Yes, this is another zodiac-themed jewelry collection. The well-established trend is still going strong. But at this point I wouldn’t spotlight something you can already find in abundance if it didn’t offer buyers and customers a truly fresh take. And this one, Starlust Jewelry by Kennon Young, also happens to be tailor-made for gifting. With Valentine’s Day coming up, it feels like something JCK readers need to see.
Young may already be familiar to you—he also runs Vermont Gem Lab up in Burlington, Vt. The premise of Starlust is simple: It takes two people’s Zodiac symbols and entwines them in a single pendant. Easy, right? Not when you consider the tricky physics.
“It took me three months of trying to get my head around if I could pull this off,” says Young, whose wife sent him on this journey after requesting a necklace that combined her sign (Libra) with his (Aries). As he created this piece, he realized that a comparable product didn’t exist. “There are a few combination wire wrap versions available online, but none that are made with small fine details, high quality, and high-tech manufacturing,” he says.
“I didn’t need to create 84 CAD models—I needed to create 12 perfect symbols and then combine them with one another. Once I was able to present it to myself in a way that was within my perceived capacity, I got to work. Three months later, the 84 models were finished. Three months after that, the renderings and the ‘soft launch’ website was finished. It’s all about taking one step at a time.”
The concept is undeniably romantic, but the necklaces can be gifted between dear friends, parents and children, caregivers and clients—any relationship that’s defined by a close bond and a complex mix of personality traits.
“The simple symbolism or representation of two people coming together is powerful,” says Young. “What I love about zodiac signs is that the symbolism is ancient, sacred, and sometimes sexy. It represents people on a very deep, emotional level that’s hard to achieve with commercial jewelry.”
Some of the designs were more difficult to execute than others, says Young. “The Virgo and Scorpio sets were the hardest to combine. Both symbols are similar in structure and on the busier side, which resulted in a much tricker ‘negotiation’ between the signs.”
Cancer and Leo, and Taurus and Leo, also took some extra time to get just right. Metaphors for the relationships the combos are representing? It might be a selling point.
More reasons to like this line: Everything is USA-made—Young uses Golden Sun Manufacturing in Montana for casting—and the designer tries his best to source chains from businesses that exercise sustainable practices, such as the Downeast Trading Company in Vermont. He also uses recycled packaging for boxes and mailers.
“Starlust is a celebration of people and their connection to each other and the universe, so naturally, our policy is about respecting our world,” Young says.
Top: Aries and Cancer (my daughter’s sign + mine) in 14k gold, $799, as imagined by Kennon Young of Starlust Designs in Burlington, Vt.
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