Gem fanatic, frequent flier, woman of the world
When we caught up with Tamara Comolli, she was in Hong Kong (presumably foraging for unique gemstones). The designer—who resides in Lake Tegernsee, Germany, and has a second home in Naples, Fla.—was born in Munich and spent her childhood in Spain, France, and Gibraltar. Her jewelry is as varied as her travels: button-shape rings in amethyst, aqua chalcedony, and carnelian; casual leather wrap bracelets; luxe rose, yellow, and white gold rings and chains; acorn pendants (her signature) in peridot, prehnite, mandarin garnet, ocean jasper, and just about every other colored stone you can imagine. A lesson from Comolli, who studied—and spent five years working in—advertising: “Stick to your signature and leave a trace.”
Comolli and her cocker spaniel Toni
Number of years in the biz: 23
Number of employees you oversee: 40
Family and pets: One beloved son, Tim, and two cocker spaniels, Theo and Toni.
Describe your personal style: Casual luxury with a tendency to edgy.
First piece you ever designed: A bracelet with leather and sliding gems.
Mikado Flamenco candy bracelet
The single piece of jewelry you’re most proud of: My Snowflakes Leaf pendant. It won the De Beers Diamond award.
Current favorite gemstone: Paraiba tourmaline.
Best piece of advice you ever received: From my mother, who always supported me: “Do what you believe in.”
Worst piece of advice: From my father: “Do not bother with jewelry. You can’t make a living.”
The Snowflakes Leaf
First job ever: Marketing consulting.
How did you get started designing jewelry? I grew up in a glamorous environment, with my father running a casino in Gibraltar. Back then, women would dress up in their robes and jewels to go there. This sparkling world fascinated me. My mother took me to those Indian bazaars in Gibraltar looking for sari silk material and matching gems. The Indian influence, I believe, formed my love for bracelets and colors.
Mikado Bouquet pendants
If you weren’t designing jewelry, what would you be doing? Gardening or designing tunics.
Jewelry you’re wearing right now: Always my signature drop ring and my Snowflakes Leaf pendant, casual on a thin leather string.
Items on your desk right now: Vitamins (love Airborne), stacks of papers sorted by priority, a picture of Tim, the layout of my upcoming journal to be reviewed, an online order box with pants for my son, and a loupe.
Curriculum Vitae rings
Songs on your playlist: “Que Sera Sera,” Doris Day; “Happy,” Pharrell Williams; “La Forêt,” Lescop; “Budapest,” George Ezra; “The Wizard of Us,” Andhim.
Exercise regimen: Should do it, almost never do it; told my trainer to not accept excuses.
What did you have for breakfast? A large glass of warm water, then after 20 minutes, cereal, bread with butter and raspberry jam, and a coffee.
The Signature bracelet
Guilty pleasure: Stay home, don’t talk to anybody, don’t answer the phone, and download an old-fashioned movie.
Drink (daytime/evening): Ginger tea.
First website you check every day (not your own!): WWD.com.
Scent: Secret…has vanilla in it.
How do you unwind? On my mountain bike, with the two dogs in the forest.
Superstitious? Very, very, very.
Book you’re reading: Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and the Marriage of the Century.
Book you’ve been meaning to get to: The Circle, by Dave Eggers.
Preferred news source: I still read newspapers—the old-fashioned way!—and when traveling turn on CNN for a quick update.
Main means of transportation: My VW Touareg car—reliable, strong, safe, room for mess.
Favorite movie: English Vinglish.
Who would play you in your life story? Hilary Swank.
Personal motto: “Wait and see.”