JCK Asks…Paul Morelli

A peek inside the life (and mind) of a top jewelry designer

Sure, Philadelphia is famous for the clamoring Liberty Bell—but what about soothing meditation bells? Jewelry designer Paul Morelli, based in the City of Brotherly Love, has put his own twist on the ancient instrument in his spring collection. The chimes, made from 18k gold (and some are embellished with colored gemstones), adorn necklaces or serve as a stand-alone accessory. Morelli has been in the jewelry trade for more than 30 years, so JCK rang him up to gain a little insight. —Nancy Sidewater





Age: “Meaningless”

Major retail outlets where your jewelry is ­available: Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Liberty of London

Number of years in the biz: 30

Number of employees in your shop: 25

Image Credit: iStockphoto

Number who are family members: 3

Mate: My wife, Anne Marie

Pets: My daughter’s Boston Terrier, Clark, who comes to work every day

Describe your personal style: Current

First jewelry memory: My mom’s jewelry box

Best piece of advice you ever received: “Pay attention!”

Worst piece of advice: “Here, eat this.”

Image Credit: Jonathan Pushnik

First job (ever): Delivery boy for Calstein’s grocery store

How you got started in jewelry: By accident

Platinum or gold? Gold

Why meditation bells? The idea came straight from my imagination. They have a very soothing sound and seem to make people smile. So why not?

Does Buddhism sell? The Art of Happiness was on The New York Times best-seller list for almost two years. What do you think?

What’s the next wave in jewelry? I don’t ever pay attention to trends in jewelry.

Five items on your desk right now: WWD, ­pictures of grandchildren Jackson and Jaden, ­Phillies schedule, broken prototypes, beach pebbles

Breakfast: Yogurt and fruit

Guilty pleasure: Dark chocolate

Drink (daytime and evening): French-press coffee or Grey Goose on the rocks

How do you unwind? I go to a gym.

First website you check every day: WWD.com

Favorite website for jewelry (yours excluded): I don’t look at jewelry other than mine.

Scent: Skye George Trumper

What kind of watch? Patek Philippe

Top five songs on your playlist: “The High Road,” Broken Bells; “Zebra,” Beach House; “I’m a King Bee,” the Rolling Stones; “Monkey Man,” the Rolling Stones; “Portions for Foxes,” Rilo Kiley

Favorite place to get away from it all: My weekend house in Solebury, Pa.

Summer vacation: Family shore house in Surf City, Long Beach Island

Favorite piece you created: Diamond eyeglass pendant

Image Credit: Jonathan Pushnik

Superstitious? Nah

Favorite movie: Toss-up between Raging Bull and Taxi Driver

Who would play you in your life story? Christopher Walken

Book you’re reading: Blue Monday: Fats Domino and the Lost Dawn of Rock ’n’ Roll

Bottled or tap? Bottled

Means of transportation: To work? My bike.

Preferred news source: The New York Times

Personal motto: “Be prepared.”