Get to Know Daniela Villegas of Daniela Villegas

Hollywood, Calif.–based jewelry designer Daniela Villegas of Daniela Villegas casts lighthearted nature motifs in gold with vibrant gemstones.

Jewelry designer Daniela Villegas

Daniela Villegas of Daniela Villegas

Headquarters: Hollywood, Calif.

Year firm launched: 2009

Signature style: “I combine precious metals and symbolism from nature—including insects and animal motifs—to wear and radiate happiness, light, and love.”

Training, education, and design process: My great-grandmother used to collect jewelry and I used to play with her pieces all the time; I was fascinated with the colors, light, and the way there where made. I studied fashion and jewelry design in Mexico City, although I feel that most of my training has been in the shops, constantly being engaged in the making of each piece. I have been making jewelry for seven years, sketch the designs myself, and make the jewelry with the help of a talented team. There are very few components that I use off the shelf; in fact, 98 percent of what I do is from scratch, and 90 percent of my pieces are one-of-a-kinds. I use many different manufacturing methods—cast or fabricated—according to what is best for the piece, and my jewelry is made in the U.S.”

Materials of choice: “I work in 18k gold in all colors. I love the energy of this metal, and platinum when appropriate. My favorite gemstones are ruby and opal. The ruby ??is considered the most powerful stone, symbolizing love and pleasure; its energy gives you the courage to follow your dreams, motivates you, and reminds us how precious human beings are. Opal is a symbol of authenticity and fidelity and stimulates creativity. The play of colors of the opal reflects emotions and mood swings of people. They are like human emotions: Whenever we experience something new or in a different way; opal is my good luck charm.

“I love diamonds, too, as they are the most precious of the gemstones. A diamond is considered a magical stone of great power. It is said to enhance all the energies in the body, mind and spirit, and supplements the energy of other gemstones.”

Starting retail price: $500 in 18k gold

Retailer buy-in: “It depends, but in general it’s $5,000.”

Accounts: “Currently—and thankfully!—three, including Roseark in Los Angeles, Fivestory in New York City, and Ikram in Chicago. I also have four international accounts, including Jade Jewellery in Saudi Arabia.”

Jewelry trade show exhibits: “None this year.”

Awards received: “Last year I won an award as one of the top 30 most influential women in Mexico, each in different field. However, the love and support I have received makes me feel like I am always being awarded.”