|The Chat: Carol Brodie-Jewelry Designer-@carolbrodie
We seldom consider the psychology connected to our relationship with the jewelry we love and cherish when scrambling to dress for an important event, a date, or just to go about our day. Jewelry Designer Carol Brodie firmly believes bejeweling can be empowering. It can render the wearer strength, it can make us feel romantic and pretty, and it can whisk us back in time through nostalgic reimagination. It can even help us identify with our tribe. Whether evoking memories, making fashion statements, or simply satisfying the whim of the moment at hand, jewelry caps our mood with undeniable confidence and a ready to take on the world enthusiasm. There’s truth to the fact we become what we wear.
Brodie’s genesis into jewelry design sprang from a successful career in marketing and public relations metamorphizing into a stint as a jewelry stylist bedecking the who’s who of Hollywood’s celebrated stars for the Oscars, the Emmy’s, the Tony’s, and the Golden Globes. Captivated by the jewels she accessed for her clients from luxury brands including Harry Winston, and a personal relationship with the legendary jewelry design genius, Ambaji Shinde, Brodie parlayed her experiences into an artful aesthetic curating her designs into a coveted brand.
Highly sought after as a jewelry expert with solid experience as the former Chief Luxury Officer for the Robb Report, Global Communications Director for Harry Winston, and Spokeswoman for DeBeers diamonds, Brodie’s distinguished media presence is enviable. Her singular talent embodied by a studied awareness of the human spirit and keen design sensibilities helped jettison her to the top of the sales charts on the HSN shopping network with the launch of Rarities Fine Jewelry by Carol Brodie. Think bold cuffs, brilliant gemstones and chunky necklaces fit for any occasion. But most importantly, think about modern day wardrobe enhancement rooted in the Art Deco movement and the Victorian era. Brodie’s designs give an unequivocal affirmation to the notion of bejeweled empowerment.
SohoMuse: It’s a pleasure to introduce you to our members Carol, and an honor to feature the Carol Brodie Collection through the SoHoMuse Marketplace Gallery. Thank you for your time today. We love your designs, and we love your philosophy. Quote, “If you can dream it, you can do it!” That’s a very inspirational message. Can you elaborate?
Brodie: “Thank you for the opportunity to share with you today. I really believe dreams are the imagination of our future realities. Ideas are the catalyst for creating for most artists and when I dream, my best ideas come to me. I’ve always had great confidence that I could pull off most anything once I visualize it.”
SohoMuse:Your career trajectory runs the gamut from Artist and Designer to Entrepreneur to Media Influencer and TV Talk Show Host. How long have you been designing? Did you have a mentor when you first started out?
Brodie:“I like to refer to myself as a Curator rather than a Designer. I started curating jewelry back in 2009. But my first job was in marketing and public relations. I was a spokesperson for several, major luxury brands creating stories about jewelry. Moving into design based on all the experiences I had with unlimited access to the most luxurious jewelry brands in the world was a natural progression for me. It was a kind of osmosis if you will, and I absorbed everything around me like a sponge. When you’re able to work with bespoke brands made with the finest gems in the world, hand crafted by renowned artisans it becomes an education.”
SohoMuse:As a Curator, what type of jewelry attracts your attention?
Brodie:“I’ve always found myself drawn to estate jewelry from the 20’s which is the Art Deco period. Jewelry from that era is gorgeous typified by geometric and abstract shapes, inlaid diamonds and contrasting colored gemstones. And I also love Victorian era jewelry, which was popular during the late eighteen-hundreds. The pieces are usually very romantic yet dramatic, sometimes featuring snake patterns, amethyst and gold, or fine moonstones. Emeralds were very popular then, and the popularity of diamonds was on the rise as well. I could go on and on. When I see something great and transformative, it’s very inspiring to me.”
SohoMuse: You’re so successful it’s hard to believe you never went to design school or had a mentor. Did you have someone that was a major influence on you as an artist? Because jewelry design is an art. It’s more than just curating a collection for a client or redesigning a piece to update it. It’s about vision. And talent.
Brodie:(Laughing) Like I said before, I basically got an on the job education. But yes, I was privileged to have a personal relationship with Ambaji Shinde, one of the world’s most celebrated jewelry designers. It was a mesmerizing experience to just sit in his studio. He was a master craftsman who had designed for the coronation of the Maharaja of Baroda in India as a young man. His designs were exquisite, just as you can imagine on that level of commission. He continued to design for royals and celebrities worldwide throughout his career. When he left India, he was invited to have a studio at Harry Winston in New York where I met him. It was incredibly empowering for me to be able to sit with him and learn some of his techniques which I’ve incorporated into some of my designs.
SohoMuse:Let’s talk about how jewelry as inspiration. When we add jewelry to our clothing there’s often a subconscious thought process as to why we choose the jewelry we choose to complete an outfit. What’s your take?
Brodie: “I relate jewelry to the Three M’s. The Meaning. The Moment. The Memory. The Three M’s ramp up emotions when we think about them. What’s The Meaning of the piece? Why did we buy it? Or, who gave it to us? Was it an inheritance? Etc. Etc. The Moment we received a piece can bring us to tears. Where were we when we got it? Who were we with? Was it received unexpectedly? And then there’s The Memory of the piece. Does it remind us of something happy? Or does it elicit pain over a breakup or the death of a loved one? Recognizing the power of a piece is in the understanding of the Three M’s.”
SohoMuse:What about jewelry as empowerment?
Brodie: “When I’m working on a collection, say for example, my Happily Ever After Collection, I’m envisioning a bold woman, very strong and happy with herself. When this woman buys one of my pieces, I want her to open the box and fall in love immediately with color because color denotes happy and this collection features pink and green tourmaline gemstones which are beautifully romantic but very bold, very colorful, and thereby, very empowering. I think it’s so important to get out of our comfort zone and to change the way we feel about jewelry. Just choosing something different is a positive attitude. When a woman wears this collection, she’s sending a message to the world that she is happy and ready to face the world. That message is the most empowering message of all.”
SohoMuse: What one piece of jewelry do you think is the most important piece a person should never be without?
Brodie:“I’m a soul believer that it’s definitely earrings! Earrings can change your personality. You can go from blah to brilliant in two seconds with the right pair of earrings! (laughing) And think about the right color selection when selecting them. For instance. If you have a sallow skin tone and you put on a beautiful pair of turquoise and gold earrings positioned in the correct proportion to the jaw line, the skin tone turns from sallow to glowing instantly and the feeling is priceless. When you purchase fine jewelry, the value is in what you’re getting and that it will last a lifetime, not what you paid to get it.”
SohoMuse: HSN. What was the inspiration for Rarities Fine Jewelry by Carol Brodie? And why was it such a smash?
Brodie: “My true inspiration was that I wanted to bring luxury goods to the masses. I believed, and still do, that we all want to feel special and to own something rare. Whether it cost one million dollars or a hundred dollars, knowing the story behind the piece gives it value. Knowing there’s a limited number of pieces produced in a collection and understanding the value of the gemstones and design origin is priceless no matter what the cost. Rarities Fine Jewelry by Carol Brodie is all about the story. There’s exclusivity in design, the usage of rare gems in the collection, hand craftmanship, and a limited number of pieces manufactured. Collections like this were previously unavailable on any home shopping network before the launch of Rarities Fine Jewelry.”
SohoMuse:You’re a vetted member of SohoMuse. What does membership mean for a successful businesswoman like yourself?
Brodie:“It’s a very welcome alliance for me as an Artist, a Jewelry Curator and a Businesswoman. SohoMuse is actually a ticket to a private club with access to a platform that definitely lends cache and another layer of credibility, not only to my VIB, which I describe as a Very Influential Brand, but it lends another layer of credibility to all of the people who’ve been invited to join.”
SohoMuse:What’s your future legacy? Do you have something in mind?
Brodie: “To be honest, I don’t believe I’ve discovered my true purpose in life. And if finding my purpose-and if my purpose is to connect and empower women through my craft-then so be it. But I’m pretty sure that’s only the beginning. I’m in a time of great reflection and self-discovery with no future vision because I really don’t feel I’ve reached my potential in life. I do know I want to use my influence to continue to empower women. I’m writing a book and as the pages unfold, I want it to have a positive impact on the reader, even a life changing impact. I’ll leave it at that as it’s still early in the process and the subject matter is very raw. I’ve left the city to work in a calm environment where I can pull apart the puzzle and reimagine it in a healing way if that makes sense. I’m not religious, but I’m very spiritual. I believe our faith finds us in life through the people we meet on our journey. Each relationship teaches us if we remain open to it. I remain open.”
Be sure to check out Carol Brodie's collection for the SohoMuse Marketplace by using the link below: