Posts Tagged ‘Rarities’

HSN Vendor Carol Brodie’s ‘Fifty Shades or Grey’ Cuff Collection

September 14, 2013

Want a “Fifty Shades of Grey” necklace and bracelet? So do we. And HSN fine jewelry diva Carol Brodie has them.

Brodie, who does the Rarities line for HSN, sent out an email earlier this week. It said “Cuff me in diamonds” and “Tune in to see my 50 Shades of Rarities collection on HSN.”

Carol Brodie and Callie

Carol Brodie and Callie

First, there were 10K gold-and-diamond versions of a bracelet and necklace whose pave closures that resemble a tiny set of handcuffs. The price on those versions were so high, we let out a long sigh. The necklace alone was $2,700!

But Carol also did more affordable versions of the 17-inch necklace and 7 1/2-inch bracelet. They are both in sterling silver, but one is encrusted with white zircon and the other with black spinel. The necklace in sterling is $330, the bracelet about $300.

Truth be told, we were not big fans of “Fifty Shades of Grey.” It has been sitting on our nightstand for months. We got through about a third of it, and were bored silly. It read more to us like a male fantasy.

If you are a female and what to read something hot, look at the novels of Anais Nin. Now those will knock your socks off!

As for the hubbub about the casting of the movie, our sister and we thought that Christian Bale would be great, but he is old for the role.

We have long been fans of Charlie Hunnam of “Sons of Anarchy,” and he may have the right stuff to play Christian Grey. Don’t sell him short.

HSN Diamond Girl Carol Brodie Rocks Accessory, Home Decor Collection

October 10, 2012

Our girlfriend Carol Brodie is branching out on HSN.

Blonde beauty Brodie, who does one of HSN’s top-selling brands — Rarities: Fine Jewelry — is launching a collection of home decor and fashion accessories this Friday on the home shopping network.

Here’s the dope from the press release Tuesday:

The Carol Brodie Collection includes a home decor assortment inspired by her favorite jewels. Collaborating with high-end home fragrance company D. L. & Co., the line features candles and diffusers adorned with evil eye and peacock feather jeweled pendants with an intriguing scents of Amethyst Dahlia, Sapphire Spice, Ruby Jasmine or Emerald Rose.

Carol Brodie

The assortment also features decorative throw pillows, jewel encrusted picture frames and plush throws — from $29.95 to $99.95.

The Carol Brodie Collection also features on-trend yet practical accessories ranging from $29 to $448, including leather handbags with coordinated wallets and wristlets, fashionable sunglasses, nesting cosmetic cases and jeweled key chains that make a statement — everything a woman needs to organize her life and look fabulous doing it.

“Every accessory in a woman’s life should create a moment, a memory and have a story to tell,” Brodie said in a statement. “My collection includes pieces that range from affordable to aspirational, all inspired by the designs featured in my fine jewelry line. The HSN customer appreciates the unique designs and craftsmanship of Rarities Fine Jewelry… my new line will build upon the top-selling styles that resonate with my customer.”

Here are some of Brodie’s claims to fame:

Brodie was the mastermind behind some of the most memorable red carpet styles, including the custom-designed cognac and orange diamond jewels, worn by Halle Berry as she captured the 2001 Best Actress Award for Monster’s Ball; and Gwyneth Paltrow’s winning look as she nabbed the 1999 Best Actress Award for her role in Shakespeare in Love.

Her work on the red carpet during her nine-year tenure at Harry Winston earned her the moniker, Queen of Diamonds, as well as numerous awards and accolades throughout the fashion and fine jewelry industries.

“Carol has impeccable taste and knows what our customer craves to enhance their own personal style,” Anne Martin-Vachon, HSN’s chief merchandising officer, said in a canned statement. “Rarities: Fine Jewelry with Carol Brodie has become one of HSN’s top-selling fine jewelry brands and we know that her new line of accessories will continue to expand her impressive following of loyal and devoted fans.”

Brodie debuts her new collection during the “Carol Brodie: Accessorize Your Life” premiere Friday at 10 p.m. and 11 p.m.

HSN Jewelry Queen Carol Brodie Underwent Surgery For Skin Cancer

August 19, 2012

God bless HSN vendor and upscale jewelry expert Carol Brodie.

We just learned that Brodie, whose HSN Rarities line sold out of a white topaz necklace we loved yesterday, was diagnosed with skin cancer recently.

You would never had known that she recently under went surgery to have the cancerous tissue removed from her face. She
looked gorgeous, as usual, on-air.

Carol Brodie still lovely post surgery

Here is a link to Carol’s Blog on about her cancer scare, and an excerpt from it.

My summer was not about fun in the sun – actually most of the trips that I have taken since June have been to Beth Israel Hospital in Manhattan. I found out on June 13th that I had a malignant melanoma on my right cheek. It was a tiny freckle that had been biopsied a week before. Well, that freckle turned out to be CANCER.

Many scans and tests later, it was determined that a one-inch area would need to be removed from the right side of my face. The tests ultimately proved that the cancer had not spread – that was great news.

Carol then described that when she woke up from surgery, her face was badly bruised and cut up. She has been wearing silicon strips to protect that area of her face.

“I will preach all day long to wear sunscreen and a hat and that everyone reading this needs to get a melanoma checkup if you have not had one in the past 12 months,” Carol blogged.

In her moving missive, Carol said that she had worried about how her surgery and cancer would affect her looks, and that this horrible experience made her realize that beauty comes from within.

All the best to you, Carol. You are beautiful inside and out.

And your rocks rock, too, girlfriend.

HSN Goes To London, Queen Latifah And Tony Bennett In The House

August 9, 2011

We finally found time to listen to HSN’s second-quarter earnings call from last week, and CEO Mindy Grossman offered a few tasty tidbits.

First of all, HSN will have its second destination event, this time going across the pond, as they say. The No. 2 home shopping network will be traveling to London to televise its shows, with vendors such as Twiggy, who does a clothing and accessory line, as part of the picture.

We believe the first destination event was last year’s birthday celebration in Vegas.

HSN will also continue its live concert series, this time with singing legend Tony Bennett. HSN will celebrate Bennett’s 85th birthday with a live performance by the songmeister, and the sale of his new CD.

And one of our favorites, Queen Latifah, will be debuting her new apparel line, for larger gals, this month.

Grossman also noted that the No. 2 home shopping channel had kicked off the third quarter with a bang, with Jennifer Lopez on the air to hawk her new perfume. This was immediately before Lopez announced her shocking split with Marc Anthony.

Diva Mariah Carey’s apparel line also premiered, and Grossman didn’t mention how Carey’s appearance was considered so wacky that it went viral.

Wall Street analysts asked Grossman about its jewelry business, since jewelry is a category whose sales have taken a huge hit during the recession.

“We feel good about our jewelry business,” Grossman said, adding that the product mix had been adjusted.

HSN’s has expanded its array of bronze-based metals, as we just saw this weekend with Studio Barse, because of the high cost of precious metals such as sterling and gold.

“We don’t have a very heavily entrenched gold business,” Grossman said. “If you look at our jewelry portfolio, it is incredibly diverse.”

HSN’s fashion jewelry business has increased, and Carol Brodie’s Rarities line of fine jewelry has performed well, according to Grossman.

“We’re feeling positive on the jewelry side,” she said.

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.

Gem Goddess Carol Brodie’s HSN Tourmaline TS Flies Out The Door In Six Minutes

March 21, 2011

The sold-Out TS

This was the first time we ever saw this on HSN.

The Today’s Special for Monday, a 72-inch colors of tourmaline necklace, sold out in six minutes after its debut at midnight.

It seems that Carol Brodie, mistress of the Rarities Line on HSN, said she could only bring in a limited quantity of the necklace, which sold for $150.

Brodie explained that the necklace was modeled after one given to her by her “sister” in Nepal. The stones were sent to India, where they were knitted with sterling silver into the necklace. The piece sold out so fast Brodie barely had time to tell us the story behind it.

Noah the diamond dove

We did like Brodie’s tale about a diamond dove that we were coveting, but was out of our range at almost $600. Brodie noted that the dove is the sign of peace because it was the scout that Noah sent out to see if the flood waters has subsided.

And Brodie has a son named Noah. The dove was big and blingy. Brodie claimed that she wore it for five weeks wihtout taking it off.

HSN Jewelry Designer Carol Brodie Offers Her Tips In The Wall Street Journal

October 28, 2010

Jewelry designer Carol Brodie, who does the Rarities line for HSN, offers advice on how to organize jewelry in The Wall Street Journal, of all places, Thursday.

In a story headlined “Jewelry-Box Surprise: Wearing Old Pieces in New Ways,” we learn that Brodie has been collecting jewelry since she was seven, and that she now owns more than 500 pieces.

HSN's Carol Brodie makes The Wall Street Journal

Brodie changes out her jewelry for the each new season, and cleans her pieces by soaking them in water with some Johnson’s Baby Shampoo and ammonia. She then wipes then off with a cotton T-shirt. We’ll have to try that for our stuff.

The tall blonde beauty loves to mix and match her pieces.

Brodie is quite careful about how she stores her jewelry, and like us, she displays favorite necklaces and bracelets. She uses acrylic holders from the Container Store, we bought our metal stands from Urban Outfitters and TJ Maxx.

Brodie posted the story on Facebook Wednesday night.

Was ShopNBC Trying To Stick It To HSN By Selling The Exact Same Ring, Touted As ‘Rare’ By The Southern Channel, At A Cheaper Price?

July 28, 2010

HSN customers were not happy campers when they saw that ShopNBC was selling the same ring as HSN at a lower price

HSN customers are complaining that a carved coral rose ring the home shopping network offered as a Today’s Special July 15 was being sold the next day on rival network ShopNBC — at a lower price.

And to add insult to injury, the HSN ring is part of the popular “Rarities” line. How “rare” are your pieces when your competitor has them on soon after you — at a less expensive price point?

We’ve been watching electronic retailing for several decades now, and we can’t recall two home shopping channels hawking the exact same piece of jewelry.

Here’s the deal. Back on July 15 Carol Brodie, who we love, as HSN’s Today’s Special. It was a ring with peachy pink carved coral roses with white topaz accents, and its TS price was for $90.

We blogged about it.

Well, ShopNBC’s Gem Treasures line by in-house jewelry designer Chuck Clemency had what appears to be the exact same ring, with the carved coral roses.

The only difference between the two rings was that HSN’s ring used white topaz for accents, while ShopNBC’s had white zircons. Oh, and there was that price differential.

The ShopNBC ring went on sale shortly after the HSN one for just $79, compared to HSN’s TV price of $xx. Now, the coral ring is priced at $ 130 at HSN, and $xxx at ShopNBC.

HSN customers were the one’s that tipped us off to this situation. They posted complaints on

Here are some of them:

“Beautiful.. not sure it’s a rarity?…I was thrilled when I received this yesterday, it is truly beautiful piece of jewelry, looks very italian and feminine. Mine was very coral in color, a soft blush peachy pink. I love everything about it and will keep it, however I was a bit dissapointed to see the exact same ring on (item 320614) for $78.62 (regular price $98.75). It is identical down to the carvings on the side the platinum plating, the white topaz. I thought Carol’s pieces were unique and designed by her, so this makes me doubt if what she is bringing is truly original or if hers was copied. I will keep it anyway, highly recommend!”

Blingrat (we love that name) wrote, “Too oversized to be wearable. And it is not exclusive! Saw it 2 days later on competitor’s channel at $21 less!”

Another poster said, “The ring is pretty but the color is not uniform and it is more expensive than else where. It is $ 78.96 on another network that is their regular price for this exact ring Not a Today’s special. I am thinking whether to keep it or return it.”

We asked HSN and ShopNBC on Monday what gives. That’s why we sat on the story.

ShopNBC said they were looking into it, but never got back to us. We can’t help but wonder, were the folks in Minnesota trying to stick it to HSN by putting their coral ring up for sale right after HSN has it as a TS?

HSN said that its ring had been in production for almost a year.

“Carol Brodie is constantly searching for exciting discoveries to bring to our customers and has had great success over the last year,” an HSN flak said. “Her carved coral and white topaz ring is rated as a ‘customer pick’ based upon online reviews. We look forward to introducing new additions from Carol in the coming months.”

Hmmmn, we are definately thinking that ShopNBC tried to screw HSN, by embarrassing the No. 2 home shopping channel, sticking a pin in the “Rarities” claim and showing it underprices HSN.

HSN Jewelry Designer Carol Brodie Brings In Our Latest Obsessions: Coral, Kyanite And Khamsa Hands

July 15, 2010

HSN jewelry designer Carol Brodie, formerly of the House of Winston, is on the same wavelength as us, it seems.

Brodie, a tall gorgeous blonde that we had the pleasure of meeting a few weeks ago, has HSN’s Today’s Special, which is a ring with carved coral roses and white topaz. It sells for $90.

We have been a collector of coral for several decades, first getting turned on to it when we saw the red variety in Navaho jewelry in the Southwest. Carol’s pieces are done in soft pinkish coral.

To match the TS, Carol also has two different types of rose coral earrings, one button style and one drop, and a neckace as well.

And this visit Carol has a stone that we’ve just started collecting on the advice of someone who read our tarot cards: kyanite. This stone is said to be only one of two, the other being citrine, that don’t hold negative energy.

Kyanite is hard to come by, so its debut in Carol’s line, which is called Rarities, is quite logical.

Gem-quality kyanite is deep blue, like a Kashmir sapphire. But most kyanite has shiny flakes, like mica, and is very soft.

Carol has a kyanite bead necklace with a silver enhancer on it for $250. We’ve only seen one other necklace in HSN’s inventory that has kyanite.

Finally, we are looking for some good luck and warding off of evil, so we’ve been seeking out a nice Hamsa or Khamsa hand. That’s the hand you see people wearing as an amulet.

We’re told Khamsa means “five,” as in the five fingers of the hand, and that this symbol is known as “The Hand of God” and “The Hand of Fatima.”

Well, Carol has a lovely Khamsa charm done in silver and white sapphire and sterling, for $50.

The hand is also said to “initiate hope and prosperity to its owner.” We’re hoping that’s true.

So as we said, we and Ms. Brodie seem to be of the same mind when it comes to jewelry and gemstones.

We’ll be tuning in to her HSN shows today.

HSN Jewelry Designer Carol Brodie Tells Us About Her First Anniversary Show, And What Happens When J-Lo And Hilary Swank Want The Same Pieces

June 10, 2010

Carol's bangle with rose cut diamonds

We got to meet HSN jeweler designer Carol Brodie Wednesday as she presented the press with a preview of the pieces she has coming up June 19. And we liked what we saw.

In the morning we trucked into Manhattan and the offiices of Brodie’s PR firm, which is located one block away from our former employer on Park Avenue South. First of all, Brodie is a striking, statuesque blonde. She was wearing white lace pants, a navy blue jacket and a white ruffled blouse, and had piled on layers of her jewelry.

We were never a fan of the evil eye pendants, but we sure liked the bright blue sapphire and white sapphire one that Brodie was wearing. It’s a “Show Stopper,” as they would say on HSN, and will sell for more than $500. Brodie said that she looked at about 40 evil eyes in Greece to get the designs for her pieces.

This is the first anniversary of Brodie’s Rarities line, which is fine jewelry with chunky gemstones, including diamonds, set in 10 carat gold, sterling silver and wood. It ranges from vintage-look pieces to ethnis looks to contemporary.

During the preview, she talked about her career at the prestigious Harry Winston jewelry house, her styling for celebrities, and her HSN collection. We learned, for example, that Brodie coined the term “stiletto earrings” a few years back when she was doing styling for Sarah Jessica Parker.

Michelle Trachtenberg's favorite Rarities piece

“I launched this line (Rarities) was I was 46 years old a year ago, after having a very long career, a lot a lot of ups, and definitly a few downs,” Brodie said. It’s now one of HSN’s Top 10-selling jewelry brands.

It’s obvious that Brodie is passionate about jewelry, and she said that she enjoys the relationship she’s built with HSN customers. There are about 40 HSN viewers that are Brodie’s Facebook friends, and she knows the details of their lives, lik when they are sick, when they have a wedding anniversary coming up, etc.

Brodie noted that her pieces range from about $49 to $1,400, and said that her most expensive pieces usually sell out on and never make it to the air.

One of the pieces you'll see later this month

“They never make TV,” she said. “They go on usually 24 hours before my show, there’s this crazy frenzy and they’re gone.”

And there are never any returns on the pricier pieces, according to Brodie.

Brodie has styled a huge batch of celebs, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Halle Berry, Queen Latifiah, Catherine Zeta Jones, Kate Hudson, Jennficer Lopez, Sarah Jessica Parker and Hilary Swank. She told an anecdote about Swank and Lopez both wanting several of the same jewelry pieces to go the Oscar’s one year. After some last-minute finagling, the issue was solved and both ladies got what they wanted.

“Starting my own line was nothing compared to those experiences,” Brodie told us bloggers and reporters.

The stars that are fans of Brodie’s HSN collection include Rarities Michelle Trachtenberg, Tinsley Mortimer, Cynthia Bush, Katharine McPhee, Teri Hatcher and Elizabeth Rhom.

“We’ve had some amazing celebrities come up and fall in love with Rarities,” Brodie said.

Trachtenberg is partial to an Art Deco-style diamond ring. We saw it in person yesterday, and it was stunning.