Jewelry designer Kara Ross found her calling after attending the GIA (Gemological Institute of America). In 2003 she launched her collection of fine jewelry, which has since expanded to a bridge line, handbags, belts, and soon men’s jewelry. Her collection can be found at retailers such as Bergdorf Goodman, Harvey Nichols and Net-A-Porter.
Why did you decide to launch a men’s collection?
I did some test pieces and they were a hit among my circle of male friends. Men were begging for a men’s collection. The collection will be necklaces, bracelets and rings, with price points parallel to my KARA by Kara Ross collection.
You received a gem certificate. How do you think it benefited you more than having design background?
The Gemological Institute of America is the best education you can receive if you are serious about entering the jewelry business. I feel like I found my calling after attending the GIA. You become an expert on gemstones, feel more comfortable working with materials and you experiment more with designs after this seal of approval.
Do you ever wish you started out with a different material? Is there another you’d like to tackle?
The design process is unpredictable. Some designs take longer than what you thought originally when you started and vice versa. My team and I always learn from our mistakes but we certainly try to avoid them. I have some ideas about my future collections – too many in fact — but I like to surprise my fans.
Your collection is extensively featured on “fashion rental” sites such as Bag Borrow or Steal, Rent The Runway, etc. Have these translated to more long term customers?
It’s hard to say whether or how particular sites or services turned people into my followers. I am certainly grateful if that exposure helped someone to discover my designs. I think what I offer is different and, being different you grow the following of those believe in you and support you.
If you could choose a blogger to collaborate with, who would it be?
Blogging is a community of enthusiastic people, most of them know each other and support each other. What I love about bloggers is that if they love what you have they will not hesitate to express it right away in their posts and their enthusiasm is contagious.