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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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When the Kids Have Their Own Careers, Wilkerson Can Help You to Retire

Alex and Gladys Rysman are the third generation to run Romm Jewelers in Brockton, Mass. And after many decades of service to the industry and their community, it was time to close the store and take advantage of some downtime. With three grown children who each had their own careers outside of the industry, they decided to call Wilkerson. Then, the Rysmans did what every jeweler should do: They called other retailers and asked about their own Wilkerson experience. “They all told us what a great experience it was and that’s what made us go with Wilkerson.” says Gladys Rysman. The results? Alex Rysman says he was impressed. “We exceeded whatever I expected to do by a large margin.”

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