A Delicate Balance of Strong and Feminine Jewelry
The name Onirikka comes from the word Oneiric, which means ‘from dreams.’” Explains El Salvadorian-born designer Gloria Rank. “Ever since I was a child growing up in my native country, I always had a passion to travel and to work in a creative field. Launching the jewelry collection was a dream come true for me.”
Inspired by the maternal side of her family’s love and involvement in jewelry, Gloria views it as a legacy. “It is an art form in which different pieces can evoke emotions that can pass through generations of women, connecting each together in memories and sentiment ”
Onirikka Fine Jewelry’s pieces range from those with graceful movement in more delicate forms to those with a singular bold vibe. “I’m fascinated with different gemstones, cuts and colors and these often set the tone for the designs. I also believe that women have varying moods and different sides to their personality even when they have a very strong individual style. Therefore I design pieces to accommodate for their changeability—to allow them to stack and layer when they choose to and to allow them to wear larger bolder pieces when they are feeling like making a statement in their jewelry. “But,” Gloria adds, “All the pieces have the power to look chic in the moment, bond with the owner and endure and transform into heirlooms as time goes on.”
Bejeweled chatted with Gloria to find out more about the designer behind Onirikka.
When did you start becoming passionate about jewelry?
“ I remember wishing all of my birthday gifts and Christmas gifts were jewelry. And luckily my mother knew and that is much of what I received for all holidays. I would wear all my special pieces, given to me by the important people in my life, all at once. I loved to hear them clang and jingle when I walked.”
Did any women in your life inspired your love for jewelry or support your creativity when you were a young girl?
“All of the women in my in my family had a certain fascination with jewelry. My maternal grandmother designed all of her pieces that she wore and she was very good at it. She even had a whole closet filled with complete outfits and each and every one of had a bag of accessories, which she also designed herself. My godmother would only gift jewelry to the women in our family and she would ensure the pieces she chose would make us feel special. To create a bond, she would gift all of the girls in the family the same piece or she would select the piece meticulously that she knew would distinguish personalities and affinities. My mother shares my passion for jewelry in each and every way.”
What was your career before you began designing jewelry–take us through how you changed careers and why?
“Jewelry was always on top of mind, but earlier in my life, I wasn’t sure how to turn it into a career. So, instead, I started studying hotel management but quickly switched gears halfway through my studies and decided to go to Florence, Italy to study jewelry design. Once when I was visiting my family back home in El Salvador, I fell in love with my now husband of 15 years and father of my two children and moved back there.
I ventured into different projects but my desire and passion when it came to my career were unfulfilled. I decided to change that and in 2010 I went to take an intensive jewelry design course in GIA NYC campus.”
How did you finally launch your company?
“When I returned home from the GIA course, I started designing and selling privately. In 2012 through 2013, I decided I wanted to formalize Onirikka and started tapping the US market by attending trade shows, networking with jewelry industry professionals and building my pieces into a full-fledged collection and brand.”
What was the first piece you ever designed?
“The first piece I designed and had made was choker made of onyx that had a really cool citrine in the back. “
Who is the Onirikka Customer?
“Bold, fierce women, who are not afraid to feel, speak and follow their hearts and their dreams. And, of course women who see jewelry as a bond that links family together.”
Have you had a piece of jewelry handed down to you that you wear often or never take off and what is it?
“I love my engagement ring, primarily because it is part of the legacy that I am so passionate about it in jewelry. It because it belonged to my husband’s grandmother. Additionally, it is quite beautiful and feminine.
I am also attached to my pearl necklace with a swirly diamond brooch that my grandmother gave me when I graduated high school. These are probably the most meaningful pieces in my personal collection.”
How would you recommend to women to wear your jewelry and jewelry in general?
“Wear jewelry freely. Don’t be afraid to be bold with what you chose or wear a ring on every finger if that is your style or if you want to try out different looks you may have thought aren’t necessarily you. You can be surprised. But most importantly ‘own’ your look while mixing new pieces with those you cherish—that have been passed down and which you are linked to on an emotional level—those that have sentimental value and those that represent a special moment or event in your life.”