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Friday, February 25th 2011

Meet the Designers Behind dalla nonna

Designed by Rebecca Richards and Jessica Bohrer, college roommates who are now lawyers by day and jewelry designers by night, dalla nonna is a collection of simply pretty, meaningful jewelry. We talked to the designers about balancing their “lawyering” with their design, their inspiration, and how they wear dalla nonna jewelry.
Shopbop: You both work as lawyers by day and jewelry designers by night. How do you balance this life, and how did you make the jump from law to design?
Rebecca Richards & Jessica Bohrer: Maintaining balance can be a challenge, but we love it. Designing allows us to channel our creative energy, while “lawyering” helps us to sharpen our problem-solving skills. Fate plus a lifelong love for jewelry making led us to make the jump from law to design. After months of brainstorming over our favorite brick oven pizza, we finally made the leap when inspiration struck (thanks to a gift passed from grandmother to granddaughter).

SB: What is the inspiration behind your line?
RR & JB: dalla nonna was inspired by vintage pieces of jewelry passed down from our mothers and grandmothers. We fell in love with the idea of taking a family treasure with a story—a trinket celebrating a special day—and making it new by adding a modern twist.

SB: Your jewelry pieces are simple, yet feel very personal. What drew you to this aesthetic?
RR & JB: dalla nonna jewelry is meant to be simple enough to wear every day, but also unique enough to make any outfit feel extra special. Personal details give each piece a life and story of its own—from the date you selected for your calendar necklace, to the letters you chose for your little letter bracelet. As the line continues to grow, it’s important that all of the new pieces stay true to our chic, custom, vintage-inspired aesthetic.

SB: “Dalla nonna” means “from the grandmother” in Italian. Where did this name come from?
RR & JB: Our first collection, the calendar necklace, was derived from an old tie pin of Jess’s Grandpa Howard that her Grandma Rose repurposed into a necklace for Jess and her mother to wear. Since Becca had spent a great deal of special time in Italy, and our business brainstorming happened at a pizzeria, the Italian translation of “from the grandmother” seemed like the perfect way to reflect who we are and from where we came.

SB: What is your favorite piece from your collection?
RR & JB: While our signature piece, the calendar necklace, will always hold special meaning, we are loving the little letter bracelets right now. It's amazing to learn how people choose their letters to signify something meaningful (like a beau, baby, or pooch’s initials) or just for fun with cute combos like “xo,” “love,” “omg,” or our personal favorite, “bff.”

SB: How do you wear dalla nonna jewelry?
RR & JB: Any way you like it! We like to layer a bunch of different pieces together and play with different metals. We love, love, love rose gold. It manages to have a vintage yet modern feel, especially when paired with the grey (faux) suede, which is what dalla nonna is all about—taking something vintage-y and adding a modern twist to result in a completely new look.

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