parents to hang out during kids’ parties. We’re also planning on adding more special effects, like making the radios talk.”

Open to kids and adults, the store’s age requirement for participation is six and older. For those with children who are younger, an adult must be present. Kids parties are available in two-hour blocks, and adult parties are available in three-hour blocks. Refreshments are not provided, but customers hosting events are welcome to bring in their own food and drink to serve to their guests. The average party size is 15 people, but the store can accommodate up to 30 for an event.

Every year, Kidd’s Jewelry Heist hosts an annual Sparkle Party and partners with Dinosaur Farm and Girl Friday, which is a South Pasadena-based concierge service that provides personal assistance to families, small business and realtors.  The store also offers up its space once a month for the Pasadena Chapter of Business Among Moms’ meetings.

“I never thought I would be a part of a community in this way,” said Kidd. “We’re giving people the ability to self-express. It’s one of those things you don’t think about when you own a business, which is really cool. A lot of people say that they enjoy hanging out here and don’t want to leave, which is one of the biggest compliments we could ever get.”

Kidd’s Jewelry Heist is located at 1510 Mission St. in South Pasadena. It is open Tues. – Fri. from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sat. from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sun. from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and closed on Mondays. Prior to your visit, call to make sure there isn’t a private party or event. For more information, call (626) 319-9510 or visit kiddsjewelryheist.tumblr.com.

Kidd’s Jewelry Heist Business Spotlight appeared in the print edition of the South Pasadena Review on 12.21.18. Support Local Business.

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Kamala Kirk is a contributing writer for the South Pasadena Review, San Marino Tribune and The Quarterly Magazine. Kamala formerly served as Managing Editor of Beauty Launchpad Magazine, West Coast Editor of American Salon Magazine, and Digital Editor for E! Online. A native of Hermosa Beach, California, she is a proud USC Trojan and pug mom to Wrigley the Pug (@pugofpasadena).