I have always been an art lover and I’ve been flirting with fun and fashion for as long as I can remember. I adore the colors, materials, shapes, textures and endless patterns. Looking back, I am extremely grateful to my great-grandmother and grandmother for letting me play in their jewelry boxes. In her youth, my grandmother had been a New York fashion designer, and in her later years she designed under her own label. My Grandfather was a milliner – so maybe the style gene runs in my family.
I started making my own clothes when I was 14 yrs-old, but I began designing clothes for my Barbie when I was 7. As an art major in college with a very tight budget, I had to find a way to accessorize my wardrobe. I always had trouble finding just the right jewelry to wear – you know how it is, got to match the necklace with the earrings and bracelet. But I had to be different and not wear the same jewelry everyone was wearing, so I started to make my own!
I used sequins, metal bits and pieces, beads and whatever else I could find that would make a statement. My friends and even strangers loved my designs, and asked me where I got them. Luckily I was young and didn’t require much sleep, because the orders flooded in and I was overwhelmed with custom jobs. It turned out to be a great way to earn some college spending money.
After college, and my part-time jobs, I found very little time to make jewelry, although I still designed most of my own clothing. I’m a petite and back then no company made petite sizes. So I sewed, and sewed, and sewed! Still with limited funds, my accessories were restricted to what I could find interesting in antique store and vintage shops or from the family jewelry boxes. Being the only child, I had my pick of many fine things, great rose gold watches, Art Deco and Art Nouveau earrings and necklaces, Egyptian Revival brooches, Mid-Century Modernist bracelets… I adore all things old: china, linen, clothing, black & white photos, cars…and jewelry!
In 1993, after a long successful career as a Public Relations/Marketing and Special Events Director for Playboy Enterprises, Inc., I decided it was time to take the entrepreneurial leap and opened my own PR Agency, but I still yearned for something more creative. My philosophical mandate has long been: “Do what you love and explore what you are passionate about.” But it wasn’t until 2006 that my enthusiasm for artisan crafts and jewelry design once again become my passion and my full time career.
Today, with the encouragement of friends, and my Mom and husband as my “silent partners”, I decided it was time to make my hobby into a career – again – and open up my own store so that everyone, not just friends and family, could be Bejeweled by Gina.
My husband will tell you that I’m obsessively consumed with designing, experimenting with new mediums, and honing my skills. Ideas pop into my head in the middle of the night, often causing me to spend all night on a few new designs. Sometimes, the jewelry almost makes itself! I rely on my sense of color, balance and on occasion, whimsy, when designing a piece for my collection.
I think my designs are simple, but sophisticated: I design the kind of pieces I like to wear – beautiful and unique handcrafted pieces that bring out the personality and natural beauty of the wearer.
When you purchase a piece of my jewelry, know that each piece is made with love and I hope that it will bring light and love into your life, as it has to mine. My motto is: Jewelry should be fun, sassy, elegant, and contemporary – it should always make that WOW! statement.
~ Regina “Gina” Davis, Designer