One of the coolest things about my jewelry blogging career is the way that it’s expanded my horizons: I can love jewelry now that I wouldn’t previously have understood. This open-mindedness has brought me the opportunity to appreciate brands that I wouldn’t have glanced twice at four years ago.
Unhada jewelry is not one of those brands.
Unhada’s aesthetic connects directly to my inherent sense of beauty: I would have loved these designs when I was 8, 18, or 28 and I’m pretty sure I’ll still love them when I’m 83. I was drawn to these pieces the moment I saw them, and I the more I see, the stronger that feeling is. The lines, the textures, the colors – they’re irresistible to me.
Within seconds of meeting the fabulous Jocelyn Prestia – the lady behind Unhada jewelry‘s loveliness – I immediately understood why her work spoke to me so strongly.
Let’s let Jocelyn introduce herself.
“I come from a creative family and took to writing growing up. I also felt like I suffered from an imagination too large for a human being. I dreamt up islands, worlds, fairy tales, and realized a part of me really believed in them. […]
Fast forward and I start to realize my love of antique jewelry. I began to attend a lot of the antique shows and try to learn how to ultimately open up an antique jewelry shop because I was so inspired by the Doyle sisters on so many levels. However, I realized that there weren’t many people like the Doyle girls (as I call them) who had an educational background to truly understand what they were selling so I decided to study gemology.
I’d always dreamed of being an expat and loved the city of Bangkok so my husband and I decided on a whim to move there so I could study at the GIA. Living in Bangkok opened a door to a magic world where I learned so much by being surrounded by a huge colored gem market.”
Personally, I’ve never lived anywhere more interesting than Southern England (6 months for study abroad) but besides that, the first half of Jocelyn’s description of herself could apply to me, too.
Creative family? Let’s talk about the time my mom wrote and performed an original show with homemade puppets for my birthday party. Imaginative and fascinated by fairy tales? My superlative in my high school year book was “Most likely to dance with fairies.” Drawn to writing? I spent more of my teenage years writing poetry and working on a novel than trying to talk to boys. And I don’t need to tell you that I share Jocelyn’s love of antique jewelry.
It’s no wonder Jocelyn’s work resonates with me so strongly. We’re the same in so many formative ways.
Jocelyn’s dream of moving to Bangkok to learn about jewelry wasn’t without its obstacles – she was faced with teachers so closed-minded that they took one look at her unusual designs and told her she was doomed to fail. Jocelyn resisted the pressure to give up, and eventually found an ally in the head of the HIA BKK who supported her as she manufactured and sold her first few Unhada jewelry designs – one of which is still one of her most popular pieces today!
The next significant step in Unhada jewelry’s journey came in the form of another significant supporter, one who many of us also knew and loved:
“For years I thought on a much smaller scale, selling to a handful of stores but I wasn’t actually a part of the jewelry industry. A couple of years ago, I hooked up with the Fairy godmother of designers, Cindy Edelstein. She served as the second magic door which opened my eyes to this wonderfully supportive industry.
I find this business very difficult some days and have decided to take it one day at a time. I’d love to expand upon the line a bit more, and also sell internationally. I see a lot more trade shows in my future. Once upon a time I thought I’d expand to housewares but sometimes my dreams are too big!”
With such a journey, it’s no wonder that Unhada Jewelry has such a distinctive, recognizable style. I asked Jocelyn to talk me through her inspirations for her designs, and what she said aligned perfectly with the feeling that I have when I look at her jewelry.
“I think the belief in magic and in the greater good and fairy tales both real and imaginary [are what inspires me]. I know it’s sounds corny, but I just cannot get rid of that innate feeling that there will be a happy ending to things. For me when someone buys an Unhada piece and it lights a magical moment within them I’ve just told a successful story, a fairy tale. “
Do you see what I mean about the glorious combinations of colors and shapes? Unhada’s pieces are all so dynamic and unique – I tried to give you a selection here to provide an idea of the brand’s range and personality.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this peek into the mind behind the beauty of Unhada Jewelry – I always enjoy being able to place designs I love into context, especially when it leads me to the opportunity to get to know someone as fantastic as Jocelyn.
Let’s let her close things out in her own words, with a statement about what she sees as up next for Unhada jewelry:
“Lately, the book “The Little Engine That Could” keeps coming to mind. I know I am a little person within the larger jewelry industry but I’ve realized that doesn’t matter because I’m still making a lot of magic. It’s the magic that let’s me climb up the hill and keep going. I feel like we all have it in us, some people seem to just have an easier time finding it than others.
My hope for my jewelry is that I can help others find spark the magic that is within them. If I can do that for a handful of people, I have done my job.”
For more about Unhada jewelry – and information on where to purchase these beautiful designs – please visit Unhada’s website.