A longtime sales agent for brands like Robert Lee Morris and Taché launches her own jewelry line.
Kendra Bridel Weinman is familiar to many as the president
of the Women’s Jewelry Association and as a salesperson for high-profile brands
like Caressa for Taché, but the industry will now have to associate Weinman
with a brand-new post: her own company. Weinman has spent the past year and a
half in research and development and is ready to unveil her own jewelry
collection, dubbed Lusciouss. She called JCK
first to share the story, and we chatted with her over the weekend to get the
JCK: What is your
design inspiration and the niche of this new line?
affordable jewelry (sterling silver and 18k green gold-plated pieces) that
satisfies a woman’s daily fashion cravings, no matter how contradictory they
may be. Most jewelry designers have one specific look throughout their
entire collection. But what woman wants to wear the same look every day? My
taste is constantly changing—even in one day: Sometimes I want to look trendy,
sometimes romantic or sensual, sometimes bold and sexy, and sometimes natural
and understated. My line allows you to do that. I create looks that can be
categorized in your jewelry armoire and mixed and matched to fit the exact mood
you are feeling on any given day. I think my tagline says it all: “For
the girl I was, the woman I am and the Goddess I’m destined to be …”
JCK: So, is there a signature style to
your jewelry? How do your styles stand out as a Lusciouss look?
KBW: You will always find my
signature swirly heart logo somewhere on the piece, even if it’s lasered on the
back. However, each collection has its own signature style/motif. For example,
the Seductive Siren collection utilizes my signature S design. My Temptress
collection is inspired by lace and has a fleur-de-lis design. My Goddess
collection uses a very swirly design often incorporating my Lusciouss heart
JCK: There’s no shortage of jewelry
designers in the industry—many of whom have struggled to make ends meet in the
past couple of years—and you’ve had a successful career in sales; why switch
literally grown up in the jewelry business, spending most of my time exploring
all the different areas of the business, including sales, merchandising, and
management. It wasn’t until I ran the Luxury division of Taché that I truly
discovered my talent and passion for designing jewelry and realized that I have
a talent for fashion design in general.
When I created the Caressa line, I was in charge and had the
experiences of branding, marketing, and product development; I loved running the
business! But I also wanted jewelry that I
wanted to wear, designs where I didn’t
have to use diamonds.
JCK: Your price
points—$150–$700, with an average ticket of $250—are very reasonable. Was price
a factor when developing the jewelry?
KBW: Price points
were 100 percent a factor! Many of the women’s self-purchasing concepts have
been out of the price range that women can actually feel comfortable about
spending on themselves. When De Beers rolled out the right-hand ring program
with the $2,500 price point, my friends and I thought, Who has $2,500 to drop
without their husbands getting mad? I knew what I spent on clothing, apparel, and
handbags—$300–$500—and kept thinking that the $2,500 price point just wasn’t
My friends and I would buy nonbranded finds in fashion
stores, spending $200 on jewelry that I had no idea whose it was, so I saw an opportunity
to build a name and still build the same fine jewelry. Lusciouss fills a void.
JCK: What are the
specifics of the collections to date?
KBW: There are
five now, including Temptress, Seductive Siren, Goddess, Precious Princess, and
Natural Beauty. Each one is kind of a Gossip
Girl meets Sex and the City for
jewelry. The industry needs this; I’m shocked no one did this before me.
JCK: Where can buyers
find the line?
KBW: I recently
signed my first contract to exhibit in the Design Center at JCK Las Vegas 2011,
and I have a fashion store called New York Dolls in Mount Kisco, N.Y., that has
purchased my jewelry at this point. However, I do have a number of other
interested accounts, including some international. Consumers can also purchase
the jewelry on my web site.
Kendra Bridel Weinman, president, Lusciouss, New York;