Jenifer Thai of IO Collective fulfills your heart’s desire for Valentine’s Day and beyond.
With Valentine’s Day around the corner, its time to start dropping those hints about the jewelry that has been keeping you awake at night. Traditionally a holiday of flowers and chocolate covered hearts, savvy women are cluing their men in on the more lasting gemstone and precious metal versions of these gifts. Jenifer Thai, founder and designer behind IO Collective fine jewelry creates pieces that fulfill your heart’s desire for Valentine’s Day and beyond.
“I am inspired by romance, the keepsake quality of antique jewelry, but completely re-designed with a ultra-modern touch,” She explains and notes, “my favorite gemstone is ruby (which has signified passion throughout history).” Her pieces are delicate-styles you will never want to take off –they layer and stack easily and they are inspired by the magic of constellations and the pull of love.
Jenifer attended San Francisco State University and landed a job in Finance in NYC. “I was always captivated by jewelry, collecting antique pieces and following the trends of modern styles in the high end and on the runway and red carpet, but I wasn’t sure how to break in.” she explains. She finally found her way through launching a fashion jewelry company with her former college roommate. They sold the collection on Etsy and to stores such as Free People & Fred Segal. “In 2012, although I had finally moved into the field I loved and left the corporate world, I still wasn’t exactly where I wanted to be—designing fine jewelry.” Jenifer apprenticed a goldsmith who guided her through metalsmithing and gemology after moving to Southern California with her fiancée. She launched her company in 2015 and then debuted it to retailers and press at the January 2017 Metal & Smith show.
Constellation, the first collection she designed in 14K gold and precious gemstones is inspired by the allure of outer space and how the stars align. “The stars are representative of people getting together. There are also crescent moons which are magical and are inspired by the saying ‘I love you to the moon and back’, says Jenifer, who sets them with natural rubies. “I also am attracted to the changeability of Ethiopian opals for the center piece of the designs and the ‘galaxy’ from which everything shines—just like a women’s role as center of her family and how all are in her orbit.”
For Valentine’s Day, Jenifer has a few suggestions on how to score pieces from her collection as a gift and what her favorites are for this romantic day:
“Make sure your significant other, partner, fiancée, or husband knows your style even if you haven’t been able to show him the actual piece you want. This will go a long way in receiving the gift you have been coveting. Also make sure your friends and go-to stores are at the ready to help ‘him’ for a last minute purchase.”
As for some pieces you might want to choose for Valentine’s Day from Jenifer’s collection:
-“One of my all time favorite pieces is my ultra hip and modern take on Victorian padlocks. These are flatter; they don’t open but do take the shape of a heart lock and are pave set with rubies for passion or diamonds for enduring love. As a custom order, I can set them with a mix of both gemstone but this will need to be a post Valentine’s Day gift as I require more time on personal orders.”
“There are also my longer Y or lariat styles with a dainty bell-like design in 14K yellow and white gold and in rubies or diamonds with two asymmetrical pieces of chain dangling down. These are for the women who prefers not to wear her heart on their necks but something simpler with more hidden meaning.”
“For those of you who aren’t engaged or married already but can get your guy to buy you a ring without his breaking into a cold sweat, these crescent and half moon rings that fit into each other when you stack them are just perfect. They are comfortable, affordable and, once again, set with rubies for the romance in all of us”
“My Galaxy rings are for the gutsier woman who wants more of a statement on her finger and who loves the one-of-a-kind nature of these type of designs in which rubies and/or diamonds are placed as accents set around the axis of the center stone—the opals representing the changeability of a woman’s moods and of course the ruby to symbolize the love she radiates.”
In Collaboration with IO COLLECTIVE