Adorning legacies: Jewelry designer opens in Kennett Square
11/14/2017 01:20PM ● Published by Richard Gaw
For Alexis Kletjian, a two-time award-winning jewelry designer who opened her own gallery on State Street in Kennett Square eight weeks ago, jewelry is an expression of individuality.
From time to time, however, selecting the perfect jewelry for the right person or the right occasion can be difficult.
“Too many times, the husband and the wife aren't offered something that speaks to them, in any environment,” she said. “Everyone wants to celebrate their individuality in their own way. More women are becoming financially independent and some feel that it is empowering to treat themselves, without permission. Then there are the couples who want to take part in choosing something meaningful together.”
From a change of gemstone to the reimagining of a treasured trinket of commemoration, Kletjian is the jewelry designer who helps close that gap between expression and difficulty, in a collaborative environment that brings these special pieces to life.
For Kletjian, who grew up near Boston and moved to Chadds Ford with her family a year ago, the journey that led her to becoming a jewelry designer began when she was a child. She would spend hours playing behind the cases in the Jewelers Building at 333 Washington Street in Boston, where her father worked as jeweler. Kletjian was immediately mesmerized by the colors and textures of the gemstones, and later, when she attended the School of Fashion Design in Boston, the feeling that she experienced as a child came back to her.
“There was this little antique shop next to the school called Simple Pleasures, and they had a few cases of well-curated jewelry,” she said. “I thought the jewelry had stories. It was unusual, and it was unlike anything I had grown up seeing.”
After graduation, Kletjian began her career in fashion design, working out of a home studio near Boston while raising her children with her husband.
“Through my studies and years of practice in pattern-making, sewing, and textile manipulation, I developed an obsessive attention to detail and a fascination with texture and scale,” she said. “My love of jewelry never faded, and I continued to admire and search for interesting pieces that spoke to me for my own personal collection.”
In 2011, Kletjian transitioned her career into jewelry design, inspired in part by the infusion of her fashion design skills and her love of jewelry. Circulation of her work exploded on social media, to the point where she was designing for clients all over the world.
In recent years, Kletjian, who received certification from the Gemology Institute of America, has also captured the attention of the jewelry and fashion industry. In 2016, she was named the Jewelers of America Designer of the Year, an award established in 1977 by Mort Abelson that serves as a launching pad for emerging jewelry designers. She also won the Jewelers of America Mort Abelson New Designer of the Year in 2016, joining the ranks of iconic jewelry designers David Yurman, Lagos and Penny Preville.
Several of her pieces have been featured on TV shows, including HBO's “Silicon Valley” and ABC's “How to Get Away with Murder.” Her work was also worn by actress Kristen Bell in the film Bad Moms 2, and she recently shipped jewelry to Julia Roberts for consideration to be worn for her upcoming film, Ben is Back.
Specializing in pieces crafted to client's specifications, Kletjian works with precious metals, diamonds and, in some cases, gemstones cut exclusively for her designs. She draws inspiration from heirloom-quality antique jewelry for her vintage-modern creations, and her State Street gallery features not only her custom fine jewelry, but also a carefully curated collection from emerging designers.
To Kletjian, jewelry serves not only as a sparkly accessory, but a personal talisman that celebrates accomplishments, journeys and milestones.
“I believe in creating jewelry that will endure in quality and style, that can be counted on to be passed down through generations,” she said. “The jewelry that we leave behind is truly one of the oldest and most precious parts of our legacy.”
Alexis Kletjian Jewelry is at 131 E. State St., Kennett Square. Visit www.alexiskletjian.com.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email firstname.lastname@example.org.