For Jewelry Designer Theresa Bruno Bespoke Work Is The Most Satisfying

For Jewelry Designer Theresa Bruno Bespoke Work Is The Most Satisfying

The long clear table was set with candelabras, flower arrangements and a gift for each of Houston’s 25 finest invited to a four-course dinner, held in May at the new Jordan Alexander Jewelry salon. Located on the first floor of an office building, Theresa Bruno, the owner of the jewelry brand named after her two sons, has access to the adjacent lobby for these special events, which she uses wisely. A string quartet played in the front of the lobby and the dinner was set up in the back with a view of a landscaped garden.

Theresa Bruno, founder of Jordan Alexander Jewelry

Jordan Alexander Jewelry

However, before dinner there are cocktails and jewels to view in the salon. In addition to Jordan Alexander collections, which Bruno describes as contemporary heirlooms, there was about $25 million worth of diamond- and gem-set jewels, including statement blue, pink, green and yellow diamonds (at least one running into seven figures) and a necklace made with a series of matching Asscher Cut diamonds. The jewels were provided by Bruno’s gem and diamond dealers and also from Provident Jewelry, a luxury jewelry retailer with seven locations in South Florida. For good measure, the retail jeweler’s president, Rob Samuels, and its luxury concierge, Carly Stewart, brought in a selection of luxury watches from specialist watchmakers, MB&F and Franck Muller.

This is the second event that Bruno has held in the salon since opening in March. It represents a new way for the jeweler to present her pieces and her brand as she moves into doing more bespoke work. The city of Houston is also a new and enthusiastic base for the Birmingham, Ala., resident. It’s one of many routes taken by Bruno since 2011 when Jordan Alexander Jewelry exploded onto the jewelry and fashion scene in the U.S.

The new Jordan Alexander Jewelry salon in Houston

Jordan Alexander Jewelry

As a child in Winter Haven, Fla., Bruno was immersed in the arts, particularly music where she earned acceptance at the prestigious Juilliard School as a pianist. She was training to be a competitive concert pianist; however, an injury to her left hand abruptly ended her career. In the subsequent years she married Birmingham native, James Bruno, where they settled. While raising her two sons she worked in the commercial TV and film industry in Los Angeles. While in Los Angeles she entered a Barneys New York store and became enthralled with the jewelry department, particularly the store’s vintage jewels.

“I just said to myself I wish I could figure out how to do this and give it my twist,” she said. Bruno bought pearls, strings and other jewelry making materials and worked on creating basic jewels at home. “It was all a personal journey for my own personal esthetic. It never occurred to me to start a business. It was about designing for me.”

Jordan Alexander jewels on display in the new Houston salon

Jordan Alexander Jewelry

She must have become good at making her own jewels as a friend was able to make an appointment for Bruno in New York with one of the biggest jewelry houses at the time.

“She dared me to take them to New York,” Bruno said. “I accepted the dare on the condition that she was able to make an appointment.” The appointment was with Janet Goldman of Fragments, who was well-known for her eye for talent, launching the successful careers of many jewelry designers.

“Janet asked if I could get her quite a few new pieces in two weeks. I wasn’t even incorporated. I was just looking for validation. I was embarrassed that I was wasting her time and told her so. She told me, ‘you know you have a made hand and you don’t need to walk from this. You really got something.’”

A private dinner held in May at the new Jordan Alexander Jewelry salon

Jordan Alexander Jewelry

Goldman’s instincts were right. Within six-weeks of producing her first jewels, with a focus on pearls, Jordan Alexander appeared in a story in the New York Times and then her jewels were worn by Michelle Obama. Other celebrity endorsements followed.

“It’s absolutely as organic as it gets,” she said about her quick name recognition.

Obama continued to wear Jordan Alexander jewels and named Bruno as one of her favorite designers, a designation that included a trip to the White House.

“I was validated by several strong women,” she said. “Janet helped me to get into a nice group of stores and helped me to learn inventory and build a business from scratch.”

Bespoke tourmaline necklace

Jordan Alexander Jewelry

Jordan Alexander jewels are delicate and incorporate a rainbow of fancy colored gems. The brand has three signature collections, the most colorful is the London Collection, which ranges from light blue aquamarines and canary beryls set in yellow gold to black diamonds and black Tahitian pearls. One…

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