Jewels for Your Soul
“Your jewelry,” says Alexis Kletjian, “tells your story.” The award-winning jewelry designer is passionate about helping women to tell their stories, and she’s inspired by her collectors, their stories, conversations, and secrets. “We leave behind our stories in small treasures,” she says, “in pieces that commemorate important moments in our lives, our loved ones, who we are, and where we’ve been.”
When Kletjian couldn’t find a bracelet to fit her wrist, her background in fashion design enabled her to design, scale, and create the perfect bangle. This signature design unleashed an intuitive surge of creativity. Though the pieces she began to create were very different, every one was in harmony with the others. A friend encouraged her to show her work, so she laid out everything she had on her rug, then designed pieces to fill in.
The first time she saw her entire collection together, in New York, was also the first time the judges of the Mort Abelson Award saw her work—and they awarded her this prestigious honor. Kletjian continued to create inspired collections of award-winning jewelry and soon established an international network of collectors, including celebrity clientele.
All of Kletjian’s designs—necklaces, rings, and bracelets—naturally lend themselves to layering. “Women wear more than one note,” she says. But each individual piece also holds layers of meaning. As a mother, Kletjian wanted to create a talisman necklace that would represent and protect her children. An exhibit of medieval armor at the Met inspired her to design her own shield. Today, Kletjian’s trademark SHIELD YOURSELF® shields are customized and shipped all over the world. Her design aesthetic is simple and elegant so that the shields, and all of her pieces, enhance and complement the collections of women of all ages and from all walks of life. “I love to create talismans, inspired by people and their stories and what’s going on in the world,” she says. “We wear them to adorn and protect ourselves.”
When Kletjian relocated to Pennsylvania from Boston a few years ago, she began plans to expand what she could offer her collectors by opening her first gallery. Her namesake gallery in Kennett Square has become a destination for fine jewelry and for inspiration for women to style the jewelry they already own. In this cozy, elegant space Kletjian curates “luxuries for your soul,” a multi-sensory collection of soft and beautiful treasures from around the world. She loves to showcase vintage and antique jewelry as well as the work of other designers alongside her own creations. The gallery offers an oasis of beauty, style, and inspiration. In the coming months, visitors to the gallery will find new additions to Kletjian’s collections, including her new Seaside Collection and zodiac pieces, as well as some surprises.
Although Kletjian has a knack for anticipating trends, she only takes on projects to which she feels a deep connection. “It has to be meaningful,” she says. Each season, her permanent collections continue to evolve with one-of-a-kind and limited-edition pieces. She’s passionate about finding homes for the pieces in her gallery, but she’ll turn away an unsure client so a piece doesn’t go unworn, abandoned in a jewelry box. Her collectors trust her, and she’s known for her excellent customer service and attention to detail. The one thing she won’t do, she says, is rush a piece. “Jewelry is a luxury, and the finished piece should be everything you want it to be. We work to exceed your expectations.”
“I’m in love with what I do,” she says. Every day will find her connecting with her collectors around the world, buying gems, and finding inspiration in seasonal color, pattern, texture, people, places, and things. Her love for people and their stories is also reflected in her philanthropy. She enjoys collaborations that involve ongoing conversations and outside-the-box thinking.
Kletjian is an empath who believes deeply in the truth that all of our surroundings affect us. “The pieces we own hold our emotions,” she says. As a friend, a confidant, and a true designer in every sense of the word, she finds joy in creating beautiful jewelry to tell and preserve the stories of women everywhere.
Written by TARA S. SMITH
Photography by REBECCA MCALPIN