Ehud Barlev has worked a number of
jobs—painter and artist, stage hand for television and theatre, soldier in the
Israeli army—but none have brought him as much joy as that of jewelry designer for Julieli, the jewelry company he runs with wife, Hedva, in Tivon, Israel.
Barlev has more than 10 years experience
crafting karat gold designs with tourmalines, quartz, and more, in 18k and 22k
gold. He’s spent the last 10 years wholesaling designs to retailers in Israel,
but with the help of a friend living in Berkeley, California, was able to reach
out to some American clients starting in 2006. [Barlev now has nine U.S.
The Reflections necklace in 22k gold and fine silver retails for $2,800.
For years, Barlev didn’t exhibit in a trade fairs in Israel or
abroad, but he started this year differently by winning Centurion’s 2010 Emerging
Designers Competition and exhibition space in the tony show, quickly followed
by a presence at the Couture show in Las Vegas.
The Talent: Ehud and Hedva Barlev, Julieli, Tivon,
Israel; 972-54-459-7871; http://www.julielipure.com/
Materials Used: 18k and 22k gold, fine
silver, and tourmalines, diamonds, and more.
Starting Retail Price: $1,200
Motifs from nature like leaves with
natural compositions, including random patterns and conflicting forms. For
example, jeweled leaves are never set in the same direction. “One may be facing
northeast while another faces southwest,” explains Barlev.
Pieces are completely handmade—nothing is
cast—and most are one-offs. Discrete accents, like stones set on undersides,
serve as sweet surprises for wearers. One retailer in Northern California has
carried Julielie with great success—five sales monthly of $2,800 Reflections
necklaces for the past three years. “This necklace—how you says in
English?—sells like ‘hot rolls’,” he says.
Multicolored faceted tourmalines are set
in an 18k gold ring with diamond accents for $6,900.
Earrings made of 18k and 22k gold feature
aquamarines, smoky quartz, and diamond accents for $7,500.
The leaf motifs and cuts of stones are
very pretty and the prices are fair. Plus, I’ve spoken to that retailer in
California who carries Julieli, and the store really does well with the line.
While some Israeli jewelry can look a little too rough—almost intimidating—Julieli
offers a refined organic aesthetic that will appeal to most women, particularly
those who like pretty things. 😉
“This necklace sells like hot rolls.” Ehud Barlev, Julieli
Retailers: what do you think? Weigh in on the comment function to share your opinion.