Personalities

Meet Sharón Chandally Pedrini of Chandally Jewelry & Her Ancient Filigree Styling

New York City. April 21, 2020. Jewelry designer Sharón Chandally Pedrini is of Yemeni descent and devoted to carrying on the filigree jewelry heritage of her ancestors.

She founded her Chandally line in New York City in 2009 but has since moved to Tel Aviv, where she has both brick-and-mortar and e shops as well as a mini museum displaying “old tools, unfinished work, and old pieces handed down from my family,” she says in an email interview. “I am a woman practicing an ages-old technique traditionally practiced by men.”

Jewelry designer Sharón Chandally Pedrini

Jewelry designer Sharón Chandally Pedrini

But her start wasn’t so clear cut. Though she did enter university to study jewelry design, she wasn’t all that into it. She was bored with the tedious tasks of sawing and filing, but an instructor wouldn’t let her drop out of the program, telling Pedrini she better catch up with the rest of the class. Reluctantly, she got back to work, exploring instrument construction out of a love for music, which ultimately paved the way for her to find metalsmithing. This is where she found her passion, in soldering.

“Everything changed for me when we started to use the torch,” she says. “I fell in love and was overcome with inspiration from my grandfather (a Yemeni silversmith) and felt deeply connected to it.”

She apprenticed with a jeweler in Ghana and went on to take a three-year apprenticeship with two 80-something uncles (this is when she moved to Israel). From all this teaching, she honed her aesthetic: complex filigree wirework balanced by sacred geometry like sine waves, pyramids, and evil eyes.

“In filigree, the circle motif you see is usually used individually,” she explains. Sometimes she takes that element and multiplies it into a pattern that incorporates negative space. This look is evident in her Myrrh collection, named for “the resin clusters of myrrh I would see in the markets around Jerusalem.”

In her recently made Atlas collection, she juxtaposed cast, 3D-printed geometric shapes with old filigree techniques.

All works are produced by hand by Pedrini and one assistant in Israel. She works in 18k gold and sterling silver, offering some styles in Fairmined Certified gold. She’s also been a member of Ethical Metalsmiths since 2015.

As for gemstones, she primarily works with conflict-free diamonds. “I have been using rose cuts as well as white VVS stones,” she adds. “I love how you can find diamonds with such varying characteristics—different shades, clarities, and inclusions. I also like to integrate unconventional stones at times, like some rough-cut emeralds I used recently for a set of necklaces.”

Pedrini was nominated for Fashion Group International’s Rising Star award in 2016 and received the 2019 Best Luxury Jeweller Design Studio and Boutique – Tel Aviv from Middle East Africa Markets magazine.

Retail prices start at $220 in 18k gold. Find her work exclusively in her own e-shop.

Oxygen ring in oxidized sterling silver and 18k yellow gold, $830; available online at Chandally

Oxygen ring in oxidized sterling silver and 18k yellow gold, $830; available online at Chandally

Window necklace in oxidized sterling silver and 18k yellow gold, $2,400; available online at Chandally

Window necklace in oxidized sterling silver and 18k yellow gold, $2,400; available online at Chandally

Myrrh earrings in 18k yellow gold with 1.1 cts. t.w. conflict-free diamonds, $5,360; available online at Chandally

Drop earrings in 14k yellow gold with purple garnets and diamonds, $1,300 at K.Jon’s

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Personalities

Amy Roseveare Debuted The Curated Shopper and Then … Corona Virus

New York City. April 16, 2020. At the end of February, veteran stylist and personal shopper Amy Roseveare unveiled a digital project a year-and-a-half and many dollars in the making: The Curated Shopper (TCS). It is a paid membership website that combines her love of fashion and styling with travel for clients seeking more-specific insight into Roseveare’s fave shopping spots. Think of TCS as the San Francisco-based fashion professional’s little black book of boutiques she finds worthy of time and purchases.

The only problem with the idea, which garnered nearly two-dozen signups in its first two weeks, is that Roseveare debuted it just before cases of the COVID-19 virus mushroomed worldwide.

The Curated Shopper

“I had to cancel launch parties and all my travel for this year—six months’ worth,” she says sadly over the phone. Another casualty? Media coverage, since she had to tell her public relations specialist to halt outreach until the world reopened for business. (This reporter stumbled across the story on her own.)

Corona virus or not, TCS is a welcome concept for luxury lovers. Concierge services have long offered sophisticated shoppers a way to find the best of every category, so a personally vetted shopping experience—with an eye for fine jewelry—is a nice addition.

Roseveare developed her site after years of subscribing to the 41-year-old Hideaway Report from Andrew Harper Travel, a membership-based, luxury tourism-inspired review guide. In it, travelers learn about top destinations, experiences, and itineraries—similar to offerings on The Curated Shopper—but with a travel-focused hook, not the retail direction Roseveare’s clients crave.

Also like her travel peer, Roseveare mystery shops each locale and store to ensure they meet her standards. But don’t think you can buy your way into inclusion or a favorable review—there’s no advertising or sponsorships.

“Stores can’t pay to be on my list, and I don’t take a percentage of sales,” says Roseveare, who does earn income through the site’s $300 annual fee.

For Roseveare, the joy is in scouting out boutiques that might otherwise be missed. Consider Liberty in London, a lifestyle store she loves for its selections of home goods and stationery, among other items. “Most people just go to Harrods and Selfridges,” she notes about tourists to England’s capital city.

The Curated Shopper

Cool Coverage

Though the Corona virus stay-at-home mandate has crippled Roseveare’s 2020 travel plans—“I had to cancel trips to Chicago, Boston, Montreal, Los Angeles, New York, Stockholm, Paris, Copenhagen, Brussels, Amsterdam, and Antwerp,” she says—there’s still plenty of recently posted content to digest and trips to virtually plan.

To date, shops across 17 cities are profiled, and some 125 stores are noted in Roseveare’s Shopping Guides and Journal (read: blog). Expect magazine-like layouts and interactive maps as well as downloadable checklists of places to visit. Drop-down menus allow viewers to shop by country, then by store type—accessories, home goods, jewelry, and men’s and women’s clothing. For each destination, she offers tips, such as where to have lunch, and sometimes insight into when to travel. In her Guide for Aspen, Colo., she notes “two slow seasons where many businesses close—mid-April to mid-June and mid-October to Thanksgiving.”

Jewelry shops get special attention, which isn’t surprising given Roseveare’s longstanding attendance record at the Couture jewelry show. (“I’ve been going for seven years,” she says.) Guides highlight both purveyors of contemporary designs as well as estate styles. In Edinburgh, Scotland, she advises members to check out Joseph Bonnar for its Victorian lava cameo bracelets, Georgian fobs, and “perhaps the most extensive collection of antique Scottish jewelry” she’s ever seen. In Orange County, Calif., she calls A’maree’s “probably one of my favorite stores.” The reason? Great architecture that juts out over water and a robust inventory of jewelry from Bibi van der Velden, Noor Fares, and Sidney Garber.

Write-up about a jewelry store on The Curated Shopper

Write-up about a jewelry store on The Curated Shopper

Even Internet-only outlets get a mention. Roseveare opens up about daily logins to MyTheresa.com for the more than 200 designers listed as well as “collaborations made exclusively for the site,” she says. Bonus? “Items arrive at your doorstep in just a couple days, and they take returns for 30 days.”

Still, not every destination is a shopper’s paradise. For example, Whistler, British Columbia, is “epically gorgeous,” says Roseveare, but it’s not a great place for consumers. Instead of stores to visit, she offers readers this consolation: “Use your time to fully enjoy the mountain life.”

Meanwhile, “Map it” buttons will allow you to (shocker!) view exact addresses on Google, which will help you reach those stores worth visiting. Also helpful (especially now): the majority of featured stores have shoppable websites, which have become a financial lifeline for many independent retailers amidst the pandemic.

“It’s a great way to support independent stores during this unprecedented time,” observes Roseveare, who herself has done a little damage online. “There are a lot of good deals to be had.”

What you won’t find on TCS? A cookie-cutter-designed and poorly organized site with text simply copied and pasted from stores. (Author’s note: This writer loves the cursive XOXO signoffs peppered throughout the Guides.) Final offerings include no-nonsense articles like “Should I sign up for Clear?” and “What’s the best carry-on for air travel?” to ensure members will be well-equipped for any of the excursions they choose.

How Roseveare signs off on some pages in her Shopping Guides

How Roseveare signs off on some pages in her Shopping Guides

Client Approved

In its short life, TCS has amassed some highfalutin fans. New York City-based stylist Joseph Rosenfeld calls a subscription “like having your favorite style guru and travel guide right there with you.” And renowned interior design superstar Karen Sutherland, from Santa Barbara, Calif., rates the site’s content as first rate. “The amazing personal networks she shares are priceless! She is my go-to when I am looking for something special.”

A downloadable list of stores to visit in Dallas from The Curated Shopper

A downloadable list of stores to visit in Dallas from The Curated Shopper

Another client, the CFO of a tech company in San Francisco, told Roseveare she used her New York City Shopping Guide on a trip (before the city’s lockdown) and “explored neighborhoods she never would have otherwise.”

What’s next for the two-month-old site may be the one thing Roseveare can’t quite control: more cities. Still, she appreciates hearing from members about places she should add when the COVID-19 travel restrictions ease.

“I love hearing suggestions of where members would like me to scout,” she says.

Drop earrings in 14k yellow gold with purple garnets and diamonds, $1,300 at K.Jon’s

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Personalities

Meet Nichole McIver of Acanthus and Her Darkly Romantic Jewelry Aesthetic

New York City. April 14, 2020. Sentimental themes from art history, Victorian mourning jewelry, and historic symbolism combine in Nichole McIver’s Acanthus jewelry collection.

Based in St. Cloud, Minn., and armed with a bachelor’s degree in two-dimensional art and a master’s degree in art history, McIver fell in love with the idea of making jewelry while working in a gallery that sold it.

“Jewelry seemed like an interesting way to combine creativity with business,” she says.

So she started making wire-wrapped styles, and as her metalsmithing skills grew, so, too, did her line; she debuted Acanthus in 2010. As the sole artisan behind the jewels—“Everything passes through my hands,” she says—she sometimes uses original antique elements in pieces while also reinterpreting historic ideas in modern ways. McIver fabricates and casts largely two-tone (oxidized silver and 14k and 24k gold) jewels featuring skulls, snakes, vines, moths, sacred hearts, lunar phases of the moon, and more symbols in über wearable looks ideal for layering. Nearly everything in her collection is made from scratch in her studio, save for the occasional chain and clasp.

Gemstone faves include moonstone, quartz, and black and colorless diamonds.

“Moonstone is probably my most popular stone,” she adds. “Moonstones have incredible personality and flashes of color, while still feeling like a neutral-color stone.”

Find her work in her own e-shop and also at December Thieves in Boston and Liberty in London. Retail prices start under $200.

Secret Garden stud earrings in oxidized silver with hand-applied 24k gold, $187; available online at Acanthus Jewelry

Secret Garden stud earrings in oxidized silver with hand-applied 24k gold, $187; available online at Acanthus Jewelry

Laurel Skull cuff in oxidized silver with hand-applied 24k gold, $675; available online at Acanthus Jewelry

Laurel Skull cuff in oxidized silver with hand-applied 24k gold, $675; available online at Acanthus Jewelry

Sacred Heart pendant necklace in 14k yellow gold with a heart-shape opal and diamond-accented flames, $1,045; available online at Acanthus Jewelry

Sacred Heart pendant necklace in 14k yellow gold with a heart-shape opal and diamond-accented flames, $1,045; available online at Acanthus Jewelry

Drop earrings in 14k yellow gold with purple garnets and diamonds, $1,300 at K.Jon’s

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Personalities

Meet Kelly Zogheb of Soulbound and Her Geek-Chic Video Game-Inspired Jewelry

New York City. April 3, 2020. Video games have always been a part of Kelly Zogheb’s life. The creative force behind Soulbound recalls her father playing a Nintendo 64 system before she was even old enough to pick up a controller and never regretted growing up in a household that valued game time.

“I would come home from school, do my homework, and play video games every single day,” she says.

In college she studied illustration and fashion design, admiring jewelry but shunning it for the sake of practicality. “I thought it would be easier to get a job in fashion,” she says.

Even after securing a post designing clothes for J.Crew, she craned her neck at the desks of nearby jewelry workers to learn their processes and started watching YouTube videos to teach herself more techniques. Eventually, she left and secured a job as a jeweler for a costume design outfit even though she had never before sat at a bench. That ballsy move allowed her to learn production techniques more thoroughly, repurposing vintage costume numbers and learning about CAD. For fun, she started making three-dimensional video game–inspired character pendants like Great Bay Hero and Crazy Fox in brass, selling them on Etsy.com. They were a hit, pushing Zogheb to set her sights even higher, to working in fine jewelry.

Some education at GIA furthered her dream, and a later job at Satomi Kawakita in the Tribeca section of the city helped her learn in-person and online sales. Finally, in 2017, she was ready to debut her Soulbound business at a trade show in New York City. The name? Not surprisingly, a reference to gaming. Soulbound refers to rare and powerful items in games that cannot be given to other players.

Buyers, meanwhile, initially laughed at her inspiration and encouraged her to discard it for a more mainstream mindset. The resulting insecurity led to costly trial and error moves. “I started doubting myself,” she says. “At one show I showed a whole new collection of medieval-looking jewelry, but I didn’t feel a connection to it. It cost me so much money that by last day of that show I decided that if I tried to appeal to everyone, I would appeal to no one, so I was going to be true to me.”

Zogheb re-embraced her own nerdy niche and unveiled the Sailor Moon collection a few months later. “Sailor Moon” was a manga—a Japanese comic book—that Zogheb read as a kid and watched as a show on the Cartoon network in the mid-1990s. Its star was a girly heroine with friends who helped her fight villains. Zogheb’s jewelry featured inspired (not literal) motifs like winged-looking Guardian rings and simple tiara-like bands. It sold well, and Zogheb saw her Instagram followers (@soulboundnyc) grow, along with repeat customers. She even engaged in multiplayer games with fans online.

More video-game inspired collections followed. Think Hero of Time, which is based on a game from the Nintendo 64 system that came out in the late 1990s. Then came The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time collection, named for a game that many call the best one of all time. “If you were a gamer in the 1990s, it has a special place in your heart forever,” says Zogheb about the 3D game. Engagement rings in this collection are based on gemstones that play a big role in the game: Kokiri’s emerald, Goron’s ruby, Zora’s sapphire. Diamond versions are available, but colored stones are a best seller.

The Choose Your Class collection is inspired by MMORPGs or massively multiplayer online role player games like World of Warcraft—a variety she plays with her fiancé.

“I usually play a priest—I’m a healer—and he is a warrior,” she explains. “His role is to deal out damage and destroy things, and then when his life is low, I can heal him.”

Priest-inspired jewels have angel wings, while warlock-influenced ones feature creepy demonic-looking hands. Tiny swords and spiraling branches, too, along with little nuts and seeds adorn other styles—some accents only visible under a loupe.

“I try to make pieces totally unique but not obvious,” she says. “People love and strongly identify with these games, and you usually play them for years. They become a big part of who you are.”

Finally, New Horizons is based on the Animal Crossings series of games where players receive the help of a local critter (a racoon in one series) to build a community. Zogheb’s interpretation? Small houses with cosmos flowers—a nod to the original game she played as a kid. And just as new games feature seasonal elements—“Every spring new weeds grow in the game,” Zogheb notes—so, too, will her jewelry have fresh elements that reflect the games.

“In the game the weeds are beautiful, so every season I will show a new ring inspired by them. I feel pressure now to make pieces based on what happens in the game.”

Soulbound jewelry is made in recycled 14k gold and platinum on request, with colored stone and diamond accents. Morganites and lab-grown alexandrites are among client faves. Retail prices start at $210 for a single earring.

Find Soulbound jewelry for sale online and at Audrey Rose in Santa Monica, Calif., and The Glass Hall in Salt Lake City.

Fairy Companion stud earrings from the Hero of Time collection in 14k recycled gold with blue topaz is inspired by Navi, a helpful fairy companion in the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time game, $715; available online at Soulboundnyc.com.

Fairy Companion stud earrings from the Hero of Time collection in 14k recycled gold with blue topaz is inspired by Navi, a helpful fairy companion in the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time game, $715; available online at Soulboundnyc.com

Warlock ring from the Choose Your Class collection in 14k recycled gold with an amethyst is inspired by warlocks from MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online role-playing games) like World of Warcraft, $1,100; available online at Soulboundnyc.com.

Warlock ring from the Choose Your Class collection in 14k recycled gold with an amethyst is inspired by warlocks from MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online role-playing games) like World of Warcraft, $1,100; available online at Soulboundnyc.com

Uchi ring from the New Horizons collection in 14k recycled gold with diamonds is inspired by the original house in the designer’s Nintendo: Animal Crossing for GameCube game she played as a kid, $1,210; available online at Soulboundnyc.com.

Uchi ring from the New Horizons collection in 14k recycled gold with diamonds is inspired by the original house in the designer’s Nintendo: Animal Crossing for GameCube game she played as a kid, $1,210; available online at Soulboundnyc.com

Drop earrings in 14k yellow gold with purple garnets and diamonds, $1,300 at K.Jon’s

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