AMY ROSEVEARE: I first met Daria De Koning about a year ago, and I was so impressed with her work. She really is the queen of cabochons and color! I’ve continued to admire her work, and I’m pleased to share this interview with you.
AMY: Tell me about your journey to becoming a jewelry designer
DARIA: Ever since I was a little girl I loved making jewelry and would contently sit for spare hours making earrings, necklaces, barrettes, etc. I started walking around horse shows and selling them to people. I had the good luck to be around lots of pretty jewelry and was always fascinated by it and loved looking at it closely. When I was 18, I finally took a metalsmithing class and was totally hooked. They couldn’t get me out of there! It was a swift path to more metalsmithing classes on any topic I could find, gemology graduate school (GIA) and into the jewelry world workforce. I worked for an Italian designer for a few years, while still honing my skills, and then I started taking on custom engagement ring commissions and also custom re-work commissions. It blossomed from there.
AMY: Clearly you have a passion for color — tell me about that.
DARIA: Can I blame it on my mother who wouldn’t let me wear black until I was a teenager?! Maybe that’s part of it, but I’ve always been very drawn to color. Color tells a mood and can make you happy (or even sad?!). I love painting and art that has lots of color – impressionist and pointillist artists especially, since the way they mixed colors together was exceptional and innovative for the time… Color is a great accent to a basic like black, navy or brown, and gives life to an outfit and can really tell a story about you as a person. It’s expressive!
AMY: How would you describe your line?
DARIA: My line is in 18k yellow gold and has, of course, lots of color! I use cabochon-cut gemstones with accents of faceted stones in designs that implement negative and positive space. I like to use stones that are “off the beaten track” mixed with something “fancy,” and I take a lot of time with the hue and tone of my gems – cabochons really deliver what moves me. It’s about the way the colors come together and the way shapes work and interact with not only each other, but with the negative space.
AMY: Describe the woman who wears your jewelry
DARIA: Feminine, Confident, Polished, Genuine and Spirited. My clients are mainly the self-purchasing woman who loves and understands jewelry - both in the Boomer and Gen X demographic - who love color, love cabochons and know what they like. They also possess those five qualities!
AMY: What are your hopes and dreams for the future of your business?
DARIA: These days, I’m focusing on my one-of-a-kind pieces that are unique and impossible to recreate or copy. I’m a little old-school in that I don’t see myself as a “brand” – a phraseology which feels very third-person in a world-conqueror kind of way. I’m an artist and a designer whose work is wearable, which is very personal, very one-on-one. It’s more important to me that my pieces find homes with like-minded collectors and creatives than spending my time plotting a market segment coup involving wallets and candles. So, to answer your question, my hopes and dreams are that I would love to grow my connection with clients who love art for art’s sake and see their jewels as a natural extension of that aesthetic.