When they founded their popular Laguna Beach, Calif.-based fashion jewelry line Gorjana in 2004, husband-and-wife team Gorjana and Jason Reidel came to play a key role in bringing that light, breezy California-cool aesthetic to the forefront of what many consumers want: jewelry that’s effortless, beach-day friendly, youthful and not-so-serious, a little bohemian, a little resort, but also refined.
All these years later, with eponymous boutiques dotting the California coast from San Francisco to San Diego (plus three locations in New York City and one in Scottsdale, Ariz.), the brand has never done a fine jewelry line, sticking to its signature gold-plated brass and silver mountings, and developing collections that hit a wide range of jewelry trends—from name plates to bead-and-cord bracelets to zodiac charms—at accessible prices.
As of this week, however, the Reidels have added a demi-fine jewelry line in 14k gold and diamonds to the mix. There are 26 pieces in all; many work in white topaz, white sapphire, and trendy opals and moonstones. Nothing costs more than $765, and most of the line hovers right around $125–$150. That’s a slam dunk for self-purchases and gifting.
The brand is obviously not the first to offer teeny tiny diamonds on delicate chains, mix-and-match studs, or super-slim stacking rings, but brand CEO Jason Reidel says his company has an advantage in this particular sandbox because of its customers’ long-standing loyalty and natural affinity for the brand’s reflection of an “effortless…California lifestyle” that telegraphs “a message that is personal, inclusive, and aspirational all at the same time.”
“What matters most to us is that the collection authentically represents our brand,” he says. As such, “The fine jewelry collection was very purposefully designed with delicate details.”
Laguna Beach’s sun-drenched landscape and golden sand beaches cast the entire enclave in a kind of permanent magic hour. The Reidels have always sought to infuse their jewelry with the area’s uncanny glow and happy, laid-back vibes.
“Recently, with people confined to local travel due to quarantine, it’s brought more Californians to Laguna than ever,” says Reidel. “Everyone wants to go to the beach to get a change of scenery, and Laguna has arguably the best beaches in SoCal.”
Whether the Gorjana customer is a visitor or local, how do you convert a fashion jewelry customer into a fine jewelry customer?
“It’s really not about converting anyone,” says Reidel. “It’s more about giving our existing customers something additional that’s a natural extension of our brand. We never want our retail stylists pushing sales on customers. No one needs another piece of jewelry. It needs to be something that they genuinely want and are passionate about.”
Top: Assorted stacking rings in 14k gold and a mix of white sapphires, diamonds, and opals, $120–$130 each (left); ring with white topaz baguettes and diamonds in 14k gold, $200 (top right); white topaz nesting ring in 14k gold, $120 (bottom right). The Gorjana fine jewelry collection lands online and in stores on Aug. 21.
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