Famed Australian jewelry designer Jennifer Reeves, who now resides in Salt Lake City, is the mastermind behind Jennifer Reeves Designs http://jreevesdesigns.com which is taking over the globe!
Inspired by Australia’s most awe-inspiring elements, Jennifer channels her appreciation for nature’s most extraordinary gifts and her belief that every woman is innately bestowed an alluring strength into her jewelry creations. Her jewelry has been seen on countless celebrities and each piece also pays homage to the organic materials of the world’s regions.
The Levity Ball was lucky enough to speak with Jennifer to find out more about why everyone can’t stop talking about her designs, especially her new Fiery Australian Opals collection…
How did you first get started in the jewelry industry?
When I was living in Australia, at one stage of my career, I bought and ran a flower shop. I had so much fun running the business, and my inner creativity surfaced. It was the best training ground to explore colors, dimensions & textures. Little did I know at the time, this was the foundation of what was to come. Further along, I moved to another city and got a job with a big corporate company, but deep down I was longing for a different path. I started to play with beads & pearl and created something for myself at nights. Every lady in the office wanted to buy the piece off my neck. I started to sell the pieces to them and the local jewelry shop, the rest is history.
Who were some of your role models growing up and one’s today?
When I was growing up, Helen Keller was my model. She was born in Alabama, she became blind & deaf at age of 6. Through her hard work and dedication, she got her bachelor of arts in 1904. She later became a famous author, political activist and author. We learned about her in our social study in school, there was a short story about her, and I memorized every words in that book. Today, my role models are Sheryl Sandberg, chief operational officer and director of Facebook, and Jennifer Lopez. Of course these two ladies came from different background and in different industry, but they have something in common, they are mothers, they are not afraid of hard work, they are fearless, and they are high achievers. Yes, as women, we can do it all.
Was it difficult to make the move from Australia to America (now living in Salt Lake City)?
I am very adaptable, I always enjoy challenges. Australian & American share very similar culture, social issues, free market and democratic politics. Through my work, I go back to Australia to source gemstones from time to time, best of all I get to see my family there and friends.
How does it feel now seeing your jewelry on Hollywood stars?
I love it. I’ve met many of them during recent events in Los Angeles, and have found them very approachable and not assuming. I’ve even become Facebook friends with some of them because of our mutual respect for each other’s craft.
Your “Fiery Australian Opals” collection is a hit! Tell us what this collection means to you?
It means a great deal to me. Firstly, the main Gemstone I use in the collection is ‘Boulder Opal’, these stones were buried for millions of years in the desert of Queensland Australia, my home town! Secondly, this is one of the rare treasures the universe has created for us. Apart from its beautiful intense colors and unique patterns, Boulder Opal jewelry is so versatile to wear both for women & men. I am proud to present this collection to the world.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
Well, I haven’t had advice from people. But I do have advice for myself, Keep it going, any obstacles you encounter will make you stronger’ and ‘Listen to what your clients want’.
What is your advice to others looking at getting into the jewelry and fashion world?
Follow your passion and heart, don’t listen to people’s negativity, but listen to people’s encouragement. When people pay compliments your designs or products, take it in, enjoy the complements and keep striving to get even better.
What do you feel makes your jewelry different than others?
Jennifer cares. Each piece is created with love and integrity. I use gemstone from all corners of the world, some of them very rare. I want my clients to wear my jewelry and have smile on their face; in the meantime, I want to make it adorable and affordable.
Where do you see yourself and your company in three years from now?
Well, you can never predict future. But I would like to see my jewelry has more online presence, be on some exquisite online stores, and also in great department stores or jewelry stores cross the states.
Random last question: Are you sad that there aren’t many Kangaroos living in Salt Lake City?
Yes and no. I am sad I can’t see kangaroos hopping on the streets (joke, in Australia, you only see them in the zoo or on the roads in the outback), but glad they are not in Salt Lake City, they would not like being in snow in the winter for sure!