Meet Diva! She is the force behind all of your favorite Cato jewelry! We asked her to tell us a little about herself and her designs. Diva takes us behind the scenes, showing us how a Cato jewelry collection comes to life.
How long have you been designing jewelry?
“I have been designing jewelry since my first internship in 2006. Ten great years of sparkle!”
What inspires you when working on a new piece of jewelry?
“The way beads and components come together to tell a luxe story inspires me. Once I have found the ‘soul’ of a collection by perfecting the component mix, I am incredibly inspired to push out design after design- like a machine! Sometimes my two hands are not enough to execute the ideas in my head when I am working in the zone. It is a designer’s happiest frustration!”
Can you briefly describe the design process and how a piece comes to life?
“A collection is always born from inspiration; whether it comes from the world of high fashion, my latest travel adventure, or even a necklace worn by a colleague in the office, my eyes are always open for the new and next. Any time something makes me stop and say, “wow!” I know I have great inspiration on my hands!
Once my inspiration is set, I begin sourcing beads from around the world and designing custom metal pieces that will work together to express my vision. With my materials in hand, I create layouts to scale for each piece of jewelry. This is a VERY exciting time in the process; people passing by can’t help but smile seeing me buried behind towers of bead boxes hard at work on the next collection.
After the layouts are complete I add technical notes to each style and send them off to be made into finished pieces of jewelry. Sample delivery day is always the favorite day of the jewelry design team. It is incredibly rewarding to open up our packages and see our sparking treasures completed before our eyes!”
What trends will we be seeing in jewelry in the next few seasons?
“People are now looking to jewelry to represent a part of their history and tell their personal stories. This is why we are seeing charms and monograms offered in very individualized ways, and why layering jewelry has caught fire as a way for women to express themselves through bespoke arrangements. Festival jewelry will continue to influence casual looks with a folk feel, incorporating semi-precious stones, wood, artisan metal and hand-knotting. Metal jewelry will continue to follow the geo/modern trend, and the best representations of this will be versatile and timeless, able to be worn well after the height of the trend as the foundations of a woman’s jewelry wardrobe. I do incorporate trends within my collections, but do not define my collections by trends.”
What is/was your all-time favorite piece of jewelry you’ve ever owned?
“A gold disc pendant necklace embossed with an ethereal floral design imprinted from an antique wooden block. It was gifted to me by my first boss from her jewelry line at the start of my career. I love the personal sentiment, the design’s history and the piece’s elegant simplicity. It has been my go-to piece for spring and summer seasons for many years, and I’ve never attended a wedding without it!”
If you liked meeting Diva and learning about her love of jewelry, check out our interview with Glenda, Cato Dress Designer! Meet the Cato Dress Designer!