Neda Norbash is the founder of 30 Ponte V, a specialty online boutique featuring a carefully curated selection of luxury jewelry and accessories. Formally trained as a lawyer and having practiced for eleven years, Neda chose to pursue her lifelong dream of sharing her love of exquisite jewelry and precious objects. The site is named after the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Italy the bridge that features jewelry stall after jewelry stall the length of 30 meters. The idea being to re-create the experience to discover something special to reflect the journey one’s traveled. Neda works closely with well-known and emerging designers and artisans often features one-of-a-kind pieces from designers such as Fallon, Iosseliani, Jaquie Aiche, Mawi and Tonya Hawkes.
What made you launch 30 Ponte V after practicing law for 10 years?
It’s the age-old expression of “do what you love,” and the sentiment hits each person at different times. For me, it happened ten years into my law career. I reached a point when I just felt that following my passion was the only way for me. 30 Ponte V is a way for me to channel my lifelong love of discovering unique jewelry and objects. The details of my career change (and overcoming fear) are best left for a long conversation over coffee!
How did the concept come about?
I’ve always loved the process of discovering a unique piece of jewelry, especially while vacationing or strolling in a new neighborhood. I wanted to recreate that wondrous experience online. The name was inspired by my family’s many trips to Italy growing up. I was always fascinated with the 30-meter stretch of jewelry merchants along the Ponte Vecchio in Florence.
Making major investment pieces like purchasing jewelry online can be tough, how does 30 Ponte V put their customers at ease?
Our first interaction with our customers is through our product photos, and we make sure they are an accurate depiction of our products. We have state-of-the-art security for processing transactions, customer-focused shipping and return policies, and we hand inspect every one of our products.
Is jewelry very personal for you?
Absolutely. My love for jewelry started in my early teens, a combination of scouring my mom’s jewelry box and being obsessed with the costume jewelry at Contempo Casuals. The first thing I look for on vacation is jewelry, and I always look for pieces that represent the city or place I’m visiting. My jewelry box is filled with personal stories that I love to re-live and share.
What is the difference between a sentimental piece and a statement piece?
A sentimental piece feels like an extension of you, evoking a strong emotion every time you look at it or wear it. A statement piece is more connected with your fashion sense…statement jewelry should always boost your confidence.
Do you currently have a sentimental piece or a statement piece on constant rotation?
Years ago, my late grandmother gave me a gold tassel chain bracelet and I’ve been wearing it with everything. I love it because I often wear it next to newer pieces, and the old and new make a beautiful contrast…and, of course, it reminds me of her.
How do you balance well known designers with lesser known designers?
My focus is always to find beautiful, well-made jewelry. Sometimes that hunt leads me to new designers, which is extremely exciting. In the end, I want to present a collection of designers who are masters in their craft and who create unforgettable pieces.
Do designers create one-of-a-kind pieces for you?
We do have a few one-of-a-kind pieces in the boutique, like Parme Marin’s “drop by drop” necklace featured in Paris Vogue. Over time, my goal is to collaborate more closely with our designers to create exclusive one-of-a-kind pieces that are truly unique and inspirational.
Is it difficult being based in Orange County? What’s the fashion community like there?
Orange County is home to internationally recognized South Coast Plaza and many extraordinary boutiques like A’maree’s in Newport Beach. Between LA and Orange County, there is definitely access to fashion on the West Coast. But, nothing can replace connecting with designers, visiting showrooms and feeling the energy of the industry, so I definitely look forward to my trips to New York, Paris, Italy…
Do you plan to add other types of accessories or ready to wear to the site?
The focus of the boutique is definitely jewelry, but we do plan on expanding our accessories and home décor offerings. In the Fall, we will be adding two European scarf collections, expanding our selection of clutches and introducing more decorative objects for the home.
You seem to have a very unique and specific eye for things, who are your favorite designers?
Prada shoes fit my wardrobe and lifestyle perfectly. As for clothing, some of my favorites include Marni, A.L.C., Isabel Marant and Chloe. I discovered Cotélac on a recent trip to New York and I love their laid-back style for the weekend.