Delicate, layering fine jewelry was a rare thing to find about a decade ago, and twins sisters Ava & Eva wanted to fill that void. With no background in jewelry except for a burning passion and love for it, they dove right in and stuck with their designing instinct. Today, their “low-key luxe” jewelry line is worn by so many women everyday who never take their pieces off! I caught up with the duo to find out more about Vale Jewelry:
Each year, we work with Michael J. Fox, Team Fox and Bachmann-Strauss on a charity piece with all proceeds going towards finding a cure for Parkinson’s Disease, Dystonia and Movement Disorders.
In addition, we also collaborate with local artists and this year we are working with a local NYC sculptor, Mel Kendrick, to create a small capsule collection inspired by his current body of work. His oeuvre centers primarily on sculptural work in wood, bronze and cast concrete, all of which play with the idea of space and geometry. We’re excited to see how the contrast between his medium and ours will materialize into a physical piece of jewelry.
We never intended to start a jewelry company. The two of us simply loved working with our hands. As kids, we’d spent summers building everything from birdhouses to showers for our Barbies! We started the business with essentially no metalsmithing experience. We dabbled here and there with simple wire-wrapping and beadwork but then decided to dive right in with classes at FIT and hours at their open studio.
From the start, we really experimented with making delicate, fine jewelry because at the time, there were very few brands designing like that. We pushed the boundaries on traditional fine jewelry by using polki diamonds slices and rose cut diamonds a decade ago when they were incredibly hard to find. There were times when we were told “no one will want to wear this” but we stuck to our guns, ultimately making the pieces we wanted to wear ourselves.
Having some of those first clients tell us how much they loved the pieces gave us the confidence to launch a full line. And every time a client wears one of our pieces and tell us they never take it off, we feel the same excitement we did when we started. We never take their appreciation, joy and feedback for granted.
We consider ourselves lucky that we basically fell into a business we both love. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that we both wake up every day excited to be doing what we do. And we want to make sure this passion always show through our work.
We made an engagement ring last year for a wonderful couple. They decided to design her engagement ring together. She loved champagne diamonds so we sourced an amazing soft brown champagne diamond and along with her feedback, set the stone in a gorgeous halo of white diamonds with an accented band.
When it was almost done, her fiancé called us and told us that even though creating the ring was a collaborative process, he still wanted to surprise her. So he flew home early from a gig on the West Coast and picked up the ring without her knowing. When he saw the ring, he was so moved because he thought the ring incorporated every element that she loved and that it was exactly the embodiment of her style. We were all tearing up at the showroom.
The next morning, we received a photo of the two them after he proposed with the ring on her finger. There is nothing like sharing a moment as intimate as a proposal of two people so in love. After that, well, we were hooked!
We started the line years ago because we saw a lack of modern, dainty and subtle gold jewelry in the market. We were looking for pieces that felt personal, understated but that still were luxurious without being ostentatious, something we term “low-key luxe”, jewelry that felt like second skin. And we hope that the Vale brand will become synonymous with this everyday jewelry for modern women looking for a little glamour.
In the last 2-3 years, we’ve really started to focus on bridal jewelry and bespoke jewelry. Many of clients from the last decade are now looking for us to create one-of-a-kind engagement rings and wedding bands that they feel are not necessarily available on the market. Regardless of whether you consider yourself an alternative bride, a traditional bride, or somewhere in between, you still want a piece that truly represents your personal taste.
Choosing your favorite jewelry is like choosing your favorite child! Jewelry is so sentimental and we find that each piece (and many of our clients agree) has a self-contained memory or meaning attached to it. And however it was that this piece of jewelry came into your life, it is a small memento that carries that personal experience.
One of Eva’s favorite pieces that she has consistently been wearing for 8 years is our Rectangle Plate Necklace. This piece has the high polish modernism that truly represents Vale. Ava loves the classic Pavé Arc Ring paired back to the Open Rectangle Ring. Its play of negative space along with a bit of sparkle from the diamonds makes the perfect combo for every day.
A great piece of jewelry should make a woman feel effortlessly chic and we hope to continue to create jewelry that will achieve that.