A Q&A with Alexis Kletjian

By Kelly Hockenberry, Columnist, The Times

If you have been a follower of Read My Lipgloss for a while, you know that I enjoy writing about my love for accessories. In fact, I rarely post a Super Six that doesn’t include some sort of bauble. This week, I am featuring the spectacular creations of award winning, fine jewelry designer Alexis Kletjian…just in time for Mother’s Day gift giving! (a not so subtle hint, fellas).

I had the opportunity to interview Alexis and I’m thrilled to share the details:

  1. Tell us a bit about your personal history

I grew up surrounded by craftsman. I was exposed to entrepreneurs, so I always knew I would be responsible for my own path. I pursued a career in fashion design. Throughout the years of studying design and its relation to scale, I developed a critical eye for what sets apart good design from great design, which I use everyday in jewelry design where scale is pivotal. Eventually my love for collecting

and curating jewelry surpassed my love of fashion, and I knew it was time to begin a new chapter. I have always been driven to create a life full of love and passion, and jewelry represents that to me.

  1. How did Alexis Kletjian Jewelry come to be?

I’ve always wanted an everyday bangle stack to represent my life, however, I could never find anything that fit my wrists. In 2011 I created the first bangle to fill my own needs, and the classic, solid gold, slip on bangle is a bestseller today!

  1. What are your main sources of inspiration?

I am inspired by everything; however, fine antiques, museums, and interior design are a constant source of inspiration because they create emotion and reflection, which spark the ideas for design.

  1. Can you describe the process of creating a piece of jewelry from conceptualization to finished product?

Each design has a different process and journey, so this is a difficult and long winded answer! The process for a finished heirloom-worthy piece can take weeks, even months, if we are sourcing your gemstones through the mine to market channels.

Sometimes I am choosing a piece of rough mineral and then it is cut specifically for my design, or I will see a gemstone while on a sourcing trip and the completed design instantly pops into my head. Other times, I may have a gemstone so special that I wait for just the right collector.

But, long before a piece finds her forever home, my jewelry is either hand-fabricated, or prototyped using the latest technology. I work with socially responsible precious metals, diamonds and gemstones, as well as work with people whom I adore and trust to bring my visions to life.

  1. What is the best thing about your job?

There are so many wonderful things. My job is more than selling a piece of fine jewelry. I love to hear your stories, and to help you celebrate your life and your love through fine jewelry. I am incredibly humbled when something I’ve designed is chosen to become part of one’s story.

  1. What is the most challenging?

Time can be the biggest challenge. I work quickly for my collectors, but occasionally time isn’t on our side. The designs that are savored on the bench are the ones that last forever, not the one you are in a rush to get on your finger for the weekend.

  1. Do you have a favorite piece of jewelry in your collection? If so, which one?

No. It’s like choosing a favorite child! All of my bangles are favorites, but I have a few irreplaceable antique pieces I would be very sad to part with. I may not wear certain items for months or years, but I enjoy finding and creating special pieces. And, I hoard charms.

  1. What does a day in the life of Alexis look like?

It is not glamourous. I start each day caffeinated with a to-do list, accomplishing tasks ranging from mom duties to running my own brand (by myself, in pajamas) but the largest part of my everyday is communicating and sourcing with my collectors via social media and email on their pieces, their life, and overall well-being. After a piece goes home, it is rarely the end of our communication.

  1. If you could peer into a crystal ball, what would the future hold for Alexis Kletjian Jewelry?

I would really love to open a luxurious showroom. I have a very specific vision that is different from anything I’ve ever seen, so hopefully the future will grant this wish!

  1. If you could only wear three pieces of jewelry for the rest of your life, what would they be?

The three pieces that I could wear everyday represent wonderful milestones in my life : My engagement ring, a 10th anniversary Cartier watch, and an Oscar bangle from my made-to-order line. I like that I don’t need a mirror to see my three favorite memories!

OH the talent!!!! I am so inspired by artisans who have the ability to channel their passion and creative juices into beautiful works of art. I agree with Alexis, jewelry should be personal and represent time honored traditions and special events. I know that I have a few pieces that I wear every single day and can’t imagine being without.

Of course, I must take the opportunity to tell you MY favorites from the Alexis Kletjian Collection (just in case my husband is reading): the hexagon eternity ring, classic bangle, skull cuff, and the single star necklace. They are listed in no particular order as I could literally NOT pick a favorite. They are all that spectacular. Truly. Check out the gorgeous website here: http://www.alexiskletjian.com/

Follow Alexis on Facebook at Alexis Kletjian Jewelry and Instagram at @alexiskletjian

Happy Weekend!

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