Today, it is my pleasure to introduce you to Stella Flame: a designer whose personality and personal history are as rich and distinctive as the jewelry she creates.
When I saw Stella Flame’s designs in person a few weeks ago, I was immediately struck by the pieces’ strength. These pieces are unapologetic. They take up space, they demand attention – not in an overbearing way, but because they emanate a feeling of determined being. Much like the charismatic Stella herself, her jewelry has a magnetic presence that cannot be denied.
Stella Flame’s love of jewelry is lifelong. In her own words:
My background in jewelry began literally in my mother’s lap. A WWII slave labor camp survivor, she had some beautiful statement pieces – a large ring featuring a round deep red coral as well as a huge oval N-S turquoise ring both set in deep yellow 18K. These pieces are etched in my mind and part of my earliest memories. [My mother] had a life long love of jewelry and my father liked to mark special occasions with either a special estate piece or a contemporary piece with a hint of history somehow attached.”
From there, the designer’s rich history in the jewelry industry ranges from odd jobs in NYC’s Diamond District to working directly with Phyllis Pressman (Barney’s daughter-in-law) at the Fine and Antique Jewelry Departments at Barney’s and eventually owning her own mini-empire of vintage shops.
Stella gave it all up to focus on family when her daughter was born, but a chance conversation with a stranger in Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar many years later left her with an idea she couldn’t shake: what if she tried designing her own jewelry?
The idea proved irresistible.
Stella Flame’s designs feature precious metals, usually in combination and only with natural gemstones, which are selected with ethical sourcing in mind. The majority of the pieces are sterling silver, often plated in dark or white rhodium or oxidized, and – depending on the collection – combined with pure 24K, 18K, 14K or 8K gold.
Every piece of Stella Flame jewelry is created in one of the designer’s two small Istanbul ateliers. Each design is hand crafted by a master jeweler who ensure that each piece is is unique and exquisitely finished with the utmost skill and attention to detail.