JCK Asks…Theresa Harper Bruno



Impatience is a virtue for the Mountain Brook, Ala.–based Jordan Alexander designer

 

Pearl lovers know that Jordan Alexander is one of the go-tos for cool-girl pearls. (For proof, see the chain-wrapped strands in “Pearls’ Night Out.”) But jewelry lovers know that Theresa Harper Bruno’s brand is about so much more. “Part of what drives me is being able to push into every corner of the business,” says Bruno, who’s also known for her colorful cabochons, one-of-a-kind styles, and generous use of diamonds. “It’s about staying true to designs I believe in and making relationships that allow us to sell those designs.” 

Number of years in the biz: 7

Number of employees you oversee: 10

Family and pets: Two amazing sons, the best husband, and fur baby Jules [pictured], who rules.

Describe your personal style: I like to look considered, but not contrived. I’m most comfortable in a silk blouse, denim, and whatever shoe I’m coveting at the moment.

First piece you ever designed: I put together a long strand of natural colored baroque pearls juxtaposed with an edgy ­darkened diamond piece.

The single piece of jewelry you’re most proud of: My ­wedding ring!

Favorite type of pearl: Tahitian baroque.

Best piece of advice you ever received: “You are capable of so much more than you imagine.”

Worst piece of advice: I don’t remember it.

First job ever: Playing the piano for ballet classes.

How did you get started designing jewelry? It was very ­simple. I wanted to create things
for myself that had a particular ­aesthetic. I never had an intention of starting a business.

If you weren’t designing jewelry, what would you be doing? A lot of yoga!

Jewelry you’re wearing right now: My wedding ring, a favorite lariat from a couple of collections back, Tahitian studs, a stack of small gold bracelets that we just introduced in the line.

Five items on your desk right now: A book on the works of Annie Leibovitz, a photo of my niece, loose stones for my next collection, my next travel itinerary, and a piece of palo santo.

Five songs on your playlist: “Daydream,” Beach Fossils; “You Are All I See,” Active Child; “Disparate Youth,” Santigold; Ravel’s Trois Poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé; “Working Girl,” Dolly Parton. 

Exercise regimen: I wish I had a regimen! I travel so much for the collection, I try to embrace any opportunity to walk or bike around whatever city I land in.

What did you have for breakfast? A lot of coffee and avocado toast.

Guilty pleasure: Gummies.

Drink (daytime/evening): Champagne and Champagne.

First website you check every day (not your own!): theSkimm

Scent: Tom Ford’s Black Orchid.

How do you unwind? I have a meditation corner in my office where I like to recharge. It’s amazing what 10 minutes of stillness can do for your day. I always feel the most balanced near a body of water. My husband and I frequent the lake and always welcome downtime along the coast.

Book you’re reading: All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr.

Book you’ve been meaning to get to: Milk and Honey, Rupi Kaur.

Favorite movie: Too many to list…anything with ­Bogart and Bacall! Plus Roman Holiday, The African Queen, Erin ­Brockovich.

Who would play you in your life story? I’d have to know how it ends first.

Personal motto: “Patience is a virtue, but impatience gets things done.”

Jewelry from top: Jordan Alexander one-of-a-kind 18k gold Ce Soir earrings with African opals, zircons, and diamonds; 18k gold and pavé diamond Caged chrysoprase earrings

(Gummies: ajafoto/Getty)