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Pocket-Sized Perfection

Equestrian-themed jeweler specializes in making the most of small spaces.



Karina Brez Jewelry, Palm Beach, FL

OWNER: Karina Brez; URL:; DESIGN: Romanov Interiors; ONLINE PRESENCE: 570 Facebook followers; 19,700 followers on Instagram; FOUNDED: 2011; Opened featured location: 2021; AREA: 145 square feet; EMPLOYEES: 1

Karina Brez

Karina Brez finds her niche in a jewel box of a space in Palm Beach, FL.

ELEVEN YEARS AGO, Karina Brez launched her jewelry business in a tent at a horse show. A horse enthusiast with a passion for gemstones, Brez is a third-generation jeweler, a GIA certified appraiser, a graduate gemologist and a 2012 Miss Florida USA.

As a designer of equestrian-themed jewelry, she knew the pop-up VIP-tent operation was a perfect place to begin. She created a garden oasis of retail by using a Home Depot trellis draped with greenery and incorporating her favorite color, green, in the decor. “I was in a VIP tent for 12 weeks at a time,” she explains. “I’d bring my cases, then have my moving company pack up the cases and put them into storage.” But working in a tent without air conditioning at the Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL, did have a downside: “It didn’t have a privacy feel, and come March, it was so hot that clients didn’t want to shop.”

When she opened her first permanent store in 2021, tucked away in a Spanish-style villa on Palm Beach’s tony Worth Avenue, she was looking for the same aesthetic and colors she’d used in the pop-up. But at 145 square feet, space was a challenge. High ceilings helped, though, to create a more expansive feeling, and she designed the space vertically, having a wooden trellis pattern painted on one wall. A vine made from a real willow was twisted to form an arch, which was adorned with faux flowers and installed just opposite her front door. The store is surrounded by greenery. “I’m literally in a garden now, and there’s a water feature outside, too,” adds Brez.

Green is Brez’ favorite color for a variety of reasons beyond her affinity for foliage. As a May baby, emerald is her birthstone, which was also the Pantone color of the year when she launched her brand in 2013. That had to be a lucky sign, she thought. “And my eyes are green!” she says.

Lucky Horseshoe Collection.

Designer Karina Brez says she continues to make pieces only if they’re proven fast sellers, such as her Lucky Horseshoe Collection.

Even so, she was a little nervous about painting the interior dark green. “I thought if I didn’t love it, I could just paint over it. But I do love it. It has a very moody, romantic vibe. So many places now are white. I like to be different.”

Brez worked with interior designer Natasha Steinle, who helped her fine-tune her vision and procure her specialty wallpaper. Brez had an image in her head of the chandelier she wanted, and she found just what she envisioned on Pinterest. “The chandelier is made of geometric crystals, which is so cool because I love minerals,” she says. Other luxurious details include a gilded ceiling and braided carpet.


Brez recognizes the importance of a beautiful jewelry store at a time when many people are attuned to HGTV interior design shows and are in pursuit of beautiful environments. “You can’t just go buy metal cases and some fluorescent lamps,” she says. “It’s about creating an environment that’s comfortable, where people enjoy spending 30 minutes of their time.”

Her jewelry collections are imaginative and carefully considered, but they must pull their own weight. “When I design a piece, I make one or two and wear it to get a reaction from customers. If people love it, I make more of it.” If it doesn’t sell within a year, on the other hand, it’s history. “I own every piece in my cases. Sweat equity is sitting in my cases. I only make pieces that are fast sellers. If it doesn’t sell in the first year, I stop making it.”

Her practical side can be traced to her parents, who emigrated from Ukraine and who each had two or three jobs while she was growing up. Her father washed cars and repaired jewelry; her mother, a hair stylist, worked all day and continued her work at home in the evening, sometimes until midnight. “From an early age, I saw my parents working so hard to make an honest living that I didn’t know any different,” she says. “That’s how you live, that’s how you survive. I’ve always had that entrepreneurial spirit. I didn’t have a TV or an iPad; I didn’t have toys. I had a piece of paper and a pen. If I was left with a babysitter, all I did was sit and draw.”

That work ethic led her to compete in and win the Miss Florida USA pageant. “Competing in a pageant was on my bucket list, and there’s a time limit on certain things you can do,” she says. “I did research, I had a business plan and I ended up winning. I got to meet ambitious, smart ladies and bring awareness to my friends’ charity, Horses Healing Hearts. It was one of the best times of my life.

Sketch of pop-up store courtesy of Tani Babaian.

Sketch of pop-up store courtesy of Tani Babaian.

“I remember growing up, I was terrified to go in front of a camera. I wouldn’t talk. Doing the pageant helped me get more comfortable in interviews and talking to people. I had to take public speaking and acting classes as part of the process. And I think the more I did events and interviews and just got out there, I got more comfortable in my own skin. I had to do an interview in a bikini! Thank God I did that THEN. Now you wouldn’t catch me dead in a bikini!”

While being in a permanent location in Palm Beach leaves her with a less targeted demographic than a horse show tent provides, her work appeals to a variety of people. In addition to equestrian-themed collections, she has a garden collection and designs one-of-a kind couture pieces around unique colored gemstones she buys. It’s a full functioning jewelry store with custom design. Her dad does all the bench work in his own space.

“My pieces are middle ground; they’re not too horsey,” she says. “Many of my customers are on a horse all day every day and they say they don’t want to look at another horse. People love that it symbolizes a lot of different things. My collections have a minimalistic look with attention to detail. They are like an optical illusion of a horse.”

“A lot of people walk through Worth Avenue and explore. They’re intrigued because it’s different. I don’t fit into a regular box. A lot of them know me because I grew up here and am an integral part of the community.”


Five Cool Things About Karina Brez Jewelry

1. MODEL COMMUNITY. Brez, like other boutique owners on Worth Avenue, employs a licensed model during South Florida’s busy season to show her jewelry on the street in a low-key manner. It’s a tradition there for models to carry discreet signs while showing clothing or jewelry from Worth Avenue boutiques. Brez partnered with a clothing store that appeals to her clientele, and together they hired the model.

2. PUBLIC RELATIONS. Working with a public relations firm, specifically Olga Gonzalez of Pietra PR, has changed the face of Brez’s brand, she says, as she launches a wholesale line. “When you have someone on your team who is your cheerleader, it helps you to expand.”

Palm Beach Jeweler Makes the Most of Her Niche on Worth Avenue

Brez employs a licensed model to show her jewelry on Worth Avenue.

3. COUTURE ALLURE. Brez launched her wholesale business in 2022 at the Couture Show. “We signed seven stores, which I thought was amazing,” she says. “That was the first hurdle. The second hurdle is, ‘Are they going to reorder?’ and believe it or not almost everyone reordered within two months.”

4. NICHE NEWS. “Because of our niche market, we can easily market within our equestrian community,” Brez says. “So, this means that we are constantly in editorials of magazines that are focused on the equestrian lifestyle.”

5. WHAT’S NEXT? Brez plans to introduce a solar-powered, tiny-house style store on wheels with 11-foot ceilings that’s eco-friendly and portable, so she can sell her jewelry at horse shows in comfort. Built by Movable Roots Tiny Home Builders in Melbourne, FL, it will be called the Jeweled Barn and have the look of an English countryside tap room with a green-plaid wall and leather-trunk cases. Everything runs off a solar panel battery, which can last for two days and was as costly to purchase as a car, Brez says. The custom 800-pound safe is just 24 by 15 inches.


  • Amanda Eddy:Focus on the equestrian lifestyle is felt throughout branding, website and store design. Superb use of space in the store showroom makes it feel open and inviting.
  • Gabrielle Grazi:Niche business, great location on Worth Avenue. Great coverage in luxury publications.
  • Larry Johnson: A beautiful, small boutique filled with treasures for the equestrian set. I can see that customer feeling right at home here and indulging their passion for horses.
  • Shane O’Neill:Unique jewelry store and products. Well-presented luxury.



This Third-Generation Jeweler Was Ready for Retirement. He Called Wilkerson

Retirement is never easy, especially when it means the end to a business that was founded in 1884. But for Laura and Sam Sipe, it was time to put their own needs first. They decided to close J.C. Sipe Jewelers, one of Indianapolis’ most trusted names in fine jewelry, and call Wilkerson. “Laura and I decided the conditions were right,” says Sam. Wilkerson handled every detail in their going-out-of-business sale, from marketing to manning the sales floor. “The main goal was to sell our existing inventory that’s all paid for and turn that into cash for our retirement,” says Sam. “It’s been very, very productive.” Would they recommend Wilkerson to other jewelers who want to enjoy their golden years? Absolutely! “Call Wilkerson,” says Laura. “They can help you achieve your goals so you’ll be able to move into retirement comfortably.”

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