Posted on September 17, 2013
Former fashion editor Dana Kellin of Dana Kellin Jewelry takes pride in making an affordable, wire-wrapped collection of fine jewelry.
Company principals: Dana Kellin (designer) and Elizabeth Kellin (co-owner)
Headquarters: Los Angeles
Year firm launched: 1994 with a fashion line; debuted a fine jewelry line in 2012
Signature style: “Our very precise and labor-intensive, handmade, largely wire-wrapped technique lends a raw yet refined quality to our jewelry. It’s feminine and modern yet timeless, layerable, sexy, and wearable.”
Training, education, and design process: “Jewelry design has always been a hobby, but it became a passion when I was the West Coast fashion editor/bureau chief at WWD and W. I would come into New York City frequently and stay in the Midtown area near work, which is also the location of the bead district. I became obsessed with the limitless selection and with the infinite possibilities and I spent every spare moment tinkering with beads and wire until it evolved into a concept for a line.
All of our jewelry is made in our studio by our staff, which has trained for years in order to master our technique. Often, I will sketch, make a first sample, or demonstrate a new technique and ask my staff to fabricate it. With handmade jewelry it's a lot of trial and error, particularly with our standard of quality!
Everything we make is handmade in the U.S., and while we make our ear wires and some clasps, our chains and various other findings are bought through suppliers.
This year, we took part in our second Couture show and we were thrilled with the response. Many stores commented that our styling and price point address an important emerging market for them: fashion/fine. Buyers were pleased to have found a collection that their customers could buy on impulse and that they could layer affordably. My partner, Elizabeth Kellin, and I found it delightful to work with buyers who care so much about workmanship and quality, as well as ethical design and business practices. We are equally concerned with keeping our line exclusive through close monitoring of distribution.”
Materials of choice: “We work in 14k gold and sterling silver, with mainly diamond beads for their raw yet sparkly quality, durability, and their diminutive size. The smaller the bead, the greater the opportunity for detail. We also use a wide variety of precious and semiprecious stones and pearls. I love mixing a multitude of components to give a piece dimension and intrigue.”
Jewelry trade show exhibits: “We exhibit at Couture in Las Vegas, and at the ENK Accessorie Circuit in New York City.”
Accounts: “We have at least 50 U.S. accounts, including Stanley Korshak in Dallas and Fragments in New York City. And we have approximately five international accounts, including some in Japan.”
Starting retail price: “It is $250, but the bulk of it is between $500–$1,000.”
Retailer buy-in: $3,500
Necklace in 14k gold with black rutilated quartz, $1,335
Pendant necklace in 14k gold with labradorite, sapphires, and diamonds, $1,555
Bracelet in 14k gold with white chalcedony, $1,615
Bracelet in 14k gold with sterling silver chains and diamonds, $1,890
Earrings in 14k gold with gray and black diamonds, $2,670
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