Staff Bios

 Mike Goralski

 Born in Milwaukee, and raised in Brown Deer, Mike found his love for metal work at the age  of 33. Working for Miller Brewing in the 1980’s he was disappointed to learn that he was  losing his job to robotics. So as technology marched toward the 21 st century Mike decided to  take up one of the oldest professions on Earth. He found a jewelry program at Milwaukee  Area Technical College which taught him his basic metalsmithing skills. After graduation he  fine tuned his skills through a careful choice of employers. First a family operated shop/store  in Brown Deer, then a wholesale trade shop in Cedarburg, and finally J. Jeffrey Taylor, a  custom design shop in Oconomowoc, gave Mike the ability and courage to open his own  custom design and repair shop. He takes continuing education course work at jewelry schools  across the country, to keep up on new trends and learn valuable skills to add to his  knowledge base. 

 In May of 1996 he and his wife Jo opened their store in the Village of Pewaukee. In 2002  needing more workspace, they moved their store to the Town of Oconomowoc where they  have lived since 1993. Since opening his store he has placed 1 st place twice in the Annual  state of Wisconsin design competition and 4 th place in an international competition, held by  a Swiss gemstone company.

 

 Jo Goralski 

 Jo Goralski trained as an Accountant and studied business for twenty years before going into business with her husband, Michael. "I always knew we would have a business someday", she says. "My husband has always been a dreamer, and the only way to go your own way in life is to own your own business. That said, I thought one of us should learn how to run a business, while the other one dreamed what that business would be. I always assumed it would be a restaurant because he is such a good chef, but he found jewelry in his early thirties, and there was no turning back."


Running the business side of the business is Jo’s first responsibility, but her favorite part of her job is working (and visiting) with her clients. Very often a person will come in with only a feeling of what they want, and not a clear picture in their mind. Through a series of questions to determine how the piece will be worn, what it represents, and what the client’s life style is, the finished piece will be perfect for the individual.

"Sometimes the whole design is completed in twenty minutes, sometimes it takes a couple of design sessions for the client to clearly picture what they want” she explains. “Having a job where you get to work with people to create something that will last generations is quite fulfilling."

 

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 Eric Gastrow 

 Originally born and raised in Oconomowoc WI, Eric first showed interest in gemstones, and custom design in 2008 when he moved to Ashland, WI,  where he & friend would often walk Lake Superior in search of agates. His friend introduced him to wire wrapping agates to be worn as pendants,  which inspired Eric to work on his own craft to progress and learn to make beautiful works of art. He continues to strive and hone his talent in and  outside of work. Eric’s primary responsibility is jewelry repair. Eric says “I really enjoy working at The Jewelry Mechanic, they have taught me so  much, and I continue to learn more and more every day. The customers are great, and it’s a really good feeling to see smiles on their faces when  they can wear the jewelry they love once again.”