Melissa Kaye of Melissa Kaye Fine Jewelry is far from your typical jewelry designer. The New York City–based artist has an undergraduate degree in computer science and engineering from MIT and a master’s degree in computational finance from Carnegie Mellon University, and she spent 10 years as a quantitative strategist for companies such as Goldman Sachs. She abandoned the numbers game to pursue her lifelong passion, completing a two-year jewelry design program at FIT, studying both design and bench work. “I do all the design work and most of the CAD work and model making,” she explains. “Production is all completed locally in New York under my supervision.” She debuted her 18k collection, which has a fitting signature style of geometry and natural patterns like honeycombs, last year, “bringing a modern edge to classic shapes,” she adds.
Starting retail price: $770 in 18k gold
Accounts: None to date
Trade fairs: None to date
Retailer buy-in: None to date
Accolades: She is the 2013 NICHE Awards student recipient for Fashion Jewelry, as well as the winner of the Next Generation Award for Fine Jewelry from the Accessories Council and FIT, and has a lot of press clips.
Contact: Melissa Kaye, 917-573-0388
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