Jewelry Designer Profile: 2014 GEM Award Winner Kara Ross

Kara Ross 2014 GEM Designer of the Year
Kara Ross
GEM 2014 Designer of the Year

Award-winning jewelry designer Kara Ross created her first custom piece when she was only 13 year old. Upon returning from an African safari with her parents, Kara was encouraged to design a piece of jewelry around a souvenir tourmaline. Together they visited a Philadelphia jeweler, where Kara described her vision for a square-cut ring in 18K gold with diamonds. “To know that I could create something wholly original at a young age really affected me,” Kara explains on her company’s website. Apparently, her parents’ early support of her vision affected her success as well.
On January 10, Kara Ross was named 2014 Designer of the Year at the Jewelry Information Center’s 12th Annual GEM Awards gala in New York City. The evening is considered by many as “the Academy Awards of the jewelry industry.”

Petra Contour 18K Gold Earrings with Sky Blue Topaz, Opal & White Diamonds, Blue Topaz and Peridot Inset Ring with Diamonds in 18k Gold, Horseshoe Jet Cuff with Pink Tourmaline, Amethyst, Fire Opal & Diamonds in 18K Gold

After graduating from Georgetown University, Kara studied gemology and became a GIA-certified gemologist. She began her jewelry career by creating one-of-a-kind custom pieces in 18K gold, diamonds and pearls for private clients. In 2003, she founded her company, Kara Ross, which grew in one short decade from a fine jewelry collection to multiple jewelry and accessories lines. The newest addition to the brand is the Kara Ross Petra Collection which debuted in 2013.

Today, Kara’s pieces are regularly featured in the pages of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, W and Elle. She is known for her bold, naturalistic jewelry designs and for her use of exotic skins and gemstones in her handbags and belts. Pieces from Kara’s collections are available at Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Henri Bendel and Bloomingdales, as well as fine jewelry and specialty stores around the country. Her own flagship store opened on New York’s Madison Avenue in November.

Kara’s celebrity clients include Kate Hudson, Cameron Diaz, Eva Longoria, Anne Hathaway, Demi Moore and Oprah Winfrey. Oh, and did we mention the First Family?  Not long ago, President and Mrs. Obama commissioned her to create exclusive gifts from Magnolia wood originating from the White House lawn, which they presented to visiting heads of state.

Pieces from the Kara Ross fine jewelry collections can be seen at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, and the San Diego Natural History Museum. Her work has also been included in Ruth Peltason’s book “Living Jewels – Masterpieces from Nature.”

Congratulations, Kara Ross. At Obsessed by Jewelry we’re obsessed by your jewelry!

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