New York City-based jewelry designer Lisa Nikfarjam of Lisa Nik, uses bold gemstone cuts, rose gold, and subtle stylized heart effects to create a signature style.
Jewelry designer Lisa Nikfarjam
Headquarters: New York City
Year firm launched: 2009
Signature style: “Our retailers tell us that our jewelry stands out for three reasons: our bold gemstones and signature stone cuts, our use of rose gold, and the S and the A in Lisa form a heart shape in the Lisa Nik logo—so there is a small heart detail contained in each item to symbolize the love and passion that is shared when jewelry is passed from one person to the next. For example, it can be in the prongs so it’s not in your face. Our Rocks Collection contains signature stone cuts that cause greater light reflections to occur against the rose gold increasing the intensity of the color.”
Training, education, and design process: “I started working in the jewelry industry 18 years ago, and obtained a Graduate Gemology degree from the GIA. During an 11-and-a-half-year career helping build an Italian luxury brand, I was able to participate in the product development of many best sellers sold internationally, and was involved in the creative process of private label projects for major retailers. It was during this experience that I learned that the product design process was in fact my true passion.
“I created the Lisa Nik collection in 2009 after spending several months in development searching for the right colored gemstones, and deciding which motifs and metals would best represent the customers needs while maintaining a consistent design aesthetic for the brand.
“I use pencil, charcoal, and pastel drawings to communicate the design concepts of all our current collections to our skilled and experienced artisans, who then convert them into CAD renderings and manufacture them, unless we go directly into production from a drawing.
“We make all our own findings and components including chains and clasps, and you will find the LN trademark stamped into each piece as well as the little heart on the end of all our chains. Our jewelry is both cast and fabricated, and our collections are primarily made in the United States.”
Materials of choice: “We work primarily in 18k rose gold, although we also have a collection called Colors that is made using colored stone doublets and sterling silver. We started the collection focusing on colored gemstones in the quartz family and aquamarines, combined with diamonds and set in 18k rose gold. We chose these stones because they offer a strong and bold color statement to the consumer while maintaining an accessible price point for a daily fashion purchase. Since then, we have become known for our interesting stone cuts and vivid colored stone rings, and we have also expanded the collection to include one-of-a-kind pieces using tourmaline, peridot, sapphire, ruby, and emerald, which are intended for a higher-end purchase.”
Starting retail price: “Our starting price point is $180 for our Heart and Twist chain in sterling silver, and we cover a range of price points—up to $10,000—for our diamond chains. Then, we continuously create special one-of-a-kind pieces for up to $40,000.”
Retailer buy-in: “Right now, we don’t dictate a demanding a buy-in, although we find that most of our partners that purchase $30,000 to $50,000 wholesale experience the greatest results with the collection, since this enables them to create a full in-case presentation including all the color options and expressing variety. Customers tend to play with our colored pieces when they are all shown together.”
Accounts: “We have 40 doors in the United States including Bachendorf’s in Dallas, and our collection is also available at select Bloomingdale’s. We are currently working with 10 international accounts including Gandelman in Aruba.”
Jewelry trade show exhibits: “In 2013, we will exhibit at Centurion Jewelry in Scottsdale, Ariz., Couture, and Centurion South Beach, as well as meeting with clients at our new office location in Chelsea.”