Jewelry tells the world who you are… at least in that moment! Feeling bold? Try a statement necklace. Flirty? Dangly earrings are alluring. Sentimental? Add an heirloom loaded with personal meaning. Talented jewelry designer Claudia Montez of Isabelle Grace Jewelry recognizes that every woman has many, many stories, and she has created a line of earrings, necklaces and bracelets to tell them beautifully.
Isabelle Grace Jewelry is expertly crafted by people who truly love making beautiful things. There’s no assembly line, no mass production. Simultaneously on-trend and timeless, each of the pieces is designed to be a keepsake. They are inscribed with inspirational words, or custom inscribed for a completely personal message.
I’ve showcased a few of my personal favorites here including the Callista Charm Necklace ($46), Honey, Bee You! Ring ($52), Strength and Dignity Cuff ($49), Thin Message Bar Necklace ($79) and Little Bow Pearl Earrings ($32). And, I caught up to Claudia recently, and learned more about her design process, as well as where she sees the future of jewelry headed. Below is an excerpt from the interview. Enjoy!
How did you get your start as a jewelry designer?
I was home on maternity leave with my second daughter when I started exploring the idea of making photo jewelry. One of my fondest memories is of my grandmother wearing an intricate gold locket that held a picture of my grandfather. I was young, but remember feeling so many emotions when I looked at that locket. It was a piece of history. It told a story and celebrated her love and loss.
There was no plan to start a business at that time; I had always loved jewelry and I just started making things for myself and became obsessed with learning how things were made and exploring working with different materials. People started asking about where to get items they would see on me and it began to spark the idea that maybe I could do this as a business.
What motivates your design process?
It’s always different. Sometimes I have a very specific design of something I want to create, or try, and so it’s a bit of trial and error to get it to the point that I want. But sometimes I have a material or a gemstone that I have picked up or have had for a long time and I come back to it and a design comes to me. I’m certainly influenced by trends, as well, and I get a lot of inspiration from relationships, love and family.
Where did you get the name for the company?
I’m a mom of two beautiful daughters Sofia Isabelle and Gabriella Grace (they are the inspiration for the business), hence the name Isabelle Grace Jewelry.
What is your take on jewelry trends vs. timeless pieces?
I think it is important to have some of both. Your classic pieces are your base and then add layers with trend pieces.
Why choose something handmade rather than a mass produced piece?
Our pieces are truly works of art, individually crafted by our artisans. They are made with love and dedication to creating a beautiful piece that tells a story. We understand that for many customers, there is a meaning behind the piece they have chosen, so we want to be very intentional about its creation.
Why is personalized jewelry so important?
Personalized pieces are always special because each piece is made by hand for that specific order, and no two pieces are ever exactly alike. The personalized process is about love and dedication to your craft for sure, especially with some of our more intricate and detailed personalized products. It’s a labor of love as all our pieces are made by hand.
Kimberly Williams-Paisley was photographed on the cover of People magazine wearing one of your necklaces. And, many, many other celebrities wear your personalized mother’s necklaces. Why do you think these particular pieces resonate so well with moms?
When you have children, they own your heart. There is truly nothing more personal than being a mom. Our personalized designs customized with children’s names and birth dates allow moms to wear their little ones close to their heart always. It’s such a beautiful and personal way to celebrate motherhood.
What do you see as the future of jewelry?
I think that people will continue to look to affordable metals like 14kt gold fill for quality pieces at lower prices. Gold and rose gold will continue to be popular. Layered looks for necklaces, rings and bracelets will continue to be seen in high fashion, and personalized jewelry will never go out of style because whether someone is wearing an initial, name, their children’s name, dates, etc. it’s something they connect with. It has meaning to them.
What one piece can’t you live without, personally?
One of my favorites is the personalized open cuff. They’re really thin and personalized on the edges. I have three personalized cuffs: one has my initials, and my husband’s, the other has my children’s initials, and the third has Hamsa hands.
To see the entire line of gorgeous pieces, visit the Isabella Grace Jewelry company website and order online.
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PHOTO CREDIT: Isabelle Grace Jewelry images used with permission.
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