There is a wonderful quote from Elizabeth Taylor, the quintessential queen of diamonds, in which she described her vast collection of jewelry as more beloved than simply racked up over the years. "I've never thought of my jewelry as trophies. I'm here to take care of it and to love it, for we are only temporary custodians of beauty."
That is, of course, unless you create your own jewelry! Enter LA's own Bonnie Star, the stylish artist and founder of Bonnie Star Jewelry, who creates every accessory under the sun for men and women alike when it comes to bracelets, necklaces, cuffs, and even engagement rings. Today, she gave me some of her insight on how the design process works, what inspires her collections, and why men need their own jewelry line too!
Hillary Gadsby: What drew you to designing jewelry and what was the first piece you ever made?
Bonnie Star: I started making jewelry for myself to wear for special events that were unique and stood out – the first piece I made was a ribbon wrapped chain with a round jeweled pendant a fun chic piece that was very elegant with an edge. I went to a garden party at the Bel Air hotel and a woman bought it off my neck - and the hotel bought my first collection the next day!
HG: You create jewelry for both men and women – what inspires your collections and goes on behind the scenes in the design process?
BS: For women’s jewelry, I love to create pieces that I would want to wear and to offer woman chic and multifunctional pieces that they feel great wearing. My men’s collection was created to answer the call of my male friends saying there was nothing fabulous for them to buy and of course, the privilege of being able to offer men commitment engagement and wedding bands that are beautiful and have a message. The design process varies for me, as I’m inspired by shapes, colors, and often vintage jewelry.
HG: As a designer, what’s one of the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome in business?
BS: The biggest one came early in the beginning when I realized I had to run a business and not just design and create jewelry. That’s only one small aspect of the overall work that goes into owning your own company!
HG: What kind of shoe are you most like and why?
BS: I am most like a well-loved pair of Pradas with a hidden platform in an unexpected color – sexy, comfortable and classic.
HG: What three pieces of jewelry should every woman in business have as accessory staples?
BS: 1) A cuff looks great with a suit or a tee shirt. It can also be worn on top of the sleeve over a button down shirt.
2) A multifunctional necklace that is super long with a toggle that can be double lopped around the neck or worn long depending on the outfit.
3) One special piece that a woman always wears such as a ring that is timeless and goes with everything – you don’t have to think about it and never need to take it off.