Wherever she lives, Dana Forbes sets up a studio for her jewelry-making business. Right now that studio is in a sparely decorated, mostly white room in Montauk that is accented by her signature color, purple, on gift boxes wrapped in silver ribbon and waiting to be filled.
“So it looks like a beautiful gift from the outside too,” she said on Monday, dressed in a colorful caftan, her hands resting on her pregnant belly.
Ms. Forbes has been making jewelry for 10 years — more seriously in the last few. Just this week she launched danaforbesjewelry.com, officially making the line available nationally. She worked on Wall Street as a trader, a job she called successful but stressful, before she went into bridal fashion. “I used that opportunity to learn the bridal market for my bridal line,” she said.
Soon after she started making jewelry, she was approached by family, friends, and complete strangers who admired the unique pieces she wore. Her family, she said, is always outfitted in her jewelry. On a recent visit she had two gold charm necklaces draped from her neck and a slew of beaded bracelets dangling from her wrist.
On the Web site, she offers a bridal collection that includes thank-you gifts for the maid of honor, bridesmaids, and the mother and mother-in-law of the bride. All pieces can be custom made to complement a bride’s wedding attire or to suit a signature style and color. “It’s a hard market to find good gifts in. As a bridesmaid you tend to get the same thank-you gifts over and over. The cool thing about the Web site is that every piece can be customized and changed,” Ms. Forbes said.
For the necklaces, bracelets, and earrings she makes, she is always inspired by nature, she said, adding that Montauk is a great place for that.
Using gold, silver, and a variety of gemstones including peridot, amethyst, garnet, aquamarine, coral, and turquoise, her line is totally organic, she said. From her delicate chains, some of which are beaded, hang charms of pearls, translucent stones, tree leaves, birds in flight, bugs, an owl, and other critters. “I buy a lot of stuff from the Manhattan jewelry district,” she said.
The jewelry has been featured in magazines such as Lucky. Ms. Forbes has sold at craft fairs and to Kailani, a women’s clothing boutique, and Lila Yoga, both in Montauk. Her line is sold at yoga studios from New York to Los Angeles and at Pure, a national division of the popular Equinox studios.
Prices start at $48. She will soon be sending out an e-mail blast to 5,000 potential customers to alert them that the Web site has been launched. Once her baby boy arrives sometime next month, the family, which includes her husband, Mike, and 3-year-old son, Phoenix, will make the move to Manhasset to be closer to her husband’s work. The new house is sure to have a studio.