Designer Spotlight: Samantha Conn of Luna Skye Jewelry

Luna Skye is a Los Angeles based fine jewelry line by Samantha Conn. I first encountered the line at the Cabana shop at the Four Seasons on Maui this past December. Immediately I was enchanted by these unique pieces, as they each have their own individual charm and allure. I had the chance to catch up with the designer to learn more about her gorgeous line of fine jewelry, what inspires her, and what makes this line unique.

⭐️ FACETS / 🌙 LUNA SKYE

PC: Luna Skye Jewelry

PC: Luna Skye Jewelry

 

⭐️ Please tell us about the name of your company, Luna Skye, and how it came to be? 

🌙 Since I was young and all throughout growing up, I’ve always had a strong connection with the moon. Having grown up by the beach, I was mesmerized by how the energy of the moon could have such an impact on the ocean. My dad always encouraged me to explore this and keep that connection… I knew when I started Luna Skye that I wanted to incorporate an aspect of the moon into my line, and “Luna Skye,” came pretty organically. A lot of my collection also reflects that with the crescent moons, and moonstone pieces throughout. 

 

PC: Luna Skye Jewelry

PC: Luna Skye Jewelry

⭐️ What is the inspiration for your pieces?

🌙 Life! I am constantly inspired by life - whether that’s in travel, books, space, relationships, the sky, nature…My mind doesn’t work on a very linear path so I am constantly gathering inspiration from different places and things and putting them together. One of my early pieces came from a direct inspiration from one of my favorite books, The Alchemist (The Lusia ring). Outer space has also been a huge inspiration for me…the textures and infinite amount of perspective. 

PC: Luna Skye Jewelry

PC: Luna Skye Jewelry

⭐️ What is your favorite piece from your collection and why?

🌙 It’s funny, my favorite pieces are constantly changing! There is nothing in my collection I wouldn’t wear everyday. I always always always design for myself first. If I wouldn’t wear it, I would never put it in my collection. My signet rings and double band moonstone rings definitely have a strong place in my heart, as these were some of the first pieces I started with that really helped start my line. I love the raw stone and crystal pieces… it gives me such an intimate feeling and connection to the earth which is something I feel we all need more of. I also love my chokers… they are the perfect touch of magic. 

fine-jewerly-blog-luna-skye-10.jpg

⭐️ Can you tell me in detail one of your first memories when you knew jewelry design is what you wanted to do for a living?

🌙 I remember a few moments that really brought everything together, but one specific moment was a feeling of fulfillment. I was always chasing things for the wrong reasons and always working for someone else, and it never truly fulfilled me. I was constantly trying to let out my creative energy while working at something that didn’t satisfy my soul. I remember the feeling of being able to do both with jewelry design. Having an idea, come to life to something that is tangible and wearable, AND something that makes woman feel beautiful is just an incredible indescribable feeling. 

PC: Luna Skye Jewelry

PC: Luna Skye Jewelry

⭐️ When did you start your business and how did you come to finally decide on started your own collection?

🌙 I started Luna Skye about 4.5 years ago…It’s gone through a few different phases since then. I initially started not doing fine jewelry, and myself hand making everything. To me, there is something so personal and intimate about a piece of fine jewelry that you’ll have forever, that the plated line quickly evolved into fine. It wasn’t my thing to do costume, or plated jewelry (not that there is anything wrong with that!), but looking at myself as a customer, I wouldn’t really buy anything that isn’t fine or that would turn my fingers green. I also noticed a huge gap in the market of jewelry. There were a ton of big chunky, boho/beachy lines made with silver and other metals, and very dainty fine jewelry… I didn’t see something that bridge that gap between the two which is what I was looking for. I really wanted to create a line that had something unique and individualized, while being able to uphold and keep it’s integrity as a piece throughout the years. 

PC: Luna Skye Jewelry

PC: Luna Skye Jewelry

⭐️ You’ve honed your talents in many aspects of the business, what are some of the most important things you learned? 

🌙 Always stay true to yourself. You will always have a million people telling you a million different things, but I’ve learned to always trust your gut. If it doesn’t sit right with you don’t do it. And keep things simple…I’ve realized a lot of problems you run into, or mistakes you make don’t have to get complicated. The more simple and in the moment you can be, the happier and more aligned your life will be. I also think staying motivated is really important. You have to find something that drives you everyday to not only want to keep going but to keep doing better than you did yesterday. And always do everything from love… everything I try and do in my life whether professional or personal always stems from love. 

PC: Luna Skye Jewelry

PC: Luna Skye Jewelry

PC: Luna Skye Jewelry

PC: Luna Skye Jewelry

⭐️ Please describe your aesthetic for your pieces….

🌙 Every piece in the collection has an intent and energy that goes into it. We have pieces that are more fine and delicate and pieces that are a lot more of a stand out statement piece - each piece is made to layer and be worn with another or on it’s own. I love the way the pieces look and come together when worn with each other, it really bring them to life. It’s for the everyday goddess - woman are so beautiful and powerful in our one way, and our jewelry should reflect and illuminate that. You really have the opportunity to create your own layers and make each piece your own, which is something I love. They are daily reminders that we are all worth it, no matter what, and we all deserve to feel like that everyday. 

⭐️ You mention that you are drawn to the hospitality industry and you like to make your customers feel taken care of and special. Can you tell us about a time where you felt the most rewarded in helping one of your customers?

🌙 I love the process of working with my customers. Both men and woman. It’s such an intimate and exciting experience to create and design something that truly illuminates a woman beauty, and makes them feel special. Every woman should and deserves to feel this way, and I am so honored that I get to share this experience with them. There was one customer who I remember asked me to design some custom jewelry for her wedding. She had given me pretty much complete freedom, with a few exceptions, to design an engagement ring, and bridal jewelry. It’s always a little nerve racking during these situations because they are literally trusting you with everything without any real direction, but is also one of my favorite and most fun aspects of having LS. She had called almost everyday to check up on everything, and was extremely anxious about the outcome. It came down to about two days before her wedding when she received the pieces, and she was absolutely blown away. I remember the call with her entire bridal party and her (now) husband thanking me and sending all her wedding photos along with a gift basket to our studio. It was such a rewarding experience knowing I had just a small part in making their day so special and memorable.

⭐️ What kinds of metals and stones do you use in your pieces?

🌙 We always use 100% natural stones - nothing is synthetically colored or dyed. We also use mostly 14kt gold, but work with 18kt and platinum as well. 

PC: Luna Skye Jewelry

PC: Luna Skye Jewelry

⭐️ Would you tell us about your design process? 

🌙 I’m not very traditional in the sense that, we come up with mood boards or inspiration boards and then go from there. Ideas and designs are happening constantly and a lot of time on the fly. I’m really grateful for my team - we have such a symbiotic and close relationship that we understand how we all work. I will sometimes say something in a design that doesn’t necessarily literally mean what I say, and my team will understand without having to explain. My brain is a bit scattered because of how excited or passionate I get sometimes, that it’s great to have them polish off the ideas. We typically always start with a sketch, which almost always going into a CAD rendering and from there a wax mold. We often tweak and play around with designs from the wax, and in that case wouldn’t necessarily re-sketch them. 

 

⭐️ With so many jewelry lines on the market, what do you want people to know about yours that makes it remarkable and unique?

🌙 I always try and focus on myself and the line as a whole. I try not to think about what anyone else is doing and just continue to do what I would want in a company if I was a customer. Customer service is always number one for me, no matter what. I go back and fourth with my team on this sometimes, but I would always rather someone happy at the end of the day over anything else. We are also constantly coming out with new designs and pieces. Nothing is mass produced or made overseas so we have the ability to think of an idea and have it up on the site within weeks. It keeps the collection constantly fresh and constantly changing which is something I think a lot of our customers are drawn to. They can look at the site one week, and it change the following.

 

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ABOUT SAMANTHA:

⭐️ What do you like to do in your free time?

🌙 I love spending time with friends and family. Relationships are extremely important to me… I also love being by the beach. Taking walks, or going down to mediate, read and watch the sunset. It always makes me feel at home and at peace when I am there… also an endless amount of inspiration and time to think. I do a lot of volunteer work which is something that I also feel extremely passionate about. 

⭐️ Name 4 or 5 of your favorite places in your town (restaurants, bars, hikes, workouts, etc.)

🌙 I love to workout so I’m at my gym almost everyday -  some of my favorite restaurants and places, Rose Cafe, Bestia, Hatchet Hall, Groundworks for coffee, the Self Realization Center in the palisades (I grew up coming here and it always brings me a sense of home), The Now in Santa Monica. 

I would honestly rather keep it simple most days. I love going to dive bars, or having good wine at home with friends cooking and drinking. I love going to exhibits or new pop ups around the city too. It’s so fun living in a city where you can still find new and exciting stuff happening everyday. I’m from LA, and still find myself experiencing new things here all the time. I love to laugh, so going to any type of comedy show is also something I’m always into.

 

⭐️ Where can we find Luna Skye fine jewelry pieces?

🌙 Ron Robinson at Fred Segal, ShopBop, Anthropologie, and a few other select retailers across the country - and of course www.lunaskye.com!

 

PC: Luna Skye Jewelry

PC: Luna Skye Jewelry

 

 

 

 

 

Designer Spotlight: Julez Bryant

Julez Bryant is a San Diego based designer who's unique line of fine jewelry adds a dash of casual luxury to every day looks! Her gorgeous 14k gold pieces adorned with precious gems and diamonds are handmade right here in the USA. Read on for our exclusive Q & A with the talented designer.

Designer Julez Bryant

Designer Julez Bryant

Facets(F): You have had a successful jewelry collection for several years, what do your inspirations come from?

Julez Bryant (JB): I am inspired by my surroundings everyday—from the unfurling of a flower to the grit and grace of urban spaces—I find beauty in the details.  The influence of art and architecture, of flora and fauna, can all be seen and felt in the shapes and textures of my jewelry.  

F: What is your favorite piece from the collection and why?

JB:  It’s hard to narrow it down to a single favorite piece of jewelry in our collection, but if pressed, I’d have to choose the Extra Large Mina pendant, in rose gold with cognac diamonds.  I think it perfectly captures a beautiful balance of the rugged and the refined.  Worn on a long chain, it feels like a modern take on a vintage locket or pocket watch.  The weight of it is very appealing, and the satin finish feel good to the touch.  Lastly, the range of colors and sizes of the cognac diamonds feels like a good representation of the diversity of diamonds as they come from the earth. 

Julez Bryant Mina Pendant

Julez Bryant Mina Pendant

F: You’ve been making jewelry for a long time - can you tell us in detail one of your first memories when you knew this is what you wanted to do for a living?

JB: I knew that this was the right path for me when I realized that nothing is impossible in this industry!  The creative freedom to dream up and create absolutely anything was intoxicating, and lured me away from my corporate career.  I was spellbound by the myriad of ways that the same materials could be interpreted by different designers with imaginative and breathtaking results!

F: You’ve honed your talents in many aspects of the business, what are some of the most important things you learned?

JB: The most important lessons I’ve learned as it relates to running my own business are simple:  

  • Trust your intuition
  • Run a good business—be fair and honest, stay true to your word
  • Stay true to yourself and your unique vision—don’t get caught up in what anyone else is doing
  • Don’t grow too fast

F: Did where you grew up have an Effect on your line down the road? If so, how?

JB:   I moved a lot as a child, so I honestly feel more influenced by my travels than by my home. I am fascinated by architecture and drawn to the rhythm of urban landscapes.  That said, I’ve spent many years now in coastal Southern California and I think it’s interesting to note that our line does exceptionally well in other coastal resort communities around the world! 

F: How did you come to finally decide on your own eponymous collection?

JB: It has always felt strangely narcissistic to have named my business after myself, but it was a business-minded decision that came after a great deal of research and consideration and the realization that most significant brands with legs are eponymously named.  While Bryant is no longer my surname, it is my son’s middle name, and feels close to my heart. 

F: Please describe your aesthetic for your pieces….

JB: Our aesthetic is unique in that our pieces are both industrial and feminine and designed to be worn layered.  From the subtle to the bold, there is an infinite number of ways to layer our jewelry to create your signature look.  Both sentimental and sexy, we create talismans that are empowering to wear; a bit of luxe for every day.    

F: What kinds of metals and stones do you use in your pieces?

JB: Our collection is made primarily of 14k rose, yellow, and white gold, with a sprinkling of white, cognac, and black diamonds.  We also love to work with various colors of sapphires and the occasional semi-precious statement gem (morganite, alexandrite, tourmaline, to name a few.) 

 

F: With so many jewelry lines on the market, what do you want people to know about yours that makes it remarkable and unique?

JB: Our jewelry is unique for the simple fact that it is entirely made by hand, here in California.  In an age when many designers are machine manufacturing their jewelry overseas, we have stayed true to our roots and refused to outsource our production.  At Julez Bryant, we create affordable modern heirlooms, jewels that tell a story in their craftsmanship.  No two pieces are exactly alike, and every hammer stroke bears the signature of our artistry.  Our jewelry transcends both trends and time, creating a lasting legacy for our collectors.

 

ABOUT THE DESIGNER

F: What do you like to do in your free time?

JB: I love my work, so it spills over into my private life and thankfully there is a great deal of fulfilling overlap between what I am committed to doing professionally and what I take pleasure in doing in my free time.  My two children and my family are the loves of my life and time spent together with them feeds my soul.  As well, I love to travel and find it hugely inspiring for me as a designer.  I also love to sketch, and find it very relaxing and rewarding to take in my surroundings and to watch a sketch of nature, or of architecture, turn into inspiration for a new design! 

 

Some of The Designer's favorite local landmarks/businesses: 

  • Torrey Pines State Park
  • Downtown Encinitas
  • Cucina Enoteca restaurant in Del Mar
  • Blue Ribbon Artisanal Pizza in Encinitas

 

Jules Bryant jewelry can be found at the following stores, to name a few:

 

For more information, go to the designers website: www.julezbryant.com

xx

FACETS


 

 

Designer Spotlight: Tiffany Chou Launches New Fine Jewelry Collection

You can take the girl out of Hawai'i but can't take Hawai'i out of the girl!

Tiffany Chou is a talented jewelry designer who hails from Maui, Hawai’i and currently resides in the Big Apple. We’ve been a fan of her fashion jewelry collection for years, and now that she has added a unique collection of fine jewelry pieces to her eponymous line, we had to get the 411! Read on for our exclusive interview with the designer.

                   Tiffany Chou Pineapple Ring, 14K Gold & Yellow Pear-shaped Diamond, TiffanyChou.com

                   Tiffany Chou Pineapple Ring, 14K Gold & Yellow Pear-shaped Diamond, TiffanyChou.com

FACETS (F): You have had a successful fashion jewelry collection for several years, what made you want to transition from Fashion Jewelry to Fine Jewelry?

Tiffany Chou (TC): I felt it was a natural transition for my brand with the delicate aesthetic and have had several customers request fine jewelry pieces over the years.


F: What was your inspiration for the new collection?

TC: I tend to always have pieces that were inspired by the sea or Hawaii, and for this collection I wanted to also included a few pieces that reflect my personal life, like my cat Sawyer :)

Tiffany Chou Sawyer Cat Ring, in Sterling Silver & Morganite, TiffanyChou.com

Tiffany Chou Sawyer Cat Ring, in Sterling Silver & Morganite, TiffanyChou.com

Tiffany Chou Sawyer Cat Ring, in 14K Gold and Diamond, TiffanyChou.com

Tiffany Chou Sawyer Cat Ring, in 14K Gold and Diamond, TiffanyChou.com

F: What is your favorite piece from the new collection, and why?

TC: The Aurora’s Crown Ring. I love miniatures and Disney, and the miniature of Sleeping Beauty’s crown is a beautiful combination of the two.

                                                                                            Tiffany Chou Aurora's Crown Ring, 14k Gold, TiffanyChou.com

                                                                                            Tiffany Chou Aurora's Crown Ring, 14k Gold, TiffanyChou.com

F: You’ve been making jewelry for a very long time - can you tell us in detail one of your first memories when you knew this is what you wanted to do for a living?

TC: I was playing around with some sea shell castings and realized they had potential to sell. That’s when I decided to start my own line.

F: You’ve honed your talents in many aspects of the business, what are some of the most important things you learned?

TC: Don’t take things too personally or seriously and don’t forget to have fun with what you are creating.

F: How did where you grew up have an affect on your line down the road?

TC: Growing up in Hawaii has been the main inspiration for my jewelry since the start of my collection. I love being in the ocean and exploring all of its wonders and this is greatly reflected in my jewelry.

Tiffany Chou Mother Tiger Necklace, 14k Gold & Diamond, TiffanyChou.com

Tiffany Chou Mother Tiger Necklace, 14k Gold & Diamond, TiffanyChou.com

Tiffany Chou Diamond in the Rough Necklace, Sterling Silver & Diamond, TiffanyChou.com

Tiffany Chou Diamond in the Rough Necklace, Sterling Silver & Diamond, TiffanyChou.com

F: Please describe for us your aesthetic for your pieces, and what kinds of materials do you use?

TC: Delicate simplicity with a hint of sparkle - Sterling Silver, 14K Gold, Diamonds and other precious gems!

F: Where exactly do you look for inspiration and how does it translate into your pieces?

TC: Everyday life, nature, what I’m watching on TV. It shows up in the jewelry name’s, their shape and the overall piece.

F: With so many jewelry lines on the market, what do you want people to know about yours that makes it remarkable and unique?

TC: It’s made in New York City with the environment in mind, inspired by the sea and created for people of all ages.

F: What is your favorite piece from your entire jewelry collection (both fine jewelry and fashion jewelry) and why?

TC: The My Fair Coral Cuff. It was one of my very first designs, is a statement piece and shows how fascinated I am by the coral reef.

                                                          Tiffany Chou My Fair Coral Cuff, TiffanyChou.com

 

                                                        Tiffany Chou My Fair Coral Cuff, TiffanyChou.com

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You can find the designer eating, freediving, spending time with family while in Hawai'i, and (also) eating, running in Central Park, and hanging with her cat Sawyer while in NYC. Some of Tiffany's favorite NYC hotspots include: Flybarre (workout), SLT (workout), Magnet Theatre (Improv), Hangawi (Vegetarian Korean), and Central Park.

 

Tiffany Chou jewelry pieces are available at TiffanyChou.com