PaperCity Magazine

October 2013 - Houston

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 26 of 95

JACK THOMPSON Audrey Tautou people wrong about my abilities and [the fact that] you can't judge a book by its cover. WHAT THE JEWELRY IS ALL ABOUT. Workshop Inspiration DIVINE INSPIRATION. A few years ago, I went to France, and there's a cathedral there, La Madeleine. Something happened to me when I went into that church. I walked in and literally fell to my knees and just cried. I looked at the structure and the artwork and everything around me and how it was created, and it just makes you search within yourself. You go to a different place, I think. What is your voice and what do you stand for in life? It moved me like nothing else before. The stained glass and what was on the ceiling … I took all of that in. And those silhouettes definitely inspired a whole series of pieces. JACK THOMPSON 18K-yellow-gold and oxidized-silver boulder opal scalloped cigar band ring, $1,190, and Old World 18K-yellowgold and oxidizedsilver green onyx ring with white diamonds and white sapphires, $1,580 I'm very moved by European art, architecture and poetry, so each collection tells a different story and is about a different journey. A lot of it has to do with individuality and, really, this bohemian journey through life. JACK THOMPSON Right: 18K-yellow-gold and oxidized-silver iris ball enhancer with rainbow moonstone, white and black diamonds, and blue-green tourmaline, $3,990 Saint Michel d'Aiguilhe, Aiguilhe, France COMPANY CULTURE. Workshop The one common thread for almost everyone at the company is that they are scrappy. Many of them come from underprivileged backgrounds, and they have had a tough go of it … But they believe in the vision of the company, and they go after it every day. They fight for it. They are the epitome of the American dream. Cathédrale Sainte-Cécile d'Albi, France Silver vintage-finish lacy cuff with white diamonds and green tourmalines, $2,390 18K-yellow-gold and oxidizedsilver bangle bracelets with mother-ofpearl and blue topaz doublets; white, champagne and black diamonds; white sapphires; and blue-green tourmaline, $645 to $4,500 18K-yellow-gold and oxidized-silver Heraldry Bella Donna bracelet with white and black diamonds, $5,670 18K-yellow-gold and oxidized-silver green onyx X-band ring with white and champagne diamonds and white sapphires, $4,190 ARMENTA'S WELLTHOUGHT-OUT FIRST SALE. My first retail account was Tootsies. I went to [jewelry buyer] Robin Simon, and I said, 'I'm a student at Rice." And she was, like, 'Ugh.' But they ended up taking it. So she asked, "What's the name 18K-yellow-gold green of your company?'" onyx marquis earrings with And I didn't have champagne diamonds and one so she said, blue sapphires, $4,990 "Well, what's your name?" And I said, "Emily Armenta." And she said, "Honey, that's it." ON SLAVISHLY FOLLOWING FASHION. You know, I look at it a little bit, but the most important thing to me is just staying focused with our message. ON THE MASSIVE RESEARCH THAT WENT INTO THE DECISION TO LAUNCH A HANDBAG COLLECTION. Oxidized-silver pointed iris cuff links with malachite and green amethyst doublet and white and black diamonds, $2,370 Above: Romero oxidized-silver pointed iris cuff links with malachite and green amethyst doublet and white and black diamonds, $2,370 Bolsavita Collection clutch in python with oval-link chain and charms, $1,875 Oxidized-silver X ring band with black diamonds, $760 18K-yellow-gold and oxidized-silver lapis shield ring with white and black diamonds, $3,890 I designed one for myself about two and half years ago, and I was in Bergdorf's doing a trunk show and put my bag on the counter, and a customer picked it up. So I said, "That's my bag," and she said, "No it's my bag. I'm buying it!" I said, OCTOBER | PAGE 27 | 2013 "Look inside — I have my stuff inside." And she asked where she could get one. And I said, "You can't." And she got really mad and ran out of the store. So then we started down this path of "Let's create it." THIS IS WHAT THE BAGS LOOK LIKE. We've got roughly nine silhouettes in three colorways. All of the bags are handmade. They start at $700 and go up to about $5,000. The hardware on the bags is all bathed in either a 14- or 18K-gold finish and set with semiprecious gemstones. It's actually the jewelry on the bag. WHEN I JUGGLE … SOMETHING ALWAYS FALLS. I'm sad to say that a lot of times it's my workout. But I think that I'm fortunate. And I'm able to do as much as I've been able to because I've got an amazing team at home, and I've got an amazing team at the company, amazing board members and mentors, so it's been great. YOUR PERSONAL STYLE? I love all the layering. I don't like things perfectly matched. I love it when things can be coordinated that are different, that create your unique style where it doesn't look planned. I love the bohemian lifestyle and look and feel. STYLE IS IN THE DETAILS. I'm an accessory girl! I'll throw on a white T-shirt, ripped-up jeans and flip-flops, but as long as I've got a great bag and the jewelry and everything else, then I'm set. WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE WEARING YOUR JEWELRY? I love Audrey Tautou in A Very Long Engagement. I think she's amazing. If I could put my jewelry on one person, it would be her, because she's so soulful and smart and beautiful. NEXT? It's funny … we have evolved into things because customers have led us in that direction. It's not necessarily a master plan. For the last several years, we've gotten orders for rings that are size 10 or 11, and I thought, 'Who's wearing this?' So we're going to focus on a men's collection at some point. RIGHT NOW, YOUR MANUFACTURING IS DONE IN HOUSTON. DO YOU SEE YOURSELF HERE PERMANENTLY? The people here have been so supportive and so amazing to me. And it is my home. It's where I want my children to grow up. I want them to experience that same connection within a city. I mean, it's one of the largest cities in the country, and yet it's like a giant small town. I love that about Houston. I'M A CREATURE OF HABIT. I love Tiny's No 5. I like going to little quaint restaurants that are privately owned. I live in Southampton, so we go to Raven all the time. We're members at the Houstonian, so we like to take our daughter there to swim. SO FAR, YOU HAVE BEEN ABLE TO MANAGE BOTH THE CREATIVE AND THE BUSINESS SIDE. BUT HOW WILL YOU CONTINUE TO DO THAT AS THE COMPANY GROWS? In the last year, we've started bringing a new executive team to the company. These are people that … I mean, frankly, they have ridiculous experience in running big companies and that sort of stuff. They are changing the company to prepare it to go to the next level. WHICH IS? My ideal dream is to ultimately look back and recognize that we've created one of the most successful accessories brands in the world. I think that we are on track to be able to do that. WHERE CAN YOUR DESIGNS BE PURCHASED? In Houston, we're carried at Neiman Marcus, Judith Ann Jewels, and Tootsies; in Dallas, we're carried at Neiman Marcus and Ylang 23.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of PaperCity Magazine - October 2013 - Houston