Women’s History Month: Jenifer Thai of IO Collective

Jenifer Thai

Jenifer Thai from IO Collective combines her affinity for unearthing rare colored gemstones with her ability to design feminine, versatile silhouettes that resonate with a wide demographic. She specializes in limited edition and one-of-kind pieces that juxtapose an everyday appeal with uncommon color combinations in gems and metals.Here we chat with her about her passion for jewelry, her customers and her own collection:











Here we talk to Jenifer about her passion for jewelry, her brand and her personal collection

When did you first realize that you had a passion for jewelry?

“I recall my first visit at nine years old back to Vietnam after moving to the USA from there. I was accompanied by my father and we ventured to An Dong Market in Ho Chi Minh City where the bottom floor housed the vibrant jewelry market. Rows upon rows of stalls dazzled with gleaming gold bangles and necklaces, captivating my attention completely.”

What was the first gift of jewelry you every received and at what age?

“A set of seven 18K gold bangles with a diamond cut pattern when I was about five or six years old.”

When did you get into the jewelry business and had you been in another business before?

“Before 2011, I was immersed in the bustling world of banking in NYC. However, I followed what was my passion and made a daring leap into the jewelry business in 2012 after apprenticing with a well-known designer to learn metalsmithing.

IO Collective diamond tops and emerald bead earrings

Who buys your jewelry?

“My designs cater to both the individual purchasing for themselves and those gifting jewelry to others. I strive to deeply understand each client, weaving significant aspect of their lives into my creations.”

Can you describe your personal collection?

“I’m drawn to the unexpected and the singular with one-of-a-kind charm, much like stumbling upon hidden treasures that feel magical when you find them.” I also am a fan of vintage jewelry pieces. At the moment, I’ve curated a selection of vintage Burmese jade donuts dating back to the 1980s, which I’ve strung onto a chain. Additionally, I found a gorgeous green jade donut that fits on my pinky that I paired with my nine-carat emerald ring that my husband gifted for our 10 year anniversary.”

Jenifer’s jade pinky ring and nine-carat emerald ring that was a gift from her husband for their 10th anniversary

Favorite piece you always wear?

The Buddha pendant passed down through generations in my family holds significant sentimental value. It stands as a cherished symbol of our heritage, deeply treasured by me.

Buddha Pendant handed down to Jenifer

Favorite piece of your designs?

June’s multi-gem necklace has over 50+ carats of spinel, emeralds, rubies, parti sapphires, opals, rutilated quartz and zircon.

June multi gem necklace

Most cherished inherited or sentimental piece?

“My grandma’s jade that I turned into a cocktail ring with black onyx and 18K yellow gold. I added a lotus pattern in the back in remembrance of her.”  This symbolism holds special significance for our family, steeped in the teachings of Buddhism. The lotus, representing life, reminds us that growth and wisdom emerge from the struggles and suffering of existence.”

Jade donuts that Jenifer wears on a chain and her re-design of her grandmother’s ring

If your jewelry could be on any celebrity, who would you choose?

“Zoe Kravitz”