GRAZIELA KAUFMAN has been obsessed with color gemstones as far back as she can remember. “In Brazil, my backyard was a gemological treasure,” she says. “I grew up traveling to different mining towns, which engrained in me the true significance of these great gifts from Mother Earth and our responsibility to her.” As CEO and Creative Director of her eponymous company, Graziela Gems, the Brazilian-born jewelry designer says that jewelry is in her blood. “I’m a third generation jeweler and entrepreneur. My Italian-jeweler- grandfather from Livorno, Tuscany, taught me the importance of incredible craftsmanship and that perfection isn’t too much to ask when making a piece of jewelry. It is art in its best form, after all.” When sourcing materials, she places the highest importance on knowing where every gemstone comes from to ensure ethical sourcing and responsible, conflict-free gemstones. “I’ve worked with many of my sources for more than 15 years,” she says. “They are some of the most incredible human beings I have ever met and care deeply for their employees.” She embraces this same quality. “My business style goes from laissez-faire to a democratic and transformational approach,” she says. “All members of my company have a voice, and I listen to them all. If the company does well, we all do well.” Other than gemstones and designing jewelry, Graziela’s other two passions are her husband, four sons, and animals. Graziela Gems donates 10 to 15 percent of all sales to helping animal organizations around the world, including MCP Rescue and Outreach in Chicago, of which she is Vice President. Beautiful jewelry; beautiful person.
Graziela Gems is based in Highland Park. For more information, call 800-961-1170 or visit grazielagems.com.