Archive for the ‘Jewelry Designers’ Category

Evine Live Jewelry Vendor Samuel Behnam And Our AZ Vacation

November 15, 2015

In the grand scheme of things, and what is happening in the world now, we guess this blog will sound trite. But we wanted to report back on what we found on the jewelry scene when we went to Arizona on vacation last month.

We have not been in AZ — or its areas such as Scottsdale, Sedona and Carefree — in about two years. So our eyes almost popped out of our head when we saw the way prices for jewelry and such have skyrocketed.

Even some of our favorite haunts, jewelry shops a bit off the beaten and tourist-ridden path, didn’t seem to have any deals.

Lucky ladybug

Lucky ladybug

We have a pretty sizable collection of blue turquoise now, and quite frankly don’t want any more. If anything, we keep our eye out for green turquoise, Carico Lake in particular. But Arizona has a lot more than Native-American made Southwestern-style jewelry. Its shops have a wide variety of sterling silver, artisan-crafted pieces from all over. That’s why we can browse at this stuff for hour upon hour.

We did make some purchases, but probably not what you would expect. In Sedona there is a New Agey-crystal store that we’ve been going to for years, which has not only jewelry but a huge selection of rocks.

We were keeping our eye out for Herkimer Diamonds, and thought maybe they would be a new trend in AZ. A couple of years ago, druzy was red hot.

In this Sedona shop we found a small bowl filled with some very large Herkimer Diamonds, 2 to 2 1/1 inches long. Some of them had black carbon spots, which we actually like in this particular stone.

Each Herkimer Diamond was wrapped in a sterling-steel girdle so you could wear it as a pendant. We bought two, one for us and one as a belated birthday present for our friend and traveling companion Deb.

As it turned out, it was a good purchase, because we only ran across one other store that was selling Herkimer Diamonds, and they we weren’t jumbo-sized like the ones we bought.

Samuel Behnam pendant

Samuel Behnam pendant

In Old Scottsdale, a real tourist trap that we still love because of all its jewelry stores, we came across a few finds. One shop had a little corner dedicated to jewelry by Evine Live vendor Samuel Behnam. The store owner began explaining that Behnam was a jewelry maker based in New Jersey, which was news to us Garden State gals.

We said we were familiar with his work, but didn’t mention his home shopping collection. They were selling several Behnam men’s bracelets with dragon heads, which were remarkably similar in style to those made by John Hardy but a hell of a lot cheaper.

But ultimately, we brought a large dog tag-style silver pendant on a leather cord that is probably a piece of men’s jewelry, but we liked it for us. It has several skulls on it, which like the Mexicans we think of as a good symbol, and a background of real stingray skin.

On the other side of the pendant, which we consider reversible, was a pattern of small stingrays.

We were also on the lookout for ladybug jewelry, since we think that critter is good luck. At another Old Town shop, we found a round inlay pendant that looked like a ladybug. We picked that up and have already worn it several times.

Reverse side

Reverse side

The ridiculous prices we were in Arizona made us realize some of the really great deals that the home shopping networks offer us for jewelry and gemstones.

By the way, the Old Town jewelers didn’t seem to know their stuff. In the only shop outside of Sedona where we found Herkimer Diamonds, the sales woman insisted that Herkimer was in Pennsylvania, not New York. You HSN girls know that’s not correct.

In another store, we asked to see a huge gem pendant that was marked as onyx. We held it up to the light, and saw that you could see through it and that it was brown — in other words, smoky quartz, not opaque onyx.

When we told the salesman in that store that the pendant was incorrectly marked, that it was not onyx, he insisted we were wrong.

The Gastineau Girls And Carol Brodie Have At Least One Thing In Common: A Matte Onyx Beaded Bracelet

March 22, 2011

Last night Lisa and Britnny Gastineau debuted their Gastineau Glamour jewelry line on HSN, right after gem goddess Carol Brodie had presented her Rarities line.

The Gastineau Girls' matte onyx beaded bracelet

Carol Brodie's matte onyx beaded bracelet

Now is it just us, or did their matte onyx and CZ beaded bracelet have a striking resemblance to the black onyx and champaigne adjustable bracelet that Brodie introduced the hour before?

We’re just saying.

We love Brodie, but in this particular case that beaded bracelet didn’t seem quite so much of a rarity.

Trainwreck Actress Lindsay Lohan Gets The Evil Eye From Judith Ripka, QVC Jewelry Vendor

March 13, 2011

Here’s an odd couple for you: Judith Ripka and Lindsay Lohan.

Ripka, of course, is the high-end Manhattan jewelry designer who does a lower-priced line for QVC. Lohan, of course, is the lost soul who faces jail for walking out of a Los Angeles jewelry store with a $2,500 necklace. We’re sure she just forgot she had it on.

Judith Ripka

On Friday the New York Post had a story about Lohan with the headline “Keeping an Eye on Lohan: Wears ‘Evil’ 2G bling to hearing.”

It seems that Lohan was wearing a so-called Evil Eye pendant by Ripka to a court hearing. The $2,200 piece of jewelry, said to protect its wearer from bad thoughts and spirits, was in 18 carat gold. There is a photo of Lohan wearing the necklace as she walked into court.

The Post said that a New York entrepreneur, Eric Freiberg, gave the Evil Eye pendant to Lohan to help her through the tough times she is experiencing. Maybe he’s hoping to get lucky with her.

Anyway, we wish someone a guy would send us a $2,200 Ripka pendant.

We do have an evil eye pendant, actually (but we could always use another one).

Our Carol Brodie Evil Eye

It is in sapphires by HSN jewelry vendor (and blonde beauty) Carol Brodie, who is home shopping’s Evil Eye queen. She does several different versions of the Evil Eye pendant that are big sellers.

Ripka, a very gracious and charming lady, has been on QVC all this weekend. She had Saturday’s Today’s Special Value, a copy of a “Dew Drop” necklace that is part of her couture collection.

Here’s To A Swift Recovery For HSN Vendor, Tennis Champ Serena Williams

March 5, 2011

Here’s sending good wishes and prayers to tennis champ, and HSN vendor, Serena Williams.

It turns out that Williams, who has undergone two recent foot surgeries, last month was hospitalized for a blood clot in the lungs, a pulmonary embolism.

Serena Williams

The woman that The New York Times calls “one of the greatest players in the history of her sport” will likely have to be on anti-coagulant drugs for six months, according to The Times.

On Monday had to go to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in LA to be treated for a hematoma, or bleeding under her skin, which was apparently caused by the aniti-coagulants she is taking.

She had been hospitalized Feb. 19 and 20 for her embolism, according to The Times.

If Williams was to be on anti-coagulants when she plays in U.S. Open this summers, she risks what would typically minor bleeding become major bleeding, especially if she is hit in the head.

Willliams has always been down-to-earth and charming during her HSN appearances, so we hope she overcomes her medical problems as quickly as possible. She does a line of jewelry and accessories for the home shopping channel.

Bling King Charles Winston Is Switching To New Home Shopping Home

March 5, 2011

Cubic zirconia bling king Charles Winston says he is moving to a new home shopping network.

The question is where will it be, since he’s already done stints at ShopNBC and HSN. And we don’t really see him as a fit for QVC.

Charles Winston

Back in September Winston’s scheduled shows on HSN were abruptly cancelled due to legal issues, which Winston was unwilling to clue us in on.

Then this week on Facebook, he posted that he will be on the move.

“As many of you have suspected, my last appearance on the air was a huge hit,” Winston wrote, and we assume he is referring to HSN.

“I have decided to switch networks,” he wrote. “I have been in intense negotiations with several networks over the past 3 months and have made my choice. I will be announcing, hopefully as early as next week, which network you will be able to see my shows once aga…in. I am looking forward to wowing you with my over-the-top and some more conservative styles…all of which are fit for a queen.”

We hope they are more conservative, because his jewelry for HSN was too over-the-top for even us!

HSN’s ‘Hot In Hollywood’ Laurie Feltheimer Is Coming To Wendy Williams’ Show, Part Of Her Husband’s Empire

February 13, 2011

Laurie Feltheimer, who does the “Hot In Hollywood” clothing and accessory line for HSN, will be appearing on “The Wendy Williams Show” this Tuesday.

Mmmmm… The show is syndicated (or produced, one of the two) by Debmar Mercury, which is part of the Lionsgate TV and movie studio. And Lionsgate is run by Feltheimer’s husband, Jon Feltheimer. Coincidence? We think not.

From Laurie's HSN blog, a photo of her and husband Jon Feltheimer, a honcho at the Lionsgate studio, on the red carpet at the Golden Globes Awards

But Laurie does have chops as a legitimate expert on fashion. She does segments on fashion for a TV station in LA, in addition to her HSN line. And she is in-the-know about red-carpet fashion, which is her topic for Williams’ show, since she often walks the red carpet at the openings of her husband’s movies and awards ceremonies, most recently at the Golden Globes.

We’ve interviewed Jon Feltheimer in a prior life, and we can tell you he is very proud of Laurie’s success on HSN.

And Williams lives in our current town, Montclair, N.J. We think we spotted her once in the local Social Security office on Bloomfield Avenue.

HSN Jewelry Designer Carol Brodie To Debut Diamond Collection In June, Sez Fox Biz

February 11, 2011

HSN’s top-selling jewelry designer, the lean and leggy Carol Brodie, landed a nice profile on Fox Business Thursday.

We only wish that the knucklehead media would get the network’s name right: It’s not Home Shopping Network, it’s HSN!

But we’re sure that little mistake didn’t bother Brodie, since the story, “A Queen of Diamonds Proves It’s All About Heart,” was a glowing account of her and her HSN Rarities line.

Carol Brodie

The piece captured several aspects of Brodie’s personality perfectly. One is the fact that she always has a story about the genesis of many of the rings, bracelets and necklaces that she sells on HSN. Second is Brodie’s generosity in sending her jewelry, gratis, to people.

The Fox Business story said that when Brodie, via Facebook, learned that a group of women had shaved their heads to support a friend with cancer, she sent them all earrings.

As for insight into her line, Harry Winston veteran Brodie told Fox Business, “I am bringing Fifth Avenue retail values to a shopping network.”

Brodie will debut a diamond line in June, but she already does some diamond pieces for Rarities

As for inside dope about Rarities, while the line is built on Brodie’s inspiration, 10 to 15 manufacturers and HSN’s buying team help make it happen.

There were a few tidbits of news, mainly that Brodie plans to roll out a diamond line in June and a watch collection later this year, according to Fox Business.

Rarities now does have some pieces with diamonds, usually set in sterling silver.

HSN To Debut Hand-Crafted Bajalia Jewelry For International Women’s Day

February 5, 2011

Bajalia, a hand-crafted artisan jewelry line, will be coming to HSN March 8, the home shopping channel said Friday.

The concept behind Bajalia is a noble one: CEO and founder Debbie Farah uses her design skills to provide business opportunities for disadvantaged women.

The lines debut will coincide with the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day.

Bajalia helps underprivileged women sell their crafts

“She was inspired to create Bajalia by the rich cultural heritage and resilience of women worldwide,” the press release said. “The name of the company embodies the legacy of Ms. Farah’s grandfather, Elias Bajalia, a Palestinian emigrant who was an advocate of women’s empowerment.”

The launch of the Bajalia brand on HSN is a collaborative effort between for-profit and non-profit corporations. Through Bajalia, Farah has developed a worldwide network of social entrepreneurs to help create jobs for women in shelters designed to provide counseling, medical care, literacy and job training.

“To launch my collection, I wanted to select a partner that would allow me to bring to life the inspirational stories of the women behind the Bajalia brand — and HSN is an ideal fit,” Farah said in a canned statement. “I appreciate the opportunity to educate consumers about global women’s issues and invite them to change the world while shopping the world.”

Of course, HSN chimed in.

“Debbie has curated a beautiful collection of unique jewelry and accessories, and we are excited to introduce the Bajalia brand to our customers,” John Bosco, HSN’s senior vice president of jewelry and apparel, said. “Through our HSN Cares philanthropic efforts, we are committed to supporting the empowerment of women around the globe.”

Drawing upon 28 years of experience in advertising, design and product development for major retailers such as Neiman Marcus, Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, Farah has developed and chose an ve assortment of beautifully crafted pieces to debut in March. Indigenous design elements include vibrant gemstones such as turquoise, coral, amber and lapis mixed with glass, paper and various gold and silver toned metals.

Women who have benefited from the support of Bajalia include:

Bahkt Nazira – Afghanistan: Facing scarce economic opportunities and safety concerns, Bahkt Nazira developed her own fashion line. She transitioned from being unemployed and uneducated in business to being the primary support for her family and a force of change in her community. She has now learned to speak English, runs her own company and helped her husband launch another business.

India: Asala is a 27 year-old entrepreneur who produces semi-precious stone jewelry. A homeless child, Asala was taught the craft of making stone jewelry by an artisan associated with Bajalia. Thanks to regular work and fair wages, in 2008 she was able to pay for and move into a small one-room kitchen flat. Today, she is the main wage earner for her family.

India: Moofees is a 45-year-old skilled artisan living in Agra who develops samples and trains other artisans. Deserted by her husband nine years ago, she trained herself in embroidery, created her own business, and is now the sole provider for her two sons and five daughters. Two of her daughters are now receiving educational grants from a non-profit partner in India.

India: Shabnami is a 37-year-old mother of six children. Despite limited educational training, she has assisted her husband in overseeing the finances of his jewelry business and helped with the production of beaded jewelry by working with women in her neighborhood.

The Bajalia collection will feature a variety of styles and designs, ranging in price from $19.95 for oblong paper bead earrings to $199.95 for a silvertone glass bead horn necklace and earrings.

Boilerplate on Bajalia:

Headquartered in Winter Park, Fla., Bajalia was founded in 2003 by Farah. Bajalia’s mission is to alleviate poverty and empower low-income people around the world through trade, training and other forms of community development and marketing their products to bring about sustainable, empowering, change in their lives.

Bajalia is a leader within the emerging social enterprise movement. Bajalia, through collaboration with its non-profit sister organization works intimately with its production network to help them manage their growing enterprises, hire and empower more women and focus on education, economic development and long-term sustainability.

Through its first retail location in Winter Park, Fla., its Web presence and its strategic distribution networks in the U.S. and Europe, Bajalia allows artisans to operate on a scale of production that they could not attain by themselves, marketing together globally.

In doing so, the producers are empowered to replicate themselves and to bring transformation to their communities. Bajalia’s collaborative partners globally include US AID, BPeace (Business Council for Peace), Aid to Artisans, SEWA, India, Export Promotion Council for Handcrafts (EPCH), India, and Center for Advanced Entrepreneurship at Rollins College.

QVC Jewelry Designer Barry Cord’s Bitter Divorce Leads Off Page Six

January 31, 2011

Home-shopping-network vendors keep popping up in the gossip pages of the New York tabloids, with the latest being upscale jewelry designer Barry Cord.

Cord, who does a jewelry line for QVC, lead Page Six in the New York Post Sunday with this headline: “Designer Divorce Gets Uglier.”

The divorce that is getting nastier is that of Cord and his third wife, Karen Cord. She claims that she faces eviction from her $5,400 a month Manhattan digs because Cord is not paying her court-ordered monthly alimony of $10,800, the Post reported.

Cord sold a Manhattan townhouse for $23 million in 2006, but according to the Post, “now says he’s broke.” Well, $23 million doesn’t go as far as it used to these days.

And Karen has a lot of bills to write out each month — such as $5,000 for clothes, $1,600 for psychotherapy and $3,000 for personal grooming, the Post said.

She complained that the $2,000 a month that Cord had been forking over to her barely covered her cell phone and cable bills. Wow! Time Warner Cable must have really jacked up its rates!

And who said — was it F. Scott Fitzgerald — that the rich are different than you and me.

Jewelry Designer Judith Ripka Totes Her Handbags To QVC

January 11, 2011

Guess we’ve been asleep at the wheel again, but we only just noticed that upscale jewelry designer Judith Ripka is now selling handbags, as well as baubles and bling, on QVC.

We saw at least 15 purses on from Ripka. They all have a classic, high-end look, and range in price from $150 to $300.

Manhattanite Ripka has named each of her handbags after a neighborhood or street in the Big Apple, monikers such as Soho, Grammercy, Astor, Waverly and Sutton. Most of the reviews are pretty good.

We guess Ripka is taking a page out of QVC queen Joan Rivers’ book. The comedian started out doing jewelry for the home shopping network and then branched out into items like purses and apparel.