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Designer Profiles: Rhonda Faber Green

Designer blends feminine aesthetic with retail experience to create jewelry with intricate, delicate flair.

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RHONDA FABER GREEN’S collection embodies femininity. Ever since she launched her line in 2002, Green has tapped into her customer’s passion for romance through delicate hearts, flowers, swirls of scrolls and filigree. Her background in fine arts and flair for painting and calligraphy, united with her affinity for the intricate details of gothic architecture, provide an original take on universal jewelry icons and motifs. Her creativity in design is matched only by her clever naming of collections. “During the day I am continually drawing out new designs,” Green says. “At night, I can’t stop thinking about what each one should be called.” Through these details, Green has created a hallmark style to which women throughout the country can easily relate, and one they’ve begun to collect.

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The Designer

THE EARLY YEARS: “My dad was an artist and toy designer for Mattel. Wherever we’d go, he would make sure that I would not only look at but also truly see things. He would point out things in nature: stars, clouds and flowers. He also made lots of things by hand, such as carving small tree trunks into ships, and all of what he did completely fascinated me.”

FIRST SIGNS: “My mother told me I always had a pencil in my hand, drawing and then painting. I laughed when my sister told me that my filigree jewelry looks like what I used to doodle when I was young. I was into all types of art growing up and took many different classes, from pottery to pen and ink. I am a calligrapher specializing in copperplate. I still make pottery and design invitations. Before the jewelry business, I worked at Max Factor in merchandising and product development.”

TURNING POINT: “I was hired by 14 Karats in Beverly Hills, one of the largest freestanding jewelry retailers. I worked there for 10 years, doing everything from buying and selling to graphic design. Back then, there would be thousands of customers coming through the doors during Christmas time, and by being on the selling floor, I got a true understanding of what women wanted to own and wear and also what looked good both technically and aesthetically. I began designing, and my first creations were in pavé and simple, easy-to-wear styles.” time for a change: “I eventually left retail to spend time raising my two children. Always in need of a creative outlet, my sister and I developed a line of furniture, Enchanted Chairs, that was featured at various art galleries throughout Los Angeles. I also designed leather handbags and designed and sold custom jewelry to private customers.”

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A NEW BEGINNING: “In 2002, I finally launched my own collection. My first designs were the Filigreen Collection styles of fleur de lis and my favorite heart, which is a staple that continues to sell today. As a woman, I believe, quite simply, that jewelry is meant to make women feel beautiful and good about themselves. The most rewarding aspect for me is when customers stop me and say they love the way they look in my pieces and that certain styles have become part of their personal style, so much so that they never take them off.”

A GOOD INFLUENCE: “My best inspirations come from everything I see, from the way various flowers and leaves are shaped, to the way the stars twinkle in the sky. These influence where diamonds are placed to set off the most sparkle and whether a floral motif will have rounded or more pointy petals. I am also inspired by travel and architecture. I have boxes of photos of wrought iron gates and I love all different styles of churches from Gothic to Medieval, particularly the cathedral windows and ceilings. All of this is reinterpreted into my designs.” jewelry of substance: “I continually think about all aspects of what my customers want from their jewelry. I look at everything, from how practical and versatile the styles are (can they wear the pieces all of the time) to the materials and craftsmanship. Jewelry is supposed to last many lifetimes. I try on my pieces and make sure they are all comfortable to wear and that the pendants don’t flip, the bracelets are easy to maneuver, and the earrings always sit or fall correctly from the ear. It’s also so important to me that the back of the piece is as meticulously executed as the front.”

DESIGNING ME: “What do I wear? I change it up a lot, especially when I am trying out a collection. But I am very into layering. If I wear diamond bracelets, I like a stack of five. If they are my sterling silver bangles, then I love the boldness of piling on 15. I never take off my Diamondot necklaces, I just add more on and also add in pieces from the Itsy Bitsy collection, such as a pave peace sign. Right now, I’m having a love affair with my Filigreen heart. That’s what jewelry is all about: the ability to express yourself through a medium that’s artistic yet also enhances what you want to say about yourself.”

Beth Bernstein is a published author of three books and jewelry and fashion expert with 18+ years experience. A broad knowledge of the history of jewelry and fashion coupled with a background in "the story", writing, trends, design concepts has earned Beth a proven track record.

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