Blogs: On Your Market / Designers

Q&A: Emily P. Wheeler on Her Collaboration With Super Smalls


Children’s jewelry has long been considered a niche market generally—baby bracelets and birthstones are some of the first items that come to mind.

But brands like Super Smalls, which was founded in 2019 by Maria Dueñas Jacobs, are changing that. With jewelry and accessories intended for ages 3–13, Super Smalls gives kids the opportunity to express themselves like any jewelry lover would—and as a jewelry editor with two super small girls, might I just say they couldn’t have come at a better time.

Jeweler Emily P. Wheeler has made the line even more covetable by bringing her signature design to the children’s accessories. Wheeler’s collaboration with Super Smalls offers the ultimate mama-and-me family matching opportunity: a popular Super Smalls piece for the little one, and a full-size unique fine jewelry version for the grown-up, to complement the mini.

JCK had a few questions for Wheeler about her work with Super Smalls, how becoming a mom has affected her business, and her plans for Jewelry Week in Las Vegas.

Emily P Wheeler unicorn necklace
One-of-a-kind unicorn pendant in 18k yellow gold with freshwater pearls, white agate, 5.55 cts. t.w. sapphire, and 0.25 ct. t.w. rubies, $24,000

How did the collaboration come about? 

Super Smalls and my own brand share the same whimsy-meets-luxury perspective. The only difference is our target audiences—though we both have very keen admirers on the opposite end of the age spectrum. I’ve been a follower of Super Smalls since they launched in 2019, and when I first saw their Magic Unicorn pendant, I knew we had to make something out of our joint philosophies. I reached out to Maria, and it all came together very naturally.

The pieces I created for the collaboration were based on Super Smalls’ best sellers but elevated with precious materials. The integrity of each design is still Super Smalls at its core, but I added my own signature touches like ombré sapphires and hard stones like tiger’s eye, agate, and turquoise.

Emily P Wheeler lock pendant
Heart lock necklace in 18k yellow gold with turquoise, 0.08 ct. ruby, 0.53 ct. t.w. sapphire, 0.08 ct. peridot, 0.2 ct. amethyst, and 0.1 ct. t.w. diamonds, $7,900

What has been the reactions to the new releases?

The reception has been amazing! We celebrated the launch with a Mother’s Day event in L.A., and it was so fun to see moms and kids together enjoying and twinning in our pieces. We’ve also had an enthusiastic response on social. I mean, how can you see bejeweled four-leaf clovers and unicorns, and not smile?

You welcomed a little one not too long ago (congratulations and happy belated Mother’s Day!). Has designing jewelry changed for you since becoming a mom?

My Bernadette collection is dedicated to my daughter, Byrdie—it debuted at Couture last year, just after she was born. The collection is a celebration of female empowerment, so it was particularly fitting and important for it to come into the world at the same time as my daughter. In true Emily P. Wheeler fashion, the pieces are unapologetically feminine, and I hope that my work teaches her to embrace her identity.

Beyond designing, the impact of our work has become even more important. Since I started the brand, it’s been my mission to create jewelry that is as responsible and sustainable as possible. I’ve always felt we have a responsibility to do our part to better our industry and the planet, and it’s all for the generation my daughter is a part of and those that follow.

Emily P Wheeler unicorn pendant
One-of-a-kind unicorn pendant in 18k yellow gold with black agate, 5.24 cts. t.w. sapphire, and 1.54 cts. t.w. rubies, $28,000

I’m a sucker for anything mama-and-me, especially when the kids are still too small to be embarrassed by me. Do you design any jewelry with your child in mind?

Byrdie is so little that I haven’t created anything for her to wear right now (I leave that to Super Smalls), but I definitely design pieces with the hope that she’ll want to wear them when she’s older.

What are you most looking forward at Las Vegas Jewelry Week?

I’m excited to debut my new Rebels collection at Couture this year. It’s a throwback to my teens in the ’90s—think: black silk cord chokers, pink and green color blocking, and of course more ombré.

Top: Super Smalls’ Lucky Streak four-leaf clover necklace (left, $34) and Emily P. Wheeler’s fine jewelry version (right), a clover necklace in 18k yellow gold with 3.48 cts. t.w. sapphire and crystal quartz, $9,800

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By: Brittany Siminitz

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