How the young daughters of five women designers bejewel themselves
By the time I was six, I accessorized with abandon and believed wholeheartedly in the transformative power of jewelry—how it made me feel more regal and glamorous, changing me from a shy ordinary kid into a shimmering princess from a faraway land. Like most young girls, I subscribed to the “more is more” philosophy and loved anything that glittered when I moved or that I could pile on.
My mom was a VP for a ready-to-wear company who had classic pieces from renowned jewelers and shopped in all the fashion capitals, so I did have a bit of an edge. I believed I was imitating her. This was not the case. Her style, in reality, was way more restrained: Grace Kelly to my Zsa Zsa Gabor.
Today, when I see the daughters of female jewelers I know, I am reminded of that time, but I also often wonder what it would be like to have a mom who actually worked in precious gems.
Here, five designing mothers of young girls talk about their daughters’ personal styles. Some of them are even savvy enough to choose jewelry that represents the latest trends.
“Having two young daughters certainly makes being a jewelry designer extra-fun (and at times extra-exhausting)! My daughters are not ‘girly girls,’ but they like their accessories, love to express themselves, and definitely have their own opinions (very different from each other). They see me designing in my sketchbook all the time — at home, when I take them to the skating rink, and ballet. I’ve always encouraged them to put their ideas on paper.
Luna, who is eight, loves to design and wear emojis as stud earrings, ice skates, and all things shiny and cheery.
Tess, who is 11 and is my darker, theatrical spirit, currently rotates pendants on leather cord. Sometime it could be a silver shark tooth or a a lightning bolt, comedy and tragedy charms, and a little person I cut out of scrap silver when I was in college. She would never be seen in anything her sister would wear, other than their 22K gold bangles with their names and birth dates engraved. Both have been wearing these since they were 2 months old (sized up each year).
They like to doodle in my sketchbook and help design birthday gifts for their friends. We make lots of initials, peace signs, and charms representing a particular sport. Tess recently reminded me that I once told her a long time ago that I would let her use my torch when she turns 10. Last year I had my summer cut out for me!”
“Like most young girls, from the time Ella was 2 through around 5, she liked anything pink, and then around 6, she decided on purple. These could be in faux stones or real ones, Lucite or rubber. She also loved flowers—sparkly barrettes and bracelets with floral charms. When she got her ears pierced, she was in the store and she spotted a pair of Alberian & Aulde’s tiny enamel floral studs. Mary Aulde was so nice to have made a pair in the exact color Ella wanted. At 11, her tastes have drastically changed. Like the true California girl that she is, she loves jewelry inspired by and made with natural materials, namely rough crystals. Last year we visited the Oceanview mine, an active mine in southern CA, and she found an actual aquamarine crystal (made more exciting by the fact that it’s her birthstone). I drilled it and had a couple of facets polished, keeping its raw quality. I put the crystal on a mixed-metals necklace with a hand-engraved name charm and a smaller version of a diamond pod that I wear. When her mood changes and she wants to try something different , it’s proudly displayed on her necklace tree.”
ROBIN RENZI, ME & RO
“Ella, who is 10 and in this photo holding her half sister Flora’s hand, has an eclectic personal style. She loves her pave diamond ‘kiss me’ bracelet, which she wears with her 18K tiny hammered disc bracelet on one wrist and a flower bracelet I also made her on her other wrist. She also wears a cross I designed for her. These are her more subtle everyday pieces. The rest of her jewelry is very ‘of her age group’—loud and plastic. Sometimes she combines it all to go with her brightly colored and print and motif driven clothes that she is drawn to at the moment.”
“My daughter Matilda, age 6, loves being in the workshop with me, and of course she likes all things bright, shiny and sparkly. She’s taken by the gem colors and the gold and everything else that surrounds her when she comes to visit me at work. One of the more challenging moments was last year, before the Couture show, when my pieces were just coming out. Matilda was in the studio and she wanted to try on all the new rings that were just finished for the show. She decided on the shield pinky ring from the Ourika collection 18K yellow gold set with a mix of vibrantly colored gemstones. The pinky ring fit on her middle finger. The problem was that she wanted it ‘now’ and so I had to quickly make another one—so she could have hers and I could bring one to the show.” I have since expanded that collection and Matilda now has more pieces from which to choose.
“Sofia insists that she only will wear yellow gold. She is 9 and has very specific tastes. When I’ve tried to give her silver, she says she wants yellow and ‘ukkk’ to rose gold because it is ‘pink’. She obviously is more a glamorous type who has chosen the glow of gold for her personal style. She also prefers lavender to pink and selected her new watch in that color, which she never takes off. In clothes, she likes black and leopard prints. See what I mean: glamorous with a hint of the dramatic.
She is obsessed with mermaids and all creatures from the sea, and for that reason, she loves pearls. She has been obsessed with antique pieces, for example, a gold and seed pearl pocket watch; she loves opening and closing it, and she loves the starfish pattern that the pearls are set in. When she gets it into her hands, she won’t let go of it.
Her favorites also include horse and horseshoe charms because she loves to ride, so we are concentrating on building her equestrian collection of charms.”