I am never without a piece of jewelry (or five) on my body, even when I’m going absolutely nowhere. Jewelry–whether statement or everyday–adds an extra touch of originality and creativity to your outfit and also boosts the energy of an otherwise rather plain ensemble. And therefore, it boosts my mood. As a market editor for years, I had a growing roster of brands I would use for photoshoots and editorial features but also personal favorites I wear myself and treasure. Below is a list of just a few (is 38 considered a few?) of those brands that I think you may fancy, too.
26 Juin Bijoux
This brand hand-makes all its jewelry in Paris, including my favorite everyday necklace, a dainty half silver-half gold chain. Also worth checking out are the colorful stackable beaded bracelets. The clasps are especially good, something you know is necessary if you’re a daily necklace wearer.
This London-based ethical and sustainable jewelry brand is one you’ve likely seen in fashion editorials across your favorite publications. The prices can be quite high, but my favorite item of the brand's–the everyday pendant necklaces–clock in just over $200. The price is reflective of the handcrafted heirloom pieces.
Designed in NYC, Alterita is a quirky and fun statement jewelry brand that is priced around $100. I personally am a fan of (and own) one of her heart pendants which I love styled with something as simple as a white tee or dressed up with something dressy.
I first learned about this ring brand when founder and designer Sofia DMed me back in 2018 from her Mexico-based studio where she hand-makes her signature “blob” rings. These playful rings remind me of Play-Doh or slime; they're fun organic-shaped rings in cheery colors, lightweight, and $50 a pop. She’s since expanded to earrings that are similar to the rings but floral-shaped. The pieces are affordable, handmade, and each blobby wonder is unique.
Speaking of colorful, Blo Oberry is a whirlwind of beaded accessories that evoke a sense of childhood nostalgia in both color and design. I am especially fond of the hand-beaded necklaces made with repurposed elements.
The brand began as a collection of founder Blanca's Barcelona flea market and vintage shop findings but has since extended to treasures found from all over the world through Blanca's travels.
I had the pleasure of meeting designer Nico Perez for tea to talk about her collection, which she handmade in her Brooklyn studio. Her beaded necklaces (my favorite category) are nearly all $50 or under and add quirkiness to your outfit whether worn solo or layered with your everyday pieces.
The absolute coolest jewelry handmade in NYC with vintage and handmade beads. Full disclosure, one of her beaded pendant necklaces was at the top of my holiday wish list. I love the unexpected color combinations, the fact she uses recycled elements, and the price point. Nearly everything is under $100.
This cool, mostly silver Copenhagen-based brand is–as stated on Instagram–one that uses unexpected upcycled, redesigned, and repurposed jewelry and findings. I’m specifically drawn to the designer's crystal, resin, and silver earrings that feature unusual elements like Kit-Kat wrappers, cheese wrappers, and old cut up debit cards. One person’s trash is your new earrings.
You may be familiar with Éliou from the recent Harry Styles photo shoot in Vogue, where he wore a slew of the fun beaded necklaces. The brand has a summery, carefree, and playful feel to it using bright colors and charms like shells, quartz, and baroque pearls. I am personally most fond of the asymmetric necklaces in unexpected color combinations and the chili pepper pieces, all priced under or around $100 except for a few higher-priced statement pieces.
This Black-owned brand was started by two friends with a great eye for gold jewelry. Everything rings in at a fantastic price point: most pieces are around $30. I love the idea of wearing this necklace dressed up or these hoops every day.
Based in L.A. and Seoul, Flan (as in the dessert) has been designing versatile modern statement jewelry since the end of 2019. Special mention to the Tennis Necklace—a necklace in the infamous tennis bracelet style with a string of cubic zirconia—and the minimal two-toned metal link earrings.
Founded by Sinead Flood, I associate this UK-based jewelry brand with its psychedelic colorful signet rings, all made from a mix of semi-precious gems, hand-painted enamel, and solid 18-karat gold vermeil. Think: purple bubble hearts, alien heads, and trippy star rings. Flood certainly knows how to make jewelry that makes you smile. And fun fact: she told me over DM that her mother was adding the opal elements to some new rings the brand is set to release soon by hand. I love a mother-daughter duo.
I had the pleasure of visiting founder and artist Colin Lynch’s studio in Industry City, Brooklyn. He was classically trained in glassblowing in Venice (wow), and you can see his immense talent and craftsmanship in every piece he makes, all of which are handmade, glass, and unique. I’m particularly a fan of the spiral two-tone rings and braided hoop earrings. Lynch's designs have inspired various other designers on the market, probably because they're pretty irresistible (I walked out of my visit with jewelry of my own) and very, very cool.
I first DMed with the brand’s founder Adriana Manso right after her brand launched in 2019. She's bubbly and fun, which translates into her designs. They are the modern person’s cocktail ring: colorful plastic rings using original molds she recovered from pieces she found forgotten in the back room of an old shop in Barcelona. A fun story producing a fun product, these are the kind of rings that you’re tempted to collect multiple of because she’s constantly releasing new color combinations. The rings are about $100 each.
Land of Gold
Land of Gold founder Havilah modeled for a shoot I styled a while back, which is how I originally was introduced to her brand. The black-owned brand has pretty much any piece of jewelry you could be looking for, from the perfect everyday gold chain necklace (24kt plated) and classic gold hoops to beautiful multi-color stone dangling earrings. And everything is $100 or less, with much of the collection capping out around $50.
I credit my mother for introducing New York-based brand Laura Lombardi to me in 2017 by gifting me a pair of her classic (and infamous) Curve hoop earrings. I styled them in a photoshoot and started noticing them everywhere. Everyone was jumping on the Laura Lombardi train. And it makes sense. Her hoops are hollow, so they’re very light, easy to clean (with the little shammy that comes with every purchase—don’t throw that out!), and a pretty good price for a pair of earrings you will wear every day and continue to wear years later. Not to mention, everything is made using recycled brass and other recycled materials and findings. While best known for her brass pieces, the designer also offers two-tone pieces like the popular brass and sterling silver twisted wire hoops.
This newly launched L.A.-based brand was born from the brain of Ellie, an artist formerly from New York who has been painting and drawing her designs for years before turning them into mini wearable sculptures. She began hand-making these organically shaped polymer pendants for fun, using either hand-beaded strands or custom 14 karat, gold-plated chains. They are affordable, one-of-a-kind, handmade, and good to layer together or with the jewelry you already own. She also welcomes DMs to her account @lillieessentialss or messages over her contact form on her website if a customer wants something specific—a personal experience with a unique piece, handmade for you.
Lizzie and Katherine Fortunato are warm, loving people who make jewelry that is as welcoming to the conversation as they are. This is likely not the first time you’ve heard of this female-founded designer (and investment) NYC-based jewelry brand. TLDR: You should peep the hoops with dangling charms, studs with drop charms (great for multiple holes in one ear), and charm necklaces perfect to layer with the jewelry you already own. The duo also designs statement jewelry, like big multi-media necklaces or bold acrylic earrings. If you’re more of a fine-jewelry wearer, check out the gorgeous fine jewelry line with interchangeable charms to add to hoop earrings, dainty chain necklaces, charm bracelets, anklets, or even a ring. Every season brings fun new designs, but the brand has maintained a recognizable identity since its birth in 2008. Believe me—I’ve been a fan since the start.
Lola Ade is a Black-owned brand founded by Pamela Adewoyin, who spent her childhood in Lagos, Nigeria, surrounded by textures and colors, and local artisans who made goods by hand. The story behind the brand’s name—which you should read about when you visit the website—is as artistic and beautiful as the pieces she designs. I personally purchased one of Adewoyin's classic and versatile Cuban Chain necklaces when I wrote a story about the best gold chain necklaces earlier this year. She also makes vibrant beaded necklaces that she offers to make at custom lengths. In addition to gold and beads, she makes these handmade resin bangles, which I’d love to stack several of (maybe in an assortment of colors!).
Lucia Zolea Vintage
Lucia Zolea curates a mix of vintage and independent designer pieces on her website, and her assortment of limited vintage jewelry is noteworthy. Certainly investment pieces–think a vintage Dior pendant necklace or an antique glass necklace–you’re paying for her incredible thrifting eye.
This Atlanta-based, female-owned jewelry brand makes all its pieces from recycled brass and ethically sourced silver and gold. It happens to be the designer of my favorite statement chain, a mixed metal interchangeable link necklace. It has a mid-range price point (the most expensive item is the aforementioned link necklace at $225, and the lowest is $20 for a flower charm you can add on to earrings), and I’m personally eyeing these cool acetate hoops for $38.
Launched in 2020, Margaux Studios uses materials and components that are sourced personally by the founder Abi, and then handmade in North London. The brand works with a made-to-order model to limit waste. I personally love this hand-beaded freshwater pearl and glass bead bow necklace, this hand-beaded baroque pearl bracelet, and this single heart earring, all three $120 and under.
Ming Yu Wang Jewelry
A contemporary, minimalist jewelry brand influenced by architecture, this NYC-based female-owned designer jewelry brand makes wearable sculptures in plated gold or silver with added elements like topaz, quartz, or freshwater pearls. The shapes of the pieces are undeterminable but organic in shape and eye-catching. I particularly like the earrings in modern curved wires and curious shapes.
Since its start in 2012, Mondo Mondo has been a go-to brand for handmade, original but classically designed jewelry featuring colorful stones and organic-shaped metal. Founder Natasha is inspired by her mother’s birthplace of Mexico and its art and artifacts. Every piece is handcrafted and unique. I'm most aesthetically fond of her brass, colored glass stone rings, and the tiny 18-karat gold plated earrings. The price point skews higher, but it’s a brand to certainly save up for.
This Black-owned, independent, and ethically made fashion brand was founded in 2018. Nia Thomas makes incredible hand-knitted pieces worth noting, but my focus today is on the rings. These 100% semi-precious agate rings are everyday colored bands that are said on the website to help stabilize the aura, eliminate negativity, and enhance mental function, among other abilities. Purely aesthetically speaking, I love these rings and would love to stack a few in different colors on one hand.
A female-founded, made-to-order label based in Miami, NST Studio makes cheery jewelry that promotes a summer-all-year aesthetic, suitable for both everyday and special occasions. The pieces are handcrafted using original materials, so you’re buying a truly original piece. Highlighted products for me include the mismatched pearl drop earrings, the mix-bead necklaces, and freshwater pearls & hand-painted cloisonné bead necklaces (both of which have secure 12-karat gold plated clasps). Most jewelry is around $100, with some higher-priced exceptions.
Oma the Label
This NYC-based Black-owned brand offers affordable everyday jewelry like hoop earrings, everyday chains, and statement chunky chain necklaces, all in 18-karat gold or white gold-plated brass. The brand has a variety of sizing options, so you can be sure the jewelry is the exact fit you’re looking for.
Founded and sourced in Rio de Janeiro, Paola Vilas is best known for its sculptural details—most notably women’s torsos and faces—using 18-karat gold plating and sterling silver. I personally am drawn to two-tone metal pieces like these earrings. The pieces have luxury price tags, but they're worth saving up for as they are truly special conversation starters.
This playful New York-based jewelry brand's pieces are designed and crafted in precious metals, including sterling silver, brass, and gold-filled findings, with an eccentric mix of pearls, seashells, and other various materials. With many pieces under $100, this affordable jewelry brand has been a go-to of mine for gifting and personal indulgence. I love to layer the charm necklaces—peep this beaded heart charm necklace and this dolphin charm (that you can convert to an earring) on a gold chain. Her hoop earrings are the perfect size to wear several in one lobe as a statement, something I personally enjoy doing. This brand is colorful, happy (smiley faces!), and accessible.
If you like wearing vegetables dangling from your lobes as much as I do, this brand is one to note. A London transplant from Spain, the designer most notably mixes cultured pearls and lampwork glass “groceries”—glasswork versions of what you would find at the farmer's market. My favorite pieces are quirky veggie charms in unexpected color combinations, like this Pea in a Pod earring in lavender and green or this blue jalapeno pepper. If you’re more of a pearl wearer, she also has a mix of glass and pearl earrings, all handcrafted. While the brand is synonymous with quirky glass and pearl charm earrings, she also offers charms strung on gold chain necklaces, multi-charm necklaces, and these handcrafted 18-karat plated brass charms strung on a silk twisted cord. The bulk of her product is under $100, too.
Founded last year by Sydney Ziems, this Black-owned sustainable brand is an affordable option for unique statement jewelry pieces. Sydney uses a lot of vintage beads, glass pearls, and findings, including shells and stones, making every piece one-of-kind. I’m most fond of this Poisson Earring, made from a vintage fish charm and 14kt gold-filled hoop, and the Charmed Necklace, which is textured interlinked gold and white gold-filled chains with a malachite heart pendant. Prices range from $40 for hair clips to $300 for a statement sterling silver beaded necklace.
This sustainable New York-based brand was founded by Christina Tung, who has her finger on the pulse of the industry; she owns and runs the NYC PR showroom House Of, representing a range of brands. Christina’s brand SVNR hand-makes all jewelry from found, reused, upcycled, and natural materials. I’m most fond of her single dangle earrings, which are a stack of different beads, stones, and pearls, and this porcelain and pearl drop earring that references the blue and white porcelain vases found in Sumatra, Indonesia. You can find earrings for under $100, and prices go up to around $500 for some of the handmade one-of-a-kind necklaces.
I’ve been a fan of this luxury jewelry brand for years, drawn to its playful mix of quality materials. All jewelry is hand-crafted in Paris and designed by Leslie Chetrit, the brand's founder. Key items include asymmetrical hoop earrings and necklaces that are a mix of different materials on gold chains. This brand is a higher price point, sold at luxury boutiques, and one to certainly save up for.
This sustainable and ethical Mexican brand based out of New York and Mexico City is, to me, synonymous with the friendly, welcoming downtown New York City nightlife many of us dream to experience. Think jewelry for a diverse group of adventurous dressers, not afraid of color. With a made-to-order model to limit waste and materials sourced locally, you support local artisans in Mexico when you shop. To get a good feel for the brand, check out the resin heart drop earrings and playful chokers.
This female-owned, ethical luxury brand uses a mix of precious and semi-precious materials, all hand-crafted in Barcelona. With a price point of about $150 for their iconic symbol signet rings (see: this popular Yin Yang or the daisy ring), it’s a great brand for gifting (to others or yourself) for a special and statement piece of fine jewelry. I'm personally eyeing the 18-karat gold vermeil chain charm necklaces or the charm bracelets that each clock in at just over $200.
This Vancouver-based, female-owned semi-fine jewelry brand handcrafts everyday pieces you will probably never take off. The brand calls itself “attainable luxury” using either recycled sterling silver or recycled bronze plated in 14-karat gold. I’ve been wearing the Lola necklace for years using either the little floral-shaped toggle clasp in the front or back if I prefer to have just a freshwater pearl strand. Another favorite category is the little half-moon hoops, which I wear together in one lobe.
Handmade in Astoria, this Black-owned jewelry brand is a source for fun, sustainable everyday jewelry with a good dose of freshwater pearls, gold, and fun, colorful beads. I’m personally most drawn to the little brass earrings with dangling beads or freshwater pearls, which are all under $100. Check in frequently because the stock is limited and, due to popularity, it's often sold out.