I just lately related with numerous retailers, designers, and sellers who attended the Tucson gem shows and spent a number of days exploring its many-splendored, many-tendriled nooks and crannies in the hunt for the cool, uncommon, and drop-dead attractive. I’ll be recapping their favourite finds within the subsequent subject of JCK (it is going to be out there at Luxury and JCK Las Vegas in June).
Amongst these we interviewed is Laura Kitsos, proprietor of the Gem Jewelry Boutique in Oak Park, In poor health. I’ve but to go to her retailer, however based mostly on what I see on Instagram, I can say she is a combination grasp extraordinaire: There’s an abundance of well-chosen inexpensive items by Gigi Clozeau and designers I’ve by no means heard of (the mark of her sharp eye) alongside deluxe gemmy designs from Polly Wales and Jill Hoffmeister. I additionally like the best way she diversifies her merchandise, mixing in books and candles and, extra just lately, ornamental crystals for the house.
“I went into this 12 months’s Tucson gem present with excessive expectations, as I knew this was going to be the ‘12 months the present got here again,’ says Kitsos. “I used to be capable of attend virtually each present together with GJX, AGTA, Pueblo, twenty second Road, Kino, and all of the GL&W exhibits together with Holidome. I additionally went Melee’s Tucson version and the African Village out of doors market 3 times!
“I used to be nervous that my crystal pals from Brazil and my scarab seller from Egypt wouldn’t be attending because of journey restrictions, so I used to be tremendous excited once I did see the Brazilian guys,” she provides. “Sadly, nobody has heard from the ‘scarab man’ since 2020. Type of cryptic, perhaps he simply retired!”
Kitsos says she had no set price range in thoughts and a few fundamental wants to satisfy reminiscent of chains, beads to rework into necklaces, and a cache of crystal specimens, which has turn into rising class in her boutique.
Scooped up on the present: Brazilian quartz and agate in an array of shapes like mushrooms and hearts…and, ahem, phalluses. “Spheres are all the time well-liked as are labradorite slabs and black tourmaline chunks,” she says. “Since I drove this 12 months, I got here residence with greater than standard, so I used to be much less restricted in what I might purchase.”
Completed jewellery was additionally on her record of priorities. And for that she attended the Tucson version of Melee the Show. “It was held in a beautiful Tucson resort referred to as the Stillwell Home and numerous the designers had been new and recent; numerous strains I’d by no means seen in New York,” she says.
“Pamela Zamore and her new Pharos line of fortunate charms solid in 18k gold really feel recent, wearable, and but not like many fortunate allure items which can be throughout Instagram in the present day.”
At Melee, Kitsos was additionally capable of see Petaluma, Calif.–based mostly The Sacred Order. “Designer Wendy Wagner’s jewellery is stunningly lovely, that includes spider motifs and different Victorian symbols, promising the wearer a endlessly funding locket or ring with hand-engraved particulars set with rose-cut diamonds and garnets,” says Kitsos. “I completely cherished her line.”
Her favourite discovery—the “the star of the present”—was a jewellery designer she’d by no means heard of earlier than: Sophie Theakston out of London. “In the intervening time we met, I felt like we had been pals endlessly,” says Kitsos. “Her jewellery is totally royal, along with her personal 18k gold alloy that nearly resembles a inexperienced gold in coloration and all my favourite motifs reminiscent of hamsas, mudra palms, and protecting eyes. She makes use of pure quartz crystals captured in 18k gold that dangle from a series, making the necklace appear each bohemian and opulent on the identical second, and polki diamond necklaces and earrings which can be elegant and but good for on a regular basis. I truthfully haven’t been this excited a few line shortly. Her work makes you are feeling goddess-like—that’s one of the best abstract of her work.”
Choosing up a private jewel or memento is an element and parcel of most jewellery execs’ travels to the Tucson exhibits—you recognize it while you see it. “This 12 months I actually stopped useless in my tracks once I stumbled upon a seller of vintage deity jewellery from India,” says Kitsos. “I noticed this pendant within the case and informed myself it doesn’t matter what I used to be shopping for it.”
Pictured under, it’s a Nineteenth-century pendant of Shrinathji within the type of Vishnu fabricated from 23k gold utilizing the thewa course of, which fuses 23k gold with glass.
“Upon extra analysis, I discovered that this deity is called ‘the Preserver,’ and Vishnu is the supreme being who creates, protects, and transforms the universe,” provides Kitsos. “I simply thought it was lovely, and it’s now my protecting amulet.”
High: Snapshots from Laura Kitsos’ adventures on the 2022 Tucson gem exhibits, the place she left no stone unturned in the hunt for distinctive finds for her Oak Park, In poor health. retailer, Gem Jewellery Boutique (all pictures besides designer pack photographs courtesy of Laura Kitsos).
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