Kara Ross

It is definitely the year of the Dragon this spring or at least the reptile. Snakeskin is everywhere this year and no one puts it on a pedestal better than Kara Ross. She presents colorful textures of skins in a setting fit for the finest gemstones. Plus she is a creative mom that is inspired by the deeper relationship a piece of jewelry can foster.

Spring Collection 2012

A couple years ago, I became a fan of hers after seeing her earrings worn by an anchorwoman on a morning show. That year I asked my husband to buy anything from her whenever buying me a gift. Her huge layered snakeskin flowers with beautiful jeweled centers were all over the tabloids and fashion mags. I always get compliments from mine whenever I wear it.

Last September I spoke with Kara about her Spring 2012 Collection at New York Fashion Week.

Spring 2012 Collection

“You will see lapis, turquoise, and rhodochrosite, which is a beautiful pink stone,” said Kara. “I like to mix colors, I like to mix textures, and mix the gems as well.”

Investing in accessory pieces has been one of the best ways to recession proof your wardrobe. The right pieces never go out of style and as Kara herself contests can be passed on to younger generations. Kara offers a fine jewelry line as well as a boutique line that is more affordable. Every piece is truly a work of art so it doesn’t get old.

“It’s worth it to spend the money on accessories because you can also tell the difference between something that is well made and something that is not,” explained Kara.

When prom time came for her oldest daughter Avery, she let her and her friends borrow pieces for the event. What an awesome mom right? Kara also says Avery inspired her current Fall Collection and is featured as a model on her website. “When she goes to college I will use the younger one,” she said of her younger daughter Drew.

It’s fitting that motherhood inspires her since it was her own parents that lit the spark that led to her gem-tastic creations. She grew up outside Philadelphia in the small town of Malvern and went to school with designer Tory Burch. Her gemological inspiration came on a family trip to Kenya.

Kare Ross with classmate Tory Burch in 2009

“I think we were 13 and 14, she is a year younger than me,” said Kara. “They let us pick a gem stone. I picked two green tourmalines, emerald cut.” They took the girls to Jewelers Row in Philadelphia to create a masterpiece. “They basically let us design anything we wanted using these two gem stones. I made this ring, 18k gold with diamonds. I still have it today.”

“I think fine jewelry is intimidating, because of the price point, there is an aura around fine jewelry. When I got older I went to Georgetown and GIA (Gemological Institute of America). I think that was a pivotal thing, to realize, hey I can do it.

Kara is passing on her love of pretty little amazing objects to her daughters by reinventing antiques into an artistic accessory.

“When I was pregnant with the first one, 18-19 years ago, I started collecting watch faubs from the 20th century. Faubs are charms that men use to wear on their vests; they use have a chain with a faub hanging from them.” She explained that she collected one every year for each daughter. “When they turned sixteen I made a beautiful necklace with all the faubs I had been collecting for them.”

After our chat, I started thinking of all the little heirlooms I had collected. I decided my daughter could use another so I asked my husband for a new piece on our anniversary this year. Years from now my daughter can brag that her fabulous earrings were her mom’s. I wish they would install GPS chips on them because then I would never lose them and I could track my daughter on her prom. :)

Kara has a regular column with the Huffington Post. She interviews designers, artists, and various interesting people with her 10 essential questions.

Mmmm… maybe I should come up with my 10 essential questions? Stay tuned this will be fun.”


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