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