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Gem Tones
A Brookfield native's jewelry designs are getting some serious attention, for good reason.
As soon as I saw the petite bubbly blonde walk into Starbucks, I knew this had to be the right girl. She flashed a bright smile at me and sat down at my table, a breath of fresh air on a hot humid day. Her name is JJ, and she had been emailing me about her jewelry line JJ Number 8 for awhile.

And I couldn't wait to ogle over the gems. This stunning 30-something grew up in Brookfield and moved to Laguna Beach, where she started her own jewelry company. 

Her jewelry collection is bright, graceful and elegant. The earrings, at left, are both decadent and playful - a combination of attributes JJ executes well. And her gems have caught the attention of celebrities such as Selena Gomez, Kristen Bell and Courtney Cox. These sparkly beauties have also found their way onto the red carpet and TV shows such as "Glee" and "Law and Order."

 During our meeting, JJ gets an excited look on her face and gushes, "One day I was at home watching ["Keeping up With the Kardashians"], and a stylist was getting them ready for an event - and I saw her pull out some of my jewelry!" 

And these days, that's a pretty valuable endorsement.

To create her jewelry collection, she  uses precious gems such as sapphires and opals, and then mixes them with sterling silver and 18-karat gold. JJ tells us that she is really inspired by the colors she sees in the ocean, and that's exactly her gems remind me of.

Of course I couldn't wait to try on a few pieces, so JJ laid out a few in front of me. I gravitated toward the pink (of course) and became a kid in a candy shop. I tried on a pink opal surrounded by white sapphires. Did you know sapphires came in every color of the rainbow including white and black?

Image by Lynee Ruiz.

Here's hoping I can turn my husband onto a piece from her collection for an upcoming anniversary gift, but in the meantime JJ Number 8 is sold in boutiques on the west coast, and at Lyle Husar Designs in Brookfield.

All other images courtesy of JJ Number 8.

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