Insider's Guide to Spas
almbijoux

Style

Jewelry by almbijoux

Mary Bemis


This whimsical jewelry line that began as a creative outlet for spa consultant Anna Lempereur Moine, officially launches in a few short weeks at the four-star Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa on Oahu. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Anna since the early 1990s, when she was head of PR and marketing for a French haircare company. To this day, I can vividly recall our first meeting—and Anna’s exuberant sense of style. As she says, ” I have never been a diamond a girl and always looked for the unusual stone.”

When did you start designing jewelry, and why?

Because I was so immersed in high-performance skincare technology, I sought a creative outlet and started making jewelry at home. At first, it was quite basic, but I persevered and one day came across a funny looking stone, a druzy. I was immediately taken by its juxtaposition of rawness with its alluring feminine sparkle. I incorporate druzy in most of my designs today and continue to be seduced by its undeniable appeal and allure.

When did you realize it would be a viable business for you?

I did not want it to become a business since it was my creative outlet, but then I created the druzy wrap bracelet and a spa buyer saw it and ordered a dozen. Today it remains the entry point for most spas to test out my line and remains very popular. I customize the bracelet for particular regions and offer it in the original freeform style but also a more linear collection. Spas then started asking for more inventory, and I started adding earrings, necklaces, and rings.

What is your philosophy behind the line?

I am not making fine jewelry but rather fun jewelry. That is why I keep it at a reasonable price point with the average retail price of $95.00. I also like to incorporate multi-functionality in my pieces and designed a bale for pendants that can be easily removed to be worn in a multiple way on a 36-inch gem chain.

I incorporate an urban edgy design with earth’s natural resources. But being a woman, I will also add a whimsical detail to make it sparkly and shiny.

Special stones and metals used?

By now, you know that I am druzy obsessed, however I had an opportunity to travel to Brazil last summer and started incorporating semi-precious stones in my designs as well, including aquamarine, citrine, kyanite, and chalcedony. I also source stones from India and Turkey. From time to time, I will find that incredible gemstone that I must have to create a piece. Recently, I came across a few pieces of druzy that were vaporized with 18-carat gold and platinum, and immediately was drawn to them. Due to the gold content, those pieces are priced higher but are unique designs that can never be replicated.

What inspires your creations?

I split my time between the city that never sleeps and the most bucolic place, the Hudson Valley. I incorporate an urban edgy design with earth’s natural resources. But being a woman, I will also add a whimsical detail to make it sparkly and shiny.

How would you best describe your style?

I am still trying to figure that one out! I was born and raised in Paris, and then spent 20 years in New York City in the beauty/fashion world, so was a bit obsessed about style for years. At this point in my life, I would define my style as relaxed boho chic. Even though I have an extensive black wardrobe (better to show off jewelry!), I am fond of color and I wear it in the summer.

Do you have a favorite stone?

Right now, I am obsessed with kyanite and labradorite. Both have kaleidoscopic and polychromous qualities whereas their color changes depending on lighting and angle (not on the wearer’s mood, but that could be argued).

Why is your jewelry so appealing to spa-goers? 

Jewelry is an impulse buy, and at the same time, it is very important to offer an unusual and unique design that can commemorate a resort or spa visit. Because I spent the last 10 years working with spas, I understand what their needs are in order to successfully display and sell merchandise. I apply what I have learned to the collections I offer and work with spas on a launch plan that’s usually followed up with a personal visit/trunk show to bring in those rare and unique pieces. I also bring my tools and create on-site for guests wanting to participate in the design process, and that has been a very popular event.

What’s next?

I am currently working on creating a custom collection for a very large resort that will feature aqua chalcedony and some local fauna/flora, to launch sometime this summer. I just received a new batch of stones from Brazil, and I am looking forward to continuing the design process. almbijoux.com

 

Mary Bemis

Mary Bemis

Mary Bemis is editorial director of InsidersGuidetoSpas.com. She is an award-winning spa journalist, honored with Folio's Top Women in Media Award, and the distinguished ISPA Dedicated Contributor Award. In 1997, she launched American Spa magazine, and in 2007, Mary co-founded Organic Spa magazine. A pioneer in the sustainable spa and beauty worlds, Mary is co-curator of Cosmoprof North America's Discover Green Pavilion. She sits on the board of Wellness Warrior, is a Global Wellness Day Advisor and a co-founder of the Washington Spa Alliance.