PaperCity Magazine

September 2014 - Houston

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The gold bangles that sparked the home collection. Bangles in 18K gold, at Saks Fifth Avenue. 18K yellow-gold white South Sea pearl and diamond ring, at Saks Fifth Avenue curve around a woman's neck, or what helps a pitcher to pour effectively without the liquid sloshing into the glass. Design is one piece of the pie, but implementation is everything. GAME ON I see the business as a separate entity from me; it truly has a life all its own. I would like to see it live beyond my time and to see my pieces cherished by future generations. Well- designed, well-made products rise above time and trend. They are classic, timeless and elegant. When I entered the doors of Saks Fifth Avenue in 1999 to do my first personal appearance, I remember thinking 'It's not getting here … it's staying here. That's the game I want to play.' T hey say that if you do something you truly love, you will be successful at it. Katy Briscoe is a living testament to that adage. "Sometimes truly great things come from our biggest struggles," says the designer, who launched her collection of heavily embellished, Byzantine-inspired jewelry 15 years ago. Revered for its 18K-gold heft, extraordinary colored stones, remarkable burnished golden hue and intricate workmanship, the jewelry sells in meccas such as Saks Fifth Avenue in Houston and William Noble Rare Jewels in Dallas. The rich golden bangles were the inspiration for the new Bangles Collection for Katy Briscoe Home: classically shaped dinnerware and serving pieces made of soul-cleansing white bone china with hand-painted 24K gold and white bisque finishes. Here, the fiery CEO dishes on her lifelong love affair with jewels, gold and uplifting the soul. THE JEWELRY GENE. I can remember being four years old and having bangles up to my elbow. Plastic bangles in all colors — I have loved jewelry and fashion as long as I can remember. When I was young, my only desire was to be a mom with four kids (and I am). I didn't have a plan to end up having a big business; it's just how life unfolded for me. IT ALL BEGAN WITH A BRACELET AND A BAGEL … The initial inspiration for the dinnerware came during a conversation at breakfast with a friend who said, "You know, your bangles would make really great napkin rings." In that moment, a million pictures rushed through my brain, and I could see 15 years of design work morphing into different forms. It was really quite exciting. A GOOD FRIEND. Grace and mutual respect brought Gigi Valera, co-founder and president of Katy Briscoe Home, and I together. Gigi was wondering what the next phase of her life was going to look like after her children left for college, and I was exploring the idea of creating the home collection and knew that I would not be able to split myself from running the jewelry business HOUSTON JEWELRY DESIGNER KATY BRISCOE COMES TO THE TABLE WITH AN EXQUISITE NEW COLLECTION OF AMERICAN-MADE DINNERWARE AND SERVING PIECES. to give home a full liftoff. The Bangles Collection is here today because of Gigi's focused determination and drive. YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS. Initially, I reached out to people I trusted to put together a team to look at how to create the collection. One of those people connected us to an industrial designer with an impressive résumé in New York, who created concept designs. Networking and research were and still continue to be our most beloved friends. We hired an industry consultant who was a friend of our designer and flew to Germany to interview manufacturers. It was during this time that Gigi and I knew that we had something special. People cannot hide their initial response when they see something new. YOU WORKED AT FRED JOAILLIER AND DAVID WEBB BEFORE LAUNCHING YOUR OWN JEWELRY BUSINESS. WHAT WAS YOUR TAKEAWAY? With both, I learned how fine jewelry was supposed to be made. There was no compromise. JEWELRY THAT HAS STAYED WITH YOU. There have been many pieces that I would have loved to have kept, but that's a luxury I've not had. I'm the hands that the pieces pass through, and I truly have found that there is greater joy in watching the jewelry find its owners. SHE WHO WEARS THE GOLD RULES. All kinds of women wear my jewelry, and it really delights me to see how each one finds her own sense of self-expression in my work. That is one of the reasons that many of my designs come in three sizes (small, medium and large). We see women who wear the big statement jewelry, but we also have just as many if not more women who are better suited to the small or medium-scaled pieces. The one unifying factor is that they all love gold. DO YOU DESIGN EVERYTHING YOURSELF? Yes, with God's guidance and a host of assistance on planet Earth. There is a beautiful dance that weaves its way through the creation of pieces. Sometimes I will envision an entire piece during meditation; sometimes, it is born out of need, and sometimes it's inspired by something I saw or experienced that day. Whether I'm working with the industrial designer on the bone-china collection or with one of my model makers or jewelers, there always comes a point where they will have a bigger role in its creation because of their technical capabilities. They understand how to make a necklace lay flat as it makes the WHITE HOT KENNON EVETT 18K yellow-gold bicolor tourmaline, demantoid garnet and purple spinel ring, at Saks Fifth Avenue. TERRY VINE TERRY VINE BY FRANCINE BALLARD. PORTRAITS JACK THOMPSON. HAIR SARAH AL-ADWANI WITH CERON SALON. MAKEUP OLGA REZA. PRODUCT PHOTOGRAPHY KENNON EVETT. Large bone china vase with white bisque detail $380, at Longoria Collection, Lerant KENNON EVETT Bangles Collection 24K hand- painted gold bone china; oval platter $800, large pitcher $450, serve bowl $450, salt-and-pepper set $380, at Longoria Collection, Lerant KENNON EVETT Katy Briscoe in her Houston design office

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