EnA’s designer on girl-powered jewelry
Most designers—jewelry and otherwise—spend their careers chasing after celebrity red-carpet placement. But Karen Moustafellos of EnA (Elements and Alloys) has other ideas: “I am really hoping our jewelry is worn by Janet Yellen and Marissa Mayer too.” The Federal Reserve chair and Yahoo! CEO, respectively, do seem ideal wearers for what Moustafellos has dubbed “smart girls’ jewelry”—modern, geometric designs she’s been building since 2006 with her fellow former architect husband. “The phrase is a bit cheeky,” admits the Philadelphia-based artist. “But the point is that a lot of our customers are very accomplished, self-confident women in high-profile positions. Customers often tell me they wear their EnA jewelry if they have an important meeting or presentation and need to feel strong and confident. I love that!” Here’s how Moustafellos herself got so smart.
Custom brooch for the Art Institute
Number of years in the biz: Seven
Number of employees you oversee: Six
Family: Husband and two girls, ages 10 and 12
Describe your personal style: Minimal
First piece you ever designed: An oxidized silver, stainless steel, and 18 karat gold link necklace
EnA Plaid bracelet in silver with diamonds
The single piece of jewelry you’re most proud of: A custom brooch for the Art Institute of Chicago given to the amazing Women’s Board. The design was inspired by the formal grand staircase, which had been beautifully and thoughtfully restored through their fundraising. They loved the design because it was so meaningful, and I loved working with such a revered institution.
Best advice you ever received: “Ignore the naysayers.”
Worst advice: “Wait until you have achieved prominence in your career before having children.”
First job: Unpaid internship with world-famous architect
EnA blue topaz earrings
How did you get started designing jewelry? My husband and I made a list of all the things we wanted to design more than architecture, and jewelry was the only item on both lists.
If you weren’t designing jewelry, what would you be doing? Conducting a children’s orchestra
Jewelry you’re wearing right now: Wedding band, engagement ring, EnA blue topaz cabochon earrings and tassel pendant, and Cartier moonstone ring
Five items on your desk right now: MacBook Pro, mug of tea, architect’s scale, Wall Street Journal clipping, rutilated quartz cabochons
Five songs on your playlist: “Hey Mama,” Mat Kearney; “Many the Miles,” Sara Bareilles; “Stitched Up,” Herbie Hancock/John Mayer; “Here’s That Rainy Day,” Stan Getz; “Twiggy Twiggy,” Pizzicato Five
Exercise regimen: Yoga until it warms up, then running
What did you have for breakfast? Yogurt with Grape-Nuts and fruit, unsweetened cranberry juice
Guilty pleasure: Ice cream, ice cream, and more ice cream
Drink (daytime/evening): Unsweetened iced tea and Stella Artois beer on occasion. I am a lightweight!
How do you unwind? I don’t understand the question. (See above for further explanation. Maybe if I drank more I could answer this question?!)
First website you check every day (not your own!): Kitco for precious metal pricing
Scent: Icelandic Moonflower
Favorite thing to do in Philadelphia: Walking around Old City; the secret gardens and parks [are] amazing.
Book you’re reading: Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser
Book you’ve been meaning to get to: Steve Jobs
Preferred news source: I’m addicted to Bloomberg Radio and The Wall Street Journal.
Favorite movie: Anything starring Audrey Hepburn or Jimmy Stewart
Who would play you in your life story? People say I look like Elisabeth Moss, so maybe her?
Personal motto: “Stay focused.”