Born and raised in Chicago, IL. Mark attended Gem City College in Quincy, IL for advanced jewelry design, watch making and jewelry repair. After a brief stint repairing watches for the Bulova Watch Co., Mark began a jewelry apprenticeship with Frederick Prete Custom Goldsmiths in Highland Park, IL. The Chicago area provided a fertile “proving-ground” for Mark’s design skills and many fine jewelry stores showcased his work until the Southwest Florida sunshine beckoned in 1982. Mark started his own jewelry trade shop in Ft. Myers and was successful providing jewelry repair and design for many stores in the southwest Florida community.
He opened his retail design gallery, Mark Loren Designs, in 1985 and won his first of seven International Spectrum Design Awards in 1991, with his most recent award being 2017! Mark is also a regular guest speaker at industry trade events like the INSTORE Smart Show and Atlanta Jewelry Show for retail Jewelers, and for local media as well as community organizations.
The clientele of the gallery has expanded to include local as well as national celebrities and clients who appreciate wearing unique, innovative jewelry designs. The design team at the studio shines brightest when working on custom creations for private commissions. The work studio at Mark Loren Designs has played host to visitors from the industry to observe their unique production capabilities and use of cutting-edge technologies.
Mark was installed as an Honorary Laureate for Junior Achievement in 2014 with his good friend Norman Love and Mark Loren Designs was honored by the Horizon Council of Southwest Florida with the small business award for 2014. Mark also has been a finalist for the Florida Gulf Coast University Small Business Development Council Entrepreneur of the Year in 2013 and 2015. Mark has served on the Local Board of Directors of The American Cancer Society as a past President as well as the State Board of Directors for the Florida Division of the ACS. He is an honorary Lifetime Member of the Lee County Board as well as a Lifetime, National Excalibur level donor. He has also served on the Southwest Florida Symphony Board of Directors, Children’s Advocacy Center, and was a Lee County appointed Ambassador to the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, FL. Mark currently serves on the Board of The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools, is a board member of Art Fest in Lee County and is on the Advisory Council for the Heights Foundation. Mark envisioned and help initiate the inaugural Law & Order Ball for Lee County Law Enforcement with the Rotary club of Rotary South which is going into its fifth successful year.