Celebrities who attend the Academy Awards this weekend will have the opportunity to take home a bit of hand-crafted swag from Northfield jewelry designer Jennifer Volkodav.
Through Volkodav’s membership in the Artisan Group, a national trade organization, she seized the opportunity to be included in a pre-Oscars celebrity gifting suite on March 2-3 in Beverly Hills. The event is by invitation-only and in past years, celebrities such as Chris Tucker, Penny Marshall and Sugar Ray Leonard have stopped by for free gifts, as well as to check out some of the artisanal items on display.
Volkodav will be gifting a handcrafted amethyst necklace that she describes as a geometric piece with an industrial setting and beautiful stone. She also will display some of her signature, one-of -a-kind statement pieces for purchase.
Growing up in Lake Forest, Volkodav always loved anything creative. She went on to earn her degree in graphic design and visual communications and worked as a graphic designer. While she was raising her four children in Northfield, she discovered her talent for jewelry design.
Volkodav stumbled in jewelry design after she was given a large cocktail diamond ring when her grandmother died. Volkodav knew she would never wear the ring. Instead, she decided to re-design it as a necklace, and took it to a jeweler to have her design made.
“It just sparked something,” Volkodav said.
She began to teach herself how to design and make jewelry by hand, watching tutorials online, and practicing through trial and error. As she sharpened her skills, Volkodav began selling jewelry on Etsy — where she still sells some jewelry — and ultimately created a website for Jen Volkodav Jewelry Design as sales grew.
Volkodav describes her style as bohemian, whimsical, and colorful — drawing much of her inspiration from nature. “I am flabbergasted everyday at what Mother Nature produces that is natural,” she said.
Volkodav is known for her use of Tourmaline stones, which she favors because of their range of colors. “They are just so crazy beautiful and vibrant,” she said. She only uses solid 14K gold, gold filled or sterling silver metals, as well as high quality gem stones sourced from Brazil. Combining fine jewelry with a bohemian design sense is unique, Volkodav said.
Volkodav selected an amethyst necklace for the Oscars swag bag because the Pantone Color of the Year this year is ultra-violet, and the design was somewhat simple to replicate. Since all of her jewelry is handcrafted, she never makes the same piece twice. “Typically my (jewelry) is just one of a kind,” she said. And so preparing for the Oscars swag bag was challenging, because Volkodav had to create 90 amethyst necklaces by hand.
Volkodav doesn’t envision designing manufactured jewelry, instead she plans to maintain her focus on handcrafted, artisan designs. “I am more of a hands-on person,” she said.
For more information go to www.jenvolkodavjewelrydesign.com.