The 'La Kaiser' contemporary gem stone and diamond Collection is distinguished by its simplicity, delicate details and dreamlike sophistication. Soft feminine tones are complimented by bright pops of color.
With Swiss roots and a South African upbringing there is a unique playful elegance to Cindy's designs as European minimalism is juxtaposed with the vibrant energy of South Africa.
Cindy's passion and commitment to perfection is reflected in every piece she brings to life. Here she talks about her journey and what she has discovered along the way.
What Sparked your passion for jewelry?
I grew up in Zimbabwe and moved to Cape Town when I was 18 to study Jewelry and Metal Design. After receiving my BA at age 23 I decided to move to LA, attracted by its cool, artsy, creative scene. I began work in the fashion industry apprenticing for a jewelry designer. He created bold, masculine statement pieces. He also specialized in extravagant costume design for celebrities and events. We styled Black Eyed Peas Fergie in intense bling (LA Times described it as "butterfly-shaped battle armor") for the Super Bowl Half Time Show!
I began experimenting with my own designs, starting off with chunkier pieces and using mainly crystals. I realized however that people just gravitate towards gem stones, especially opals! Everyone loves opals! I moved towards a more delicate aesthetic and established my overall look.
Where do you draw you inspiration?
I visit my family often in Switzerland and love traveling throughout Europe. My inspirational is definitely drawn from the minimalism, clean lines and fresh simplicity of many European cities.
What makes your designs distinct?
Definitely my specific use of gem stones to achieve a certain look. I try to combine gems and diamonds to keep the overall design soft and neutral yet eye catching. I focus on pairing different colors of stones that have unique sheens and flashes of color.
Biggest risk taken with a design?
To begin with the overall design in mind and then place fabrication into the hands of others is definitely a risk. When working with another jeweler the overall result can be spectacular or it could fail completely!
Most rewarding and most challenging part about owning your own business?
It is so rewarding when a design comes to fruition and people love it!
It is a challenge to keep on growing as there is a constant pressure to produce. People always want to see more from you, They want to see what you are going to do next. The whole process can be bit of a rollercoaster!
Advice for someone wanting to start their own jewelry line?
Persistence! Persistence! Persistence! Unfortunately any emerging designers are not really noticed or taken that seriously when they start out. You have to keep on hammering through and most importantly you have to respond to your customers and listen to their feedback. You can’t be stubborn just because you like a design, You have to bring your customers into your own work.
Favorite stones to work with and why?
Definitely opals and moonstones. I personally just love these two gem stones! I am also a big fan of labradorite and abalone. All of these stones have mixes of color within them which makes them so beautiful to work with and fuels my passion to keep designing. I also love diamonds!
The Solo Diamond Pendant is a favorite. Its delicate, elegant and timeless. The Warrior Shield Ring is one of my favorite rings. It has just enough masculinity to make it edgy whilst still maintaining a degree of delicacy with its tiny diamonds.
What does Luxury mean to you?
Enjoying the simple things in life and viewing them as rich and memorable experiences. Traveling especially is always a luxury to me as I get to experience different cultures and meet amazing people along the way.
Favorite way to relax? what do you do and where do you go?
Hiking and walks by the Lake. I visit my brother often in Lake Geneva and love the Sleeping Bear Dunes!
Favorite thing about Chicago?
The winters! I like snow, sweaters, boots… all things winter! Also summertime thunderstorms!