Our Interview with Jewelry Designer Courtney Lee
Featured Designer of the Month of October
This month we are featuring jewelry designer Courtney Lee. Both a gemologist and jewelry designer, Courtney's pieces are both bold and beautiful. Originally from Miami, Courtney now lives in New York.
What made you decide to go into the Jewelry business?
I’ve had a passion for design since a young age. As a child, I adored fine art classes, and I attended a magnet high school for art in Miami. I graduated from The George Washington University with a degree in Fine Art, then I became certified as a gemologist at The Gemological Institute of America. I worked for fashion powerhouse, Ralph Lauren and then in the famed 47th Street Diamond District in New York. Becoming a jewelry designer has been a natural progression.
Where do you get your design inspirations from?
Inspirations come from my wanderlust and penchant for travel. Each collection tells a new story. Color palettes, scenery and architectural details all play a role in each season’s new line.
Trips to Harbor Island in the Bahamas, Montego Bay, Jamaica, and Cartagena, Colombia inspired techni-colored iridescent renditions of an otherwise quintessentially Hollywood glam crystal jewelry collection, “Marie Antoinette on Acid”.
Next season will be a nod to my recent honeymoon in South Africa and Mozambique.
Describe The Courtney Lee Collection customer in 3 words...
Bold, Glamorous, Timeless
What has been the most rewarding experience in your career so far?
The single most rewarding experience in my career has been the decision to go into business on my own. All successes and failures belong to me. In our first year, I watched my collection become coveted by the likes of Beyonce and hit top sales at Bergdorf Goodman. No risk, no reward.
When you are not working, how do you like to spend your time?
I spend time fundraising for breast cancer research. I enjoy yoga. My best times are spent at home or traveling with my husband.
Tell us since you live and work in NYC your favorite places to eat and shop?
My go-to for brunch is Gemma. They have the best baked eggs and Bloody Marys in the city. No one does pasta like Rigatoni Pitti at Bar Pitti. It’s a Sunday night early bird special for my husband and me!
NYC has great vintage shopping! Top hits include Shareen Vintage for clothing, Olde Good Things for lighting and furniture, and the bi-annual Manhattan Vintage Show at the Metropolitan Pavilion.
Who is your favorite Instagramer currently?
Last, what is your favorite piece of jewelry in your jewelry box and why?
My engagement ring! My husband and I partnered on this one. Haha
I’m a certified gemologist so I was meticulous about finding the perfect stone. I’ve been sourcing and designing bespoke fine diamond jewelry for clients for almost a decade, so it was quite special to design my own ring with the one I love.
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