I'll never forget being 24 years old, standing in Antwerp, Belgium, a city that had never been on my radar, caught in the gaze of a beautiful, old, gothic cathedral. It's spires were haunting, almost aggressive, and altogether lovely.
That sweet old town caught me by surprise, as it's old castles and cobblestone streets told stories of people and time periods I had never met. The port city, resting alongside the River Scheldt, was mysterious and enchanting.
It's no wonder Antwerp stayed nestled in my soul so many years later, when I stumbled on these filigree bead caps that had an aire of familiarity about them. I had searched for the right element to top these glorious recycled sea glass beads for years before they found their way to me. The moment the bead and the cap connected, it was clear what had inspired them all along. The city of Antwerp hadn't finished with me yet.
My grandmother’s curio cabinet was a thing of wonder. I remember standing on my tiptoes to look into the glass, marveling at the miniature teacups, the tiny antique lantern with the red, green and blue glass and the little glass animals, their sweet eyes staring back at me. If ever I were on the hunt for the perfect gift for my Gram, it would be a treasure for her curio cabinet. Perhaps it was the magic of that small little space at Gram’s house, but my enchantment with tiny little elements hasn’t escaped me.
This collection pays homage to the wonder I found there behind the glass doors. From small leaves to pine cones and acorns the size of the tip of your pinky finger, this collection incorporates unique and detailed little elements that add whimsy and playfulness to a piece of jewelry without sacrificing elegance.
In my world, denim isn’t just for jeans and jackets –it’s a fabric too fabulous to be restricted to merely traditional uses. As far as I am concerned, denim belongs on scarves and in jewelry, too. That’s why two years ago, with the invaluable help of my husband, Cleveland, I (finally) embarked on a dream I’ve had for nearly a decade. We began creating one-of-a-kind infinity scarves, made lovingly, painstakingly and one at a time with recycled denim.
Having watched his mom work magic with her sewing machine when he was little, Cleveland knew just how to make my fashion dreams come true. Each piece goes through a unique eight-step process. They are hand-distressed, washed, trimmed and pressed. They are washable and the fraying of the denim after each wash merely adds to the character of the scarf. Trim off the excess strings or leave them just as nature intended.
For the fashion connoisseur bold enough to take a chance on one of these, the reward is having a couture fashion accessory that could never be wrapped or draped the same way twice. They are a fun way to add style and edginess to your favorite go-to blues, but they sure do clean up nicely when paired with your favorite dress.
I once read a quote that has stayed in my soul: "In the right denim, a girl can conquer the world." And, if I had to guess, I'd say this is the right denim. So, go get the world, girl.
If fashion is done right, it should enchant, inspire and make a bold statement. The HerStory. branded collection has designs on just that. It’s full of simple yet stylish staples with a whole lot to say in one word. The message is clear: Women have a story to tell and we won’t be questioned or silenced one iota about it. Period.
Rock your HerStory. branded goods with your favorite denim, under your power suit, with your yoga pants, leggings or running shorts – and anywhere else life takes you. These pieces are made to walk with you through every facet of life. Let them be the embodiment of your strength, wisdom, confidence, self-love and sense of empowerment. Wherever you go, don’t be afraid to tell your story.
My love for chandelier crystals is intense and long-standing. I often find myself transfixed with lighted chandeliers as I stumble on them in the lobbies of old boutique hotels in the city, in posh clothing boutiques, and quaint antique shops.
There is something divine about the way a crystal has the power to take each drop of light and cast it in infinite directions. The facets of each crystal seem to radiate from within. Crystals, whimsical, time-worn and wise, have a way of helping us to find our own shine.
I've always believed that crystals shine best when paired with warm brass and copper tones. They have no need to compete with shining metal - the crystals would surely have the upper hand. They stand alone, in all their glory, elegant, refined and asking permission from no one.
I've never been able to draw or paint a portrait, but one day I got a wild hair to throw paint onto some metal elements. I had no idea how it would turn out. I just knew I needed to feel that brush in my hand and see that paint transform the metal in ways unimaginable.
It wasn't as easy as I'd hoped. Each piece had a mind of it's own and there was no way to predict the end result. That was the blessing and curse of it all. That creative experiment became something of an obsession - a mind-boggling, joy-inducing stress relief, virtually unmatched.
That was nearly five years ago. Hundreds of pairs later, I've still never seen two pairs the same. That's the beauty of it - that each piece, like the woman wearing it, is a unique creation.
When I stumble on an old, ornate piece of hardware, I can’t help but wonder what it was in its previous life. What lovely piece of furniture did that brass handle rest on for decades? Who did that stunning old escutcheon greet at the door it sat upon? What doors of opportunity did that time-worn key open over the years? These elements were as beautiful as they were functional and while many would never imagine them as a piece of jewelry, their timeless beauty make them ideal adornments. They are aggressive yet whimsical - simultaneously strong and delicate. It is that dichotomy – that mystery and that enchantment - that drives me to keep creating them. These pieces are big, bold and not for the faint of heart. In fact, they’ll catch eyes, steal hearts and start conversations. After all, they’ve got a story to tell.
My soul has always been at home in two places simultaneously. I was born in New York City, amidst The Big Apple’s sights, sounds and lights. Even though I haven’t lived in New York City for more than 30 years, I still find myself transfixed at the sight of a skyline, stunning architecture, and the life-giving pulse of the city, itself. Having grown up in California, where the restorative calm of the sprawling landscape gives me the breathing room I need to be my best self, my soul is home, there, too. While my creativity is born in the city, it is nurtured in those breathing spaces. It’s there that I notice the flowers, the leaves, the rich periwinkle hue of the mountains and the ever-changing sky.
It’s the dichotomy of these two places that have given me life that has been the inspiration behind this collection. It’s learning to see the beauty of nature amidst the skyscrapers and to find the architecture even amidst the flowers and trees. This collection doesn’t rely on the shine of fancy beads. It flourishes in the contrast between industrial brass and copper elements you’d find in the city and the living things you’d find in nature.
Imagine metal flowers and birds flying against the backdrop of a copper-toned building. That’s just what you’d find in an urban garden.
One beautiful, sun-filled, glorious Spring day, while on a much-needed and hard-earned kid-free weekend trip to the Bay Area, my friend Marissa and I stumbled upon an estate sale on the fair isle of Alameda. The house, built in the 1920’s, seemed like a simple two story from the outside. What we couldn’t tell as we looked on curiously from the car was that it was multi-leveled. We must have counted at least ten layers as we perused each nook and cranny. Every corner of it was filled with unimaginable treasures, memories and the love of family.
In the basement of that old house, on the workbench of the gentleman who used to live there, sat a container full of small silver-toned washers. I didn’t know just what they would become at that time. I only knew I was fascinated with them and that somehow, they would be the perfect juxtaposition needed to create a line of jewelry that was both edgy and feminine.
Those washers, decidedly industrial, yet beautiful, reminded me of the women who worked on the old naval base on the island in the 1940’s, women who showed the world that femininity and strength was a many-splendored thing. Our work as women is powerful, sustaining and never ending. What we do to keep the world afloat is often lost in the daily grind of it all, but nonetheless, it remains the driving force of life.