Handmade in Westchester
Exceptional county artisans offer everything from kooky kaleidoscopes hand-crafted in Hartsdale to chic shrugs crocheted in Cortlandt.
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Think your shopping options are limited to the mass-produced stuff cranked out overseas? Think again. Talented local artisans are creating a stunning selection of functional artwork in their Westchester studios, home workshops, and basement labs. We’ve scoured the county to present these 22 artisanal standouts, whose creations are all conceived, designed, and made by hand, right here in Westchester.
Pam Older Vermeil chain and sea green mystic topaz necklaces ($165-$198) and earrings ($42-$85)
Pam Older (Pam Older Designs), Larchmont
Larchmont jeweler Pam Older handcrafts her casually elegant, delicate collection of necklaces, earrings, and bracelets—all featuring semi-precious stones and pearls with silver and gold beads—in her home studio. For her signature Blossom line, she threads rustic silver beads between flower-like clusters.
Prices for the mainstay collection range from $68 to $450, while an 18-karat gold-and-diamond bridal line is priced from $500 to $4,500. All are sold online at pamolderdesigns.com or locally at Wondrous Things in Briarcliff Manor and Designer One in Larchmont. For more information: (914) 834-2472.
Rachel Fix Purple cubic zirconia and sterling silver earrings ($45)
Rachel Fix, Larchmont
Working at a desk in her bedroom, Rachel Fix, a Scarsdale High School senior, hand-wraps semi-precious stones and pearls onto sterling-silver and gold-filled wire to fashion her chic collection of wire-wrapped necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and rings. Fix calls her work “classical and elegant.” The young designer’s favorite piece is a 56-inch long, lariat-style, gold-filled necklace ($198) featuring about 50 dangling stones, including garnets, rose quartz, blue topaz, and mauve pearls. Her work can be purchased at All Dressed Up and The Look, both in Rye Brook; prices start at $15 for earrings and run to $200 for necklaces. Custom orders welcome. For more information: (914) 393-6002; email@example.com.
Karen Nadel Tree of Life medallion necklace ($120)
The Glimmer of Gold—Sans the Price
Karen Nadel (KN Designs), Chappaqua
Casting about for a creative outlet while working as a Manhattan lawyer, Karen Nadel decided to revisit her childhood interest in jewelry making. Taking courses at the Jewelry Arts Institute and 92nd Street Y, Nadel soon realized her interest in jewelry design surpassed that in law. Ergo KN Designs.
Working in her home studio, the Chappaqua resident handcrafts stylish necklaces and earrings of pure sterling silver plated with 24-karat gold, a technique that, she says, “allows me to create a piece that has the look of solid, 24-karat gold—without the high price tag.” Nadel’s gemstone designs feature pearls and such semi-precious stones as jade, whisky quartz, smoky sapphire, and lemon citrine, while her medallion styles bear geometric-inspired symbols, hearts, and peace signs.
Her designs can be purchased at Beehive Co-op in Mount Kisco and kndesignsjewelry.com. Necklaces range from $45 to $120 and earrings from $40 to $80. Custom design services available. For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Stephen Prescott Daisy necklace in sterling silver ($975)
Stephen Prescott (Stephen Prescott Designs), Hartsdale
After a series of ad agency mergers in the late ‘80s found former Mad Man Stephen Prescott in a job with nothing much to do, the Hartsdale resident enrolled in jewelry-making classes at the Parsons School of Design and the School of Visual Arts to fill the time. Today, he designs sterling-silver jewelry full-time.
Beautifully handcrafted in his home studio, Prescott’s line encompasses some 200 necklaces, bracelets, earrings, cufflinks, and belt buckles. Carried full-time at Bloomie’s in Manhattan, Prescott’s designs are available locally at Citrine in Bronxville and via trunk shows at Bloomingdale’s in White Plains. Most cost between $80 to $300, with larger pieces from $600 to $2,000. For more information: stephenprescott.com.
Leslie Latto (LML Designs), Croton-on-Hudson
When she started to lose her hearing in 1996, former legal secretary Leslie Latto began designing and crafting jewelry. “I needed something to do with my energy,” she says, “so one day I picked up wire and beads and that’s how it all started.” She decided to turn her interest into a business venture, launching LML Designs in 2005.
Latto specializes in lush, cluster-style, sterling-silver and 14- and 18-karat gold earrings featuring a paint box-like spectrum of gem-grade, precious, and semi-precious stones, as well as pearls.
Latto’s jewelry, ranging from $20 to $398, is available at the Beehive Co-Op in Mount Kisco. Custom designs available. For more information: (914) 815-0846; designsbylml.com.