Get to Know Kara Ackerman of Kara Ackerman Designs

JCK catches up
with New York City–based jewelry designer Kara Ackerman of Kara Ackerman Designs, who dishes on her eponymous line’s vital
statistics.

Kara Ackerman of Kara Ackerman Designs

Kara Ackerman

 

JCK: In a
sentence or two, describe your signature style.

Kara Ackerman: Classic,
clean lines with subtle embellishments and a contemporary twist that makes
pieces wearable for all ages. I do a lot in black diamonds, oxidized metals,
and pavé. All of my collections are named after important people in my life.
For example, my Lilly collection is named after my niece when she was born
seven years ago, and those pieces have a whimsical look. My Judie collection is
named after my Mom, and are classic and simple pieces made in gold vermeil.

 

JCK: How long
have you been designing fine jewelry?

KA: 15 years

 

JCK: Do you
sketch designs for someone else to create the jewelry, make the jewelry
yourself, or supervise others who make it??

KA: I sketch my
designs, and use a computer program to generate wax models, and then oversee its
creation in my workshop. Many of my model castings are done overseas and then put
together in New York City.

 

JCK: Where is the
jewelry made?

KA: New
York, India, Italy and Hong Kong.

 

JCK: What is your
jewelry training and education?

KA: Self taught,
and I also studied gemology at the GIA in Carlsbad, Calif.

 

JCK: Is your
jewelry cast or fabricated?

KA: Both.

 

JCK: What metals
do you work in?

KA: 24 karat green
gold, 18 karat, 14 karat, 12 karat, 10 karat yellow and white, vermeil, sterling silver, and platinum.
I used to work exclusively in platinum and high-karat gold, but had to reinvent
my image and brand five years ago when metals and diamond prices started
rising; that was the first time I worked in silver.

 

JCK: What stones
do you work with and why?

KA: Both semi- and
precious stones for color and price variety

 

JCK: How
many U.S. accounts do you currently have?

KA: Ten,
including Holli Jewelers in Ketchum, Idaho, and Gloria Jewel in Bridgehampton, N.Y. 

 

JCK: How many
international accounts do you have?

KA: Zero.

 

JCK: What jewelry
shows do you exhibit in? 

KA: New York International
Gift Fair
.


JCK: What is your
starting retail price for each metal you work in?

KA: $35 in
sterling silver;  $400 and up for all
gold; $3,000 and up for platinum.

 

JCK: What’s hot
now?

KA: I introduced a new Brooke collection in leather and gold plate for fall, and one of my
accounts in East Hampton, who’s already started stocking it, sold out of 12
units in one day. It’s a great price point—pieces retail for $125—for a
necklace-bracelet combination in silver and gold vermeil. Styles come in tan
leather with yellow gold, black leather with silver, and chocolate leather with
rose gold.

 

Brooke ring in gold plated silver and white topaz by Kara Ackerman Designs

Brooke Ring in gold-plated sterling silver with white topaz;
$200

Brooke leather bracelet with silver accents from Kara Ackerman 
Designs

Brooke black hand-stitched leather wraparound bracelet
measures 15 inches unwrapped and can be worn with a choker, complete
with
charm; $125

Judie pearls by Kara Ackerman Designs

64-inch Judie strand of Chinese freshwater pearls are
available in white, grey, pink, peacock, and copper; $150

gold and champagne diamond earrings by Kara Ackerman Designs

Classic pavé Audrey diamond stud earring in 18k high-polish
rose with 1 ct. t.w. rose-cut, champagne-color diamonds; $1,600