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Designing Lives: Lecil Henderson

Designer’s comfortable, stylish line credits Frank Lloyd Wright’s design sense and mom’s common sense




Designing Lives: Lecil Henderson

LECIL HENDERSON’S parents were both a huge influence on his jewelry line, The Henderson Collection. His father taught him how to connect with customers and the art of the sale. His mother inspired what would become the philosophy of his design: comfortable, sensible and elegant jewelry for women. In fact, his mother once asked him, “Why would we want to wear round bracelets, when we have oval wrists?” Today, oval bracelets are one of the signature looks of the line. Henderson has built a collection that moves and flows with a woman’s form — flexible pieces shaped around the parts of the body where the jewelry is being worn. He also has created a trademark look for himself in various shades of gold including brown, black and blue.

IN THE BEGINNING: “I got into the business the old-fashioned way: I grew up in it! My father was a national sales manager for a jewelry manufacturer. After a few months on the road with him, I found I loved the idea of mixing sales, marketing and human relations. My mother was also a big influence. She’d say, ‘Son, no one needs jewelry. However, it makes us very happy when we get it.’ Her ideas remain the core ideals of our business.”

Early Influence: “I would say that Frank Lloyd Wright’s work was definitely one of my early inspirations. I could relate to his classic lines and how form and functionality worked in harmony. During an early family trip to the Arizona Biltmore, I marveled at the scale of his work. The lines were clean and simple yet still extremely elegant.”

Customer Type: “Our core customer is usually an active woman who likes to get involved with work and her community. Many of our clients travel extensively and are looking for those easy pieces that can get them through any event or situation.”

What Women Should Look for: “I would not want to design a work of art that is out of style the following season. Comfort is also critical. If a bracelet is too tight or too loose, then it will probably not be worn very often. I strongly believe that jewelry should be put on often and enjoyed. That is why we offer a lifetime guarantee on our product.”


Architectural Inspiration: “Structural artists have overcome technical issues so that glass can bend into curves and buildings can lean at an angle yet still have perfectly level floors. By adapting these ideas, we’ve developed techniques that allow our hoop earrings to sit perfectly on an earlobe and never flip over. We’ve created rings that can flex almost three sizes so they will go over the knuckle yet still fit properly on the finger, and necklaces with hinges that move in a multitude of directions, so they will not flip or roll on the neckline.”

Into the Future: “One of my early fascinations was the art of electroforming, a perfect solution for women who wanted big, bold earrings that were both durable and still lightweight. Our wide array of 18K black, chocolate brown and denim blue gold set us apart from the rest of the design world. It has been fun listening and learning from my clients, many of whom became serious collectors, to figure out where we go from here.”


“The bracelets are flexible, so they’re available in virtually any length and width.”

“Firenze collection bracelets are also oval in shape, which allows them to fit any woman’s wrist.”

“These bracelets are designed in sterling and 18K gold and can come with or without diamonds.”

“This bracelet, as well as the rest of the Firenze collection, is available in approximately 50 translucent and opaque colors.”


Q&A with Lecil Henderson

What is your favorite vacation spot?
“North Carolina mountains in the fall. The beautiful array of red, orange and bright yellow leaves against a vivid sunset is both breathtaking and peaceful!”

What is your favorite piece of jewelry to wear?
“A Rolex watch that my parents gave me when I graduated from college.”

If you could have any other career what would it be?
“A lawyer, or a U.S. Senator, or on a bright spring day, a baseball coach.”

What is one thing no one knows about you?
“I would like to learn to fly!”

What are your hobbies?
“A great round of golf with my sons makes for a perfect Saturday afternoon.”

What is your favorite cuisine?
“The Boy Scout in me takes over here. If it can be cooked on an outdoor grill, count me in!”


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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.



When There’s No Succession Plan, Call Wilkerson

Bob Wesley, owner of Robert C. Wesley Jewelers in Scottsdale, Ariz., was a third-generation jeweler. When it was time to enjoy life on the other side of the counter, he weighed his options. His lease was nearing renewal time and with no succession plan, he decided it was time to call Wilkerson. There was plenty of inventory to sell and at first, says Wesley, he thought he might try to manage a sale himself. But he’s glad he didn’t. “There’s no way I could have done this as well as Wilkerson,” he says. Wilkerson took responsibility for the entire event, with every detail — from advertising to accounting — done, dusted and managed by the Wilkerson team. “It’s the complete package,” he says of the Wilkerson method of helping jewelers to easily go on to the next phase of their lives. “There’s no way any retailer can duplicate what they’ve done.”

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