Julez Bryant: Re-designing jewelry

You already know that I’m a huge fan of Julez Bryant and her fabulous jewelry line! In my previous post about her from July 2011, I mentioned that she not only designs her own line, but she also will re-design your own jewelry for you. I thought I’d share some of the incredible pieces that I’ve seen her make.

The first is a project she worked on with me. (I figured I should check out the process, right?!) I brought in a couple small, loose diamonds I had lying around, the diamond ring I received for my 18th birthday, and a couple other odd, unused pieces. I was dying for a chunky diamond and silver ring, and here’s what she made for me. Love it!!

julez bryant rings
My “old” diamonds looked all new!

When I stopped by one of her trunk shows, I was able to see a couple other re-designs she did for other clients. This first necklace is so unique. It’s made from an old gold necklace and broken bracelet from the client’s grandparents. To this, she added an ivory elephant charm she got in 8th grade and a stunning piece of Sleeping Beauty turquoise. I don’t know about you, but I’m impressed with the “new” necklace!

julez bryant necklace
Wearing history around your neck!

Finally, here’s an incredible ring Julez designed using diamonds, gold and an untreated pink sapphire. Wow!

julez bryant ring
Custom ring by Julez Bryant

I have a feeling that if you take a look into your jewelry box, you have the raw materials for some incredible new jewelry! Julez has trunk shows popping up here and there, and you should really take advantage of her talents. I often post about upcoming trunk shows for designers on my blog’s Facebook page, so be sure to “like” the page and stay up to date with events in your area!

The Brace-ring: Jewelry Judge

During my stay in NYC recently, I spent some time browsing the upscale shops on the Upper East side. Every high-end designer seems to have an outpost there, and the clientele to match.

While in one of these boutiques, I spotted this woman. Now granted, the initial thing that grabbed my attention was the layers of brightly-colored necklaces she was wearing. But as my eye scanned down, I was fixated on the the combination bracelet/ring ensemble she was sporting. (These are also known as slave bracelets.)

jewelry judge
I’m a bit confused by this….

She said that it was not overly comfortable (I can only imagine). She also complemented this dual-purpose jewelry with a very colorful manicure, which sadly isn’t showing in the photo.

I really don’t think I’m a fan of this look. Perhaps if this was her ONLY accessory, or if it were a simpler design in combination with everything else going on with her look. What about you? I’d love to hear your opinion!

Made Her Think: a New Discovery

During my week working in NYC last month, I had the opportunity to scour the shops in numerous areas. While on Madison, I was pleased to visit the Yigal Azrouel store. Aside from the fact that he’s super hot (I’ve met him before) and has an incredible line (predominantly made in NYC), it was the perfect respite from the sudden downpour.

Amidst the lust-worthy racks of garments, there was a tasteful display of jewelry. Made Her Think collaborated with Yigal for his autumn/winter runway show, which is why it was available in the boutique. Well I loved it, especially the thorn cuffs.

made her think thorn cuff
I bought a small and a larger size to layer together

They came in a variety of metals in both widths. It was hard to choose! The designer, Meredith Kahn, “designs each collection with a playful irreverence, flirting with darkness as she combines sentimental historical contrasts that long to inspire.”

Here’s photo of some more of her work, though I didn’t get the opportunity to see these in person.

made her think jewelry
Streamlined, chic, tough, and also feminine

Looking through their website, I learned that they’re also made in the USA, which gives them 10 points in my book! Now that I’m aware of this edgy, seemingly punk-inspired line, I hope to run across it more often.

Feather Earrings: Jewelry Judge

I was practically sprinting through the maze of make-up counters at Sak’s the other day, when I came to a full stop in front of a darling gal wearing SUCH cool earrings!

feather earring
What a statement!

While statement necklaces and bold rings have certainly been a big trend, the statement earring is one I haven’t seen much. Turns out this woman made these out of rooster feathers, and she sells them on etsy! I think she styled it just right, too, with the simple black outfit. This really makes the earrings the major focus point.

feather earrings
Closer view

I don’t think that I, personally, could pull these off with such panache, but I know there are many of you out there who can. Brava, Hasnaa!

“My Charmed Life” Book Review and Giveaway

When I first heard about My Charmed Life by Beth Bernstein, I knew I had to read it! In this memoir, she shares her life story through the jewelry she wore, from “rocky romances, precious family connections and searching for a band of gold.” While I knew that I would certainly enjoy the story, I had no idea how much I’d resonate with her feelings, her stories, and how powerful jewelry is in ones life story. In fact, many times I felt like I was reading from the pages of my own life!

my charmed life by beth bernstein
I thoroughly enjoyed this book!

Simply the introduction brought tears to my eyes, as she described a ziploc baggie of jewelry she was handed as her mother unexpectedly passed away. I can only imagine such heartache and grief…and then reliving all the memories that each special piece in the bag carries with it. Personally, I know that each time I wear my grandmother’s opal ring or my Nonie’s engagement ring, I feel as if they’re right there next to me. Images flash before my eyes of our times together.

I just adored the chapter about her wanting to get her ears pierced, and her only ally in the “grand scheme” was her much-loved grandmother. It was written with such young feminine angst that I could honestly feel her deepest yen to get them pierced. (But I won’t tell you how that chapter turned out!) I was emotionally right there with her when growing up, as my dad forbid me to pierce my ears until college graduation, threatening to stop paying my tuition. Luckily, when I tempted fate and went through with it my sophomore year, he didn’t make good on that threat. 😉

The way Beth describes her relationship with her niece, Sammie (and later her nephews) is purely magical. She made a gorgeous jewelry box for her to celebrate her birth. As she states on pg. 172, “I wanted to be the first person to purchase her jewelry that she would cherish and remember later on, and that would connect us as it had my grandmother, mom and me.” I, too, gave my niece a jewelry box for her birth, and deemed myself “the jewelry aunt.”

I feel like the author and myself have lived somewhat parallel lives when I read lines such as, “…while I was multitasking — flipping through fashion magazines, writing an article on buying estate jewelry and perusing profiles on Match.com.” Seriously?! I’m not the only one? In fact, much of the book is dedicated to the different relationships Beth has had in her life, and I admire her penchant for foreign men and taking that risk. Her romances take her all over the globe, and in each one, there is a jewelry story as well.

It was through her life experiences that she really found the joy in self-gifting, which you know I’m a huge proponent of! On pg. 197 she reveals, “I learned that it might be easier to find the right ring than the right man.” Oh, how true, sister! Thus began her fabulous practice of self-gifting, with a lovely platinum and diamond eternity band. I completely agree with what she says on pg. 199, “I’ve joined the growing ranks of self-purchasing women who are in touch with their tastes, more confident about their personal styles and know they’ve worked hard and are worth it.”

Well you, my dear readers, are worth it as well. And while I encourage all of you to buy and read this delightful book (because I know you’ll love it!), I do have ONE autographed copy available for you to win! So enter the contest below, and best of luck to you all!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Battery-Powered Bling: Jewelry Judge

My niece is 7, and she just adores anything that glows, sparkles or blinks. But when you’re a 50-something year-old woman (and not accompanied by a child that would explain this), I have a problem. Yes, it was evening, but we were not at an amusement park nor a concert. In my opinion, leave the battery-powered jewelry at home. Just sayin’.

blinking blue bracelet
And her outfit was so classy….

Konstantino: Designer

Apparently “trunk show season” is now upon us, and there seems to be numerous happenings in the Bay Area each week. This past week, I was psyched to meet Konstantino for the first time, and he was quite a character!

konstantino and amy roseveare
He has quite a sparkle in his eyes!

This Greek born and bred designer still stays true to his heritage. His entire line is designed and produced in Greece, under one roof. His goldsmiths are trained by him and work only for him. He doesn’t outsource a single thing, even marketing. You have to love that commitment! With about 30 years under his belt now, his sterling silver and 18K gold designs are inspired from everything from “Socrates to Jimmy Hendrix.” (his words…no joke) In fact, music has played an integral part in his life and his line. He stated that, “sometimes the walls of my studio are just moving with the music when I design.”

Here’s a photo I snapped of some of his gorgeous rings.

konstantino rings
Fit for Aphrodite!

I was actually blown away by his men’s line, and I spoke with quite a few male customers while making their purchases. I love the weight of his chain bracelets, and the uniqueness of his pendants. In fact, I would certainly love some of these, even though they were part of his men’s line.

konstantino men's bracelets
Love these!

konstantino pendants
I think many of of these are unisex

When I asked him what most people don’t know about him, his response was, “I just love women.” Personally, I don’t think that’s really a secret. This father of 16 and 19 year-olds was oozing charm to all that were gathered to try on his gorgeous line. And I just adore that he had people of every age admiring his jewelry.

Personally, I’m a fan, and if you are, then go explore the collection! I was at Neiman Marcus in San Francisco for this trunk show. You can also find him at specialty retailers around the globe.

NYC Urban Edge: Jewelry Judge

I was thrilled to be working in NYC last week! After I finished outfitting my clients, I had a couple days to really explore the city. And no surprise how I spent my time…no shows…no visiting ground zero…just shopping!

As I cruised around the shops in the Meatpacking district, I stopped by Scoop. The most darling guy greeted me from behind the counter, and we started chatting. I was immediately drawn to his array of bracelets and ring. It seemed so spot on, both for his personal style and for the vibe of NYC.

jewelry judge
He rocked this combination!

The widest bracelet he has had for “ages” (he mentioned since high school), the thinner nail bracelet was purchased his first day working at Scoop, the cross, well because he’s obsessed with crosses (though I failed to ask his religion), and the awesome ring was from an ex. I think it comes together in a uber-cool, harmonious collection. Dee-lish.

UrbanSpace, Meatpacking District

While working in New York City this past week (oh my fabulous!), I had the opportunity to do some exploring. Hopping off the E subway line at 14th, I started wandering the increasingly retail-oriented streets. Though there was on and off rain, it didn’t stop the vendors in UrbanSpace from showcasing their wares. It’s located on Washington, between Little W 12th and 14th.

urbanspace meatpacking
I loved stumbling across this market!

Basically, this is a semi-permanent market, packed full of stalls selling jewelry, t-shirts, and other assorted items. There were also food vendors, but I didn’t check them out. (Priorities, right?!) Many of the vendors will show through the holidays, braving the sleet and snow when they come. While I was intrigued by so many of the jewelry booths, here’s a snapshot of some of my favorites.

First is Bora ([email protected]), a brooklyn-based designer. His work is inspired by the Ottoman empire, and I was just loving his ornate rings! And yes…one just may have gone home with me.

bora rings
These look MUCH more expensive than they cost.

Then there was Edward Owl (named after the designer’s grandfather’s name and her grandmother, who loved owls).

edward owl necklaces
Simple and organic — lovely

The brightly colored necklaces at Wink and Flip are totally on-trend. This spring trend has no signs of dying down and has transitioned right into fall style.

wink and flip necklaces
This table was just happy!

I also appreciated the clean lines at We See Stars, also made locally.

we see stars necklaces
Minimal and chic

They also had these cool cast brass rings.

we see stars rings
A little bit edgy, and easy to mix with other rings

This is just a glimpse of the array of jewelry available at this market. If you’re in the area, I definitely suggest you stop by. And if you find yourself there around lunchtime, as I did, I highly recommend eating at The Standard Grill at the nearby Standard Hotel. (It’s on the same side of Washington, just across the street from the market) The potato/leek frittata was absolutely delicious!

The Standard NYC
Yummy lunch place!