On a clear winter morning in February of 2015, I came home from the hospital to our apartment in Brooklyn. Juggling overnight bags, blankets and car keys, my husband and I walked inside carrying a car seat that held our newly born treasure – a 6lb 7oz little girl named Dakota. Overnight, sleepy bright blue eyes and a silky fuzz of red hair had become the focus of all my attention, and the new center of my heart. I carefully tucked our paper hospital bracelets away in my jewelry box – keepsakes from a time of joy and amazement, that ushered in a new and exciting chapter of my life.
Several years, and two more children later, the subject of those keepsakes would come up. In December 2019, I met up with a dear friend and former colleague in Park Slope for a coffee and a stroll – a chance for us to catch up on work and family, babies, and life in Brooklyn. Kia, a gifted jewelry designer, had become a close friend after many years of working together. With her own precious newborn in tow, Kia shared the story of his birth in Park Slope, and his first months at home.
The paper hospital bracelets, those precious mementos that every mom keeps, became the inspiration for our own classically beautiful gold and platinum bracelets, engraved with all the information from the big days – full names, dates and times, and birth weights.
Inspired by this concept, we began to collaborate from our homes in Brooklyn on designing a bracelet we both loved, in celebration of our children.
In designing this collection of bracelets – our first line of jewelry together – we have partnered with the most exceptional talent we’ve come to know in the luxury jewelry industry, in New York City and abroad. Our Workshop, CAD Designers, Diamantaires, and chain and leather manufacturers have unrivaled talent, and our jewelry is designed and crafted with the same standards of excellence that we’ve held and valued throughout our careers. We hope our creations bring you the joy and magic felt by those who created them.
Valery Brinda is a graduate of New York University, with a 15-year career in the luxury jewelry industry. Having held positions at Cartier and David Yurman, she most recently left the role of Director of Product Development at Harry Winston after eight-and-a-half years with the company. She began collaborating with Kia Schwaninger on their own small line of thoughtful creations in January of 2020, inspired by their children and experiences in New York City.
Kia Schwaninger is a graduate of the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design, and designed jewelry for over a decade at the luxury French jewelry brand Van Cleef & Arpels. In June of 2016 she came to Harry Winston as its Director of Design, where she became friends with Valery and worked until the end of 2019. When not collaborating with Valery she designs and creates custom high jewelry pieces and future heirlooms under her own label, Kia Schwan.