Within minutes of meeting Mark and Jessica Goldberg, you’ll feel like they are old friends. While Jessica is bright, bubbly and ebullient, Mark matches her charm with a genuineness that is palpable. The pair radiates contentment. It is obvious that they are centered in their right place under the sun. “We’ve found our Shangri-La,” muses Mark, “We wake up happy to be here everyday.” Telluride’s laid-back mindset amidst wide-open spaces is a far cry from the fast-paced, metropolitan lifestyle the Goldbergs left behind in New York City.
Mark and Jessica made the most of their urban experience, each of them finding success in high profile careers. Mark spent a decade of his adulthood working at a Boutique Investment Firm. Meanwhile, Jessica thrived as an event planner, helping to put together premier parties for Sex & the City, The Sopranos and Elle Magazine. It was a connection through Jessica’s work that brought the couple together in 1998. Mark’s best friend and furniture designer Jonathan Sweet met Jessica through his girlfriend. Sweet immediately knew he had to introduce Mark to Jessica.
Though hesitant after a run of bad blind-date luck, Mark agreed to try it one more time. Fourteen years, a wedding and one beautiful daughter later, they are both very glad they gave a blind date a chance. Although the Goldbergs enjoyed their high-energy life in Gramercy Park, their work schedules made finding time to spend together a challenge. After 9/11, they started reevaluating their priorities and feeling a pull toward a simpler life.
“Buyers are finding unique and beautiful pieces, the artists are selling their work and we are getting the chance to live and work in paradise.”
Mark set off on a three-month sabbatical to Bhutan, Nepal and Thailand. He relished the cultures, the art, and the people. He went to visit a weaving center, which spawned his love and respect for handmade rugs. “I spent time away from every daily routine I’d ever known. I started to focus on what I wanted my future to look like. I wanted real depth. I wanted time. I wanted a family.” He came home and proposed.
Following their marriage in 2002, Mark and Jessica made traveling a priority. Vacations offered quality time together, the chance to see new and beautiful places and the opportunity to pursue their passions for scuba-diving and skiing. Skiing was what brought the Goldbergs to Telluride, but their first visit to Telluride in the summer was life altering. “We went whitewater rafting and hiking, we had a great time,” remembers Jessica. “More importantly, we looked around and could see that the people here were focused on enjoying life everyday, and that convinced us that this is the place where we want to raise a family.” One year later and ready to start their new life, Mark and Jessica pulled into town with a fully packed car, and their Golden Retriever, Dudley.
“It was July 4th,” recalls Jessica, “and it was like the town was hosting a giant ‘Welcome Home’ party for us. There couldn’t have been a better way to start out here.” Mark spent his first few years in Telluride in the rug business, where he expanded his knowledge of and love for the art of rug weaving. As his experience in Telluride grew, he began to see a void in the retail landscape and his idea for Gold Mountain Gallery was born.
“We want to have something for everyone and every budget, from antiques from the 1800s that could be at home in a palace to affordable contemporary mountain styles.”
“I especially wanted to create a space where local artists could be featured in a retail setting, where buyers could come and see local works on display and take them home,” says Mark. “There is such talent here. We are proud to represent Jill and Scott Rikker, Matt Downer, Andy Ward, Nicole Finger and more. It works out for everyone. Buyers are finding unique and beautiful pieces, the artists are selling their work and we are getting the chance to live and work in paradise.”
With their combined passion for interior design, Mark and Jessica continue to broaden the offerings at Gold Mountain Gallery. “I still travel to go treasure hunting,” says Mark. “I look for antiques and unique pieces that are in meticulous condition.” The gallery is home to a wide selection of furniture, accessories and rugs from around the world. “We run the gamut,” maintains Jessica. “We want to have something for everyone and every budget, from antiques from the 1800s that could be at home in a palace to affordable contemporary mountain styles.”
Gold Mountain Gallery features select designers from New York City, including jewelry by CLZ Dezigns and furniture by their matchmaker, Jonathan Sweet. The Goldbergs bring New York City-style service to Telluride as well. “My work ethic is strong, and I always want to exceed my clients’ expectations,” says Mark. “Whether it is trying out furniture or a rug in a client’s home or providing maintenance and cleaning services, we make sure our clients are happy.”Mark and Jessica Goldberg are living their dream.
“We get to help artists and get beautiful pieces of work into peoples homes to enjoy, and we get to raise our daughter in this special town.” Most importantly, unlike the long days of separation that are required by a career on Wall Street, Mark loves that now he gets to see “his girls everyday. “They pop in to say hello, we go out for lunch or a hike or just sit on a bench outside the gallery and enjoy the view.” They welcome you to stop by and join them.