Get to Know Mary Esses of Mary Esses Jewelry

New York City–based designer Mary Esses of Mary Esses Jewelry, who originally hails from Brazil, favors feminine looks and fabric texturing.

Mary Esses of Mary Esses Jewelry

Jewelry designer Mary Esses

Headquarters: New York City

Year firm launched: 2004

Signature style: “Jewelry finished with hand-sculpted texturing that replicates fabric—like lace, silk, and woven or threaded effects.”

Training, education, and design process: “I originally got a degree in marketing and advertising from Escola Superior de Propaganda e Marketing in São Paulo, and then worked numerous jobs in promotions and retail—as well as running my own school for arts and crafts and teaching ceramics—before a friend suggested I try making jewelry. I did and enjoyed it, and started taking courses of goldsmithing, wax carving, jewelry design, and stone-cutting at Studio Duo in São Paulo. I have now been designing fine jewelry for 13 years.

“In 2002, I moved with my husband to the U.S., where my signature fabric texture evolved out of a bittersweet mix passion and necessity: I was still producing my jewelry in Brazil, but a few robberies by mail persuaded me to craft more pieces at the bench myself. The more I sculpted pieces in wax, the more my style became apparent. The fabric aesthetic made sense, too, because I wanted to bring something new and fresh to jewelry, and I was essentially tailoring jewelry at the bench. Now all of my designs have my signature fabric texture, with parts cast from the ones I sculpt on the bench and finalized through sketches given to a goldsmith here in the U.S.”

Materials of choice: “I work in 18k gold, silver, brass, and all precious stones. I love the variety and the look of each one.”

Jewelry trade show exhibits: Couture

Accounts: “I have six domestic accounts, including Neiman Marcus and Skibell Fine Jewelry in Dallas, and two international accounts, including Mantovani in Caracas, Venezuela.”

Awards: “One of my designs was a finalist for the Couture 2013 Design Awards; My Lace bracelet took second runner-up in the Gold category.”

Starting suggested retail prices: $640 in gold; $260 in silver

Retailer Buy-in:There isn’t—store owners know what works best for their store and clientele.”