Mariana is a professional jewelry consultant for brands and private clients turned jewelry blogger. Her jewelry write ups seek to inform, reveal the secrets of the trade, and celebrate jewelry. Readers can dive into her world to learn both what to look for in diamonds and how to fit jewelry with your style personality.
Mariana has added a fascinating series to her blog that looks into the jewelry boxes of women called “In Her Jewels”. She’s profiled bloggers, jewelry designers, and Snapette’s Director of Marketing Caitlin Hicks, and showcases the stories behind these women’s jewelry collections.
Needless to say, Mariana’s Snapette profile is bejeweled and bedazzled with gorgeous stones she snaps during her NYC jewelry hunting. Follow Kiss N Tell on Snapette to find the best and most hidden jewelry shopping locations in New York City.
Snapette: Tell us about how you became a jewelry consultant. What kinds of projects do you work on with brands and how do those differ from the projects you work on with personal clients?
I was 21, fresh out of college, teaching languages at a High School when I decided to get an internship doing “something in fashion”. That summer, I got an internship at a product development company that needed someone who spoke Italian to help with the factories they did production with in Italy. While they did developments for mostly ready to wear and some accessories, I started working with a few jewelry clients and really took a liking to that. From there, I focused on growing their jewelry program and met some great clients that I still have to this day.
When I work with brands, it is usually on a larger scale than when I work with a private client. Design houses usually need me to help facilitate their product developement and coordinate their mass production to ensure that from conceptualization to finished product, their initial design does not get lost and is able to be translated for production as purely and efficiently as possible.
Private clients are usually in search of one particular piece. A lot of times the client is looking for both a ring and a pair of earrings or a combination of pieces however, the designs are generally one of a kind unlike working with brand.
There are particular nuances working for both private clients and brands but knowing that I have helped the designs go from sketch or concept to an actual piece of jewelry is what I truly love and both avenues allow me to pursue my passion.
2. What prompted you to start a blog? Tell us about what kinds of stories you have up your sleeve.
My husband and I were in Napa with some friends of ours who gave us the great news that they had just gotten engaged. She is a school teacher and he is a VP of an internet company and they really didn’t know where to begin the process of searching for a stone. They were going to be in NYC for a brief three day stint and I said I would take them diamond shopping. I gave them a crash course on what we will be doing and what they should look for in a diamond.
They left NYC with more money in their pocket than they expected and instead of just a diamond, they got a diamond, a setting and also her wedding band to match. Being a savvy internet guy, he suggested I start blogging about what I do because there are so many couples like them that could benefit from some insider tips. I sat on that for a while until I thought of a good way to go about it. I loved the idea of creating a reference guide of useful tips and fun jewelry stories from and insider’s point of view that you can read for fun or to educate yourself.
Some of the upcoming stories we have slated are a mix of great diamond buying tips along with just fun information on cool people in the business and brands.
3. How did your love for diamonds develop?
I have been a jewelry lover ever since I can remember. When I was growing up we would play house with my brother and sister and I remember creating unique jewelry for every outfit out of string, wire or whatever else was lying around.
My love for diamonds grew out of a respect for their rare beauty that is born from a polar opposite element such as carbon. The transformation is really remarkable to me and the amount of time both natural and man hours that it takes to create such a precious object really drives home the point that you cannot rush perfection and I love that.
4. How do you use the Snapette app to sync with your blog and jewelry finds?
I love using Snapette as a way to give readers a sneak peek as to what is going to be on the blog. For example, if I go shopping with a client, I use Snapette to take a few snap shots as we are out and about. It is really easy and allows the reader to interact with me and creates a two-way conversation.
I also use Snapette to keep track of things and stores I love. I take a quick snap shot of the item on Snapette and it allows me to upload it and tracks the location so I don’t have to remember. It is such a great tool when I am on the run, which is almost always!
5. How has technology changed the way that you are able to do your job?
Technology has enabled me to do my job quicker and more efficiently. I am able to communicate with my jewelry factories over seas on a daily basis with tools such as Skype that allow us to interface and add a face to the name. I am able to see stones from all over the world on my computer to help me better understand the market and pass better information and pricing to my clients.
Obviously, blogging would not be possible without technology. Blogging was created so that we can share our thoughts with one another instantaneously no matter where you are in the world. Apps like Snapette really tie us all in and allows the process to come full circle…from the designer to the developer to the consumer who uploads it and gives direct feedback on your work.