Robindira Unsworth of the same-name jewelry design firm is inspired by Turkish symbols, Moorish architecture, and her Indian roots.
Jewelry designer Robindira Unsworth
Headquarters: Petaluma, Calif.
Year firm launched: 2001
Signature style: The collection takes much influence from my Indian background; all of the rich colors and texture of the culture are an integral part of my design sensibility. I also take much design inspiration from travels I have taken to the Middle East, Morocco, and Turkey. I am very drawn to the angular shapes and symbols (crescent moons) of Turkish and Moorish architecture. Their master craftsmanship amazes me.
We have a flagship boutique in Petaluma, Calif., that is housed in front of our Moroccan-inspired design studio. It has been such a joyful experience having the store as a creative outlet, creating the perfect mood and international backdrop to showcase my jewelry collection.
Training, education, and design process: Ten years ago I began designing handbags with delicately beaded handles and fringe and quickly realized that my designs would translate into jewelry. Now I sketch the design for each new cast piece, and I always assemble the first piece of any new style myself. We make all of our own findings and components, and our jewelry is both cast and fabricated, in the U.S. and in India.
Materials of choice: I work in 22k gold vermeil, sterling silver, oxidized silver, and I hand-select many different precious stones for our collections. I am drawn to stones that have almost mystical qualities such as labradorite and moonstone; I love these two stones for their opalescence and always seek out stones that radiate more fire and luminosity. I am also a big fan of pyrite and drusy quartz right now for their organic sparkle. They are beautiful paired with mixed metals.
Starting retail price: $150
Accounts: I have 275—including The Clay Pot in Brooklyn, N.Y., and the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City—in the U.S., and 20 abroad, including Astley Clarke in London.
Retailer buy-in: $1,000
Jewelry trade show exhibits in 2013: Accessorie Circuit, New York International Gift Fair