JCK Asks…Jewelry Designer Freida Rothman

rothmanLet the Brooklyn, N.Y.–based designer and JCK exhibitor show you how to stack like a pro

Growing up, we learned certain rules about jewelry. Silver goes with silver, gold goes with gold, and never the twain shall meet. Fortunately, since then, we’ve learned that mixing metals isn’t verboten. But if you’re still unsure, let Freida Rothman convince you. No designer blends gold, silver, and, most strikingly, blackened silver (often in the same piece!) with such ease. Her metal-heavy designs—often dotted with CZ, to add just the right amount of sparkle—are all inspired by her hometown. In her fall 2019 Industrial Finish collection, “I was really inspired by street art and architecture, as well as the people of Brooklyn,” she explains. “Each style embodies the strength of the city and the beauty and passion of its people.”


freida rothman industrial finish mother of pearl pendant
Industrial Finish caged mother-of-pearl pendant necklace

Age: A lady never tells….

Number of years in the biz: I’ve been part of the jewelry business since birth! I’m a second-generation jeweler and learned the craft and business from my father. I started my own brand 10 years ago.

Number of employees you oversee: We have 20 #DreamTeam employees in our Brooklyn studio.

Family and pets: Four children, three fish, one husband.

Describe your personal style: Classic with a twist.

First piece you ever designed: My first ­collection was the Love Knot collection, which caught the eye of Nordstrom.

Jewelry you’re most proud of: I am very proud of my stacking concept, #StartYourStack. It’s about creating a one-of-a-kind look.

Best piece of advice you ever received: “You learn from your mistakes.”

Worst piece of advice: “What will people say or think?” I learned…you’re not going to please everyone.

Industrial Finish green agate gradient drop earrings

How did you get started designing jewelry? I was designing for private label when my husband encouraged me to start my own brand. He said to me, “Why are you designing for others when you can be designing for yourself?”

If you weren’t designing jewelry, what would you be doing? I would have a bigger family.

Jewelry you’re wearing right now: You’ll never find me ­without a bangle or ring stack.

Five items on your desk right now: New design sketches, my notebook (which holds my entire life), my FR Lexington handbag, a tray of hoop earrings, and my cellphone.

a star is born soundtrackSongs on your playlist: Lady Gaga “Shallow” (on repeat) and the entire A Star Is Born soundtrack.

What did you have for breakfast?  Coffee and biscotti.

red wineGuilty pleasure: See above.

Drink (daytime/evening): Red wine. I should start drinking during the day.

First website you check every day (not your own!): WWD and reviews on Nordstrom.com.

Scent: I’m basically a brand ambassador for Baccarat Rouge 540 by Maison Francis Kurkdjian. Everyone always asks me what perfume I’m wearing.

tatooist of auschwitzHow do you unwind? Spending time with my family and reading. I love reading.

A must-visit spot for anyone in Brooklyn: If you’ve never ­experienced Brooklyn, I would say visit Dumbo. It’s a great combination of modern and historic without feeling too touristy.

reese witherspoonBooks you’re reading: Bachelor Girl, The Tattooist of Auschwitz.

Who would play you in your life story? Reese Witherspoon. She’s a mom who can do it all. She also shares my passion for books and has blond hair!

Top: FR Signature bangle stack

(Witherspoon: Elizabeth Goodenough/Everett; wine: Solucionfotografica/iStock/Getty)

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