Sofia's Blog

5 Activities Your Engagement Ring Should Avoid this Summer (and every season)

Summer is almost here, and hopefully you’re getting ready to spend some quality time outdoors, adventuring, or doing more of your favorite leisurely activities. We know how much you love wearing your engagement ring, but we also know how many ring repairs we see after a busy season. To avoid any engagement ring mishaps, we put together a list of the top 5 activities your engagement ring should NOT participate in this summer (or truthfully, any season). We know some of you will still wear your bling anywhere and everywhere, but keep these suggestions in mind in order to keep your jewels safe and sparkly over a lifetime.

1) SWIMMING: The luxurious St Tropez look of jewels layered effortlessly over your beach apparel is no doubt fantastic. However, we do not recommend your engagement ring visit the beach, or pool. If swimming in the ocean, remember the cold water can shrink your fingers just enough to make your rings loose, and slippery enough to say ‘au revoir’ into the deep blue. Often pools and jacuzzis have harsh chemicals that are corrosive and can discolor some metals over repeated soakings. Not to mention you’ll probably be applying sunscreen, which like lotion, is notorious for slipping into and under settings, and dulling your diamonds’ luster like nobody’s business.

2) PLAYING SPORTS: Whether on a court or a gym, your engagement ring is better off skipping your work out. Gripping a tennis racket or a weight can cause damage to delicate settings. Especially in the case of an eternity band (with stones set all the way around), if your ring is bent out of round, you essentially open up or compress delicate settings which can cause stones to fall out. Even a seemingly innocuous Downward Dog during your favorite yoga class can cause you to put your full weight and force on your ring and can result in damage.

3) PRIMPING FOR YOUR SUMMER BBQS: We know if takes dedication to re-hydrate after a long day of sun worshipping, and while lotions and moisturizers are necessary to maintain your golden glow, said lotions will also clog tiny openings on your ring and diminish the brilliance of diamonds when they land on your ring. Perfumes, hairsprays and make-up can also layer and gunk up your fine jewels and reduce sparkle. Take your rings off first, then use these items to your hearts content, and put your rings back on when you’re done.

4) GETTING THE HOUSE READY FOR YOUR FOURTH OF JULY FÊTE : Entertaining is one of our favorite parts about Summer. And while a clean house is always key, be sure to take off all your jewels before any house cleaning. (That is, if you want to keep your engagement ring sparkling enough to compete with the Fireworks! ) Not only do you run the risk of banging up and mis-shaping your ring on hard surfaces like stone countertops, bathtubs and sinks, but harsh chemicals like ammonia and bleach can cause permanent damage to certain gems and their settings, such as Grandma’s antique seed pearl ring. 

5) PREPPING FOR YOUR POT-LUCK: While we’ve all been inspired by Pinterest food boards, or even Chef’s Table, cooking presents endless opportunities for getting food into those tiny hard to reach spots around, under and on top of your diamond. Think cookie dough, meatballs, piecrust or anything else you need to dip your fingers into. These foods can leave a film, not to mention germs, on your ring and really affect its luster.

And finally, two more tips if you’re open to the notion of taking your rings off, (and you should be open to that notion)

*Always designate a safe spot (or two) around your house for leaving your jewels. I personally remove ALL my jewelry the minute I set foot in the house. That way I don’t have to think about being so cautious throughout all the activities in my nightly routine. I know that my jewels are ALWAYS in one of two spots and I don’t have to waste time looking for them when I’m rushing out the door later.

*If you do get your jewelry gooped up and dulled down, most any gold, platinum and diamond piece can be cleaned like this: Get a soft bristle toothbrush and designate it for your jewels only. Dip your pieces in warm (almost hot) water with a touch of mild soap like Ivory, or even a dish cleaning soap, and let them soak. Scrub under and around your settings if you can. And, whenever possible, visit us! We’ll always be happy to clean your engagement ring while you shop! 🙂

Good luck and happy summer!

Mother’s Day Shopping Event at Sofia Kaman Fine Jewels

Love is in bloom! Mamas grab your minis and come celebrate Mother’s Day with us, a day early!

Join us and our favorite floral designer Amy Nicole on Saturday, May 13th from 2 to 6pm at our Abbot Kinney boutique, in Venice, CA.

Amy will have a DIY flower stand and will guide you in making a beautiful mini bouquet for Mom, free with any jewelry purchase!

Shop our mini flower jewels and enjoy petite treats while sipping on some bubbly at this special Mother’s Day event. We look forward to seeing you!

The Pear Cut: She’s Making a Comeback

Pear shaped gems are a new-found favorite cut achieving popularity with many of our brides.  We find ourselves equally charmed by the pear shape for a number of reasons. We love the fact that pear shaped engagement rings appear to lengthen the finger, and due to their proportions and weight distribution, they often provide a greater amount of surface coverage as compared to their actual weight. But, perhaps their romantic history is what makes them the preferred alternative shape diamond choice for a vintage-inspired bride.

The pear cut emerged as an early symbol of the heart shape, explaining why it has long been found in betrothal and wedding rings. The pear shaped “heart” is sometimes seen in jewelry in twos, symbolizing the love between a couple. Sometimes the hearts are different gems, or gems in opposing directions, or both. One of our favorite examples of this is the ring Napoleon gave Josephine, with two pear shapes, one sapphire, one diamond. This particular type of ring, with two opposing stones is also referred to as a “moi et toi” or “me and you” design. In Georgian times, we often see the pear shaped heart shown crowned, further signifying loyalty between lovers.
 
Pear Shaped Ring Napoleon and Josephine’s Engagement Ring

Pear Shaped Ring Georgian Double Crowned Hearts Ring

 

However you incorporate your pear shape stone: as a single heart, hearts united or crowned, we love the continued use of this shape in our contemporary engagement ring designs, as a nod to its romantic past and an appreciation of its timeless beauty!
Pear Shaped Ring Sofia Kaman Crowned Heart Engagement Ring

 

Sofia Kaman Pear Shaped Engagement Ring

 

Inspiring Women: Part I

We’re happy to launch our Inspiring Women series this month with Kim Wiseley, founder and editor in chief at our favorite Wedding & Lifestyle Magazine, Flutter. Kim tells us how she started her print magazine, shares details on planning her own wedding last year, and spills on what inspires her most about weddings, work and life! Be inspired, very inspired!


Kim Wiseley

We look forward to each and every issue of Flutter, like waiting for a treasure trove of inspirational gems- from the imagery, to the ‘Flutter Papers’ to the recipes. Tell us, how did it all get started?

KW: To have a print magazine was always a distant dream. As a child I would collect all the really cool promotional pieces and magazines that would come in the mail. I also love any coffee table book I can get my hands on. Hence the hybrid you see today in Flutter.

The idea of the magazine started in the Spring of 2013 in Santa Barbara, California. At the time I was a photographer and lifestyle blogger. I saw firsthand the rise of highly visual digital media and the fall of advertisement-cluttered print.

Why did this matter? Beautiful print imagery is a driving factor in what inspired me from a very young age to take up photography and a field in the creative arts. From the imagery to the paper quality, texture, and color, a fine print piece elicits a sense of luxury…a distinguished sophistication.

With the disappearance of the tangible beauty and captivating editorial content, I set out to break the mold; designing a “refashioned magazine” in a first-of-its-kind fine art periodical dedicated to wedding and entertaining…the art of celebrating chic.

Debuting in the Fall of 2013, a talented group of friends in the industry and I brought 108-pages of editorial content to life with stunning imagery, fresh inspiration, and trendsetting style. Thus, Flutter Magazine was born with Inspiration To Make Your Heart Skip A Beat. 🙂

It’s really important to note that Santa Barbara was and continues to be Flutter’s muse. If you’re not familiar with it, the coastal city is one of the wedding meccas of the world! It’s also a city that thrives on a community of independent artists that feed off of each others creativity. I am forever indebted to its coastal chicness, timeless beauty, alfresco charm, florally abundant, whimsical, wine-centric self.

Kim and Tyson’s Wedding, Sunstone Vineyards and Winery

You got married recently. Being  an influencer and expert in your industry, we can only imagine this put you in a stressful spot! Any tips on staying sane throughout the process for anyone planning a wedding?

KW: I’m not sure I’m the best person to ask this question. 🙂 With my job title and knowing the affair would be published, my sanity was long gone out the door. Completely lost…consumed in orchestrating every last detail down to the day after. I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t, but I absolutely fell victim to stressing over having the “perfect day” and making sure all of my vendors (my friends) were happy.

Here’s a piece of day-of advice inspired by a real wedding submission that was sent to me. I love it so much and wish I had done it myself! The couple had married on a vineyard. After the ceremony, they went to a private area in the vineyard overlooking the cocktail hour and reception space. It was pre-set up with a small table and chairs, champagne, and hors d’oeuvres for the newlyweds to enjoy together before joining their guests. It was a peaceful moment to soak up and celebrate the essence of the day. It all goes by so quick that consciously making time for a moment like this…just the two of you…is so important!


Wedding Details

You are a creative, entrepreneurial woman with a great sense of style, who loves what she does and whose job is creating beautiful inspiration for us all! What are your top sources of inspiration for weddings, work and life?

KW: Thank you! Blushing… 🙂 How amazing is that?! I feel so incredibly grateful to wake up every morning and put my heart and soul into something that I love.

This may or may not surprise you, but I never look at any other wedding publication or their social channels. I’m rarely on Pinterest other than to create a shared style board for a photo shoot. It helps keep my head clear and focused on what I’ve imagined up to be my own. A creative brain is a powerful force…an eternal burning flame. Sometimes it dims but most of the time it roars like wildfire. My days are a constant battle to stay focused on one idea!

I think it’s so important to surround yourself with other people that inspire you (like you Sofia!). The simple act of having coffee or lunch with a friend most of the time ends with a new editorial idea, workshop, or event. Lunch dates can be very dangerous, haha.

In life, my husband is one of my biggest inspirations. For those moments when I find myself glued to my computer he gets me off and out. Every weekend we are exploring something we haven’t seen or experienced before (a drive up the coast, a new hike, restaurant, or art exhibit). Albeit, I’m known to kick and stomp my feet for the person in my head telling me I have too much to do, but I’m always so grateful for a new sense of energy and inspiration that is restored from our exploration, or creative escapes if you will.

On set for Flutter Issue 13 | Cover 2017 Astrology Edition

Photo Credits:

Kim’s Wedding

For @fluttermag | #fluttermagissue12
Photography: @josevilla
Design: @joyproctor
Ring Boxes: @the_mrs_box
Stationery: @monvoirco
Cake : @jamesrosselle
Venue : @sunstonewinery
Floral Design : @amyosabaevents
Wedding Gown : @madeleinefig
Beauty : @teamhairandmakeup
 

Flutter Magazine Issue 13

For @fluttermag | #fluttermagissue13
Photography: @elizabethmessina
Balinese Orchid Crown by Alicia Rico @bowsandarrowsflowers
Styling : @joyproctor

Super Bloom

Organic. Natural. Soft. Poetic.

Jewelry inspired by nature and the magic of spring’s first blooms. Candy colored gems and lovely curls dominate this season’s look.

Photo Credits

Photographer: S. Elle Quintana – @selle_quintana ,  sellestudios.com
Model: Terra Grantham- @terragrantham
Make-up/Hair: Rachel Stephens – @rachelshadesofbeauty
Floral: Amy Nicole Floral – @amynicolefloral , amynicolefloral.com
Clothing: Solstice Bride – @solstice_bride , solsticebride.com

Clean Slate: Our Interview with master make-up artist Jenny Bowker

The new year has us inspired to simplify our look AND our beauty regimen. For our Clean Slate shoot we wanted to compose a modern look with natural looking make-up that radiates a healthy glow. We worked with make-up artist extra-ordinaire, Jenny Bowker, to achieve this gorgeous look and were so in love with the results, we had to know her subtle secrets to creating the same natural looking camera-ready face for busy boss-ladies like us.

Read on for Jenny’s top tips to creating a beautiful, fresh and natural face.

CleanSlateFace Clean Slate Campaign ~ January 2017

No. 1 : Exfoliate!

Consistent exfoliation is the key to radiant skin. Without it dead skin cells build up and skin looks dry, products can’t absorb and makeup applies unevenly. All skin types benefit from proper exfoliation, and as long as you’re not using a harsh product you can use it 2-3 times a week. My favorite scrub is the Fruit Enzyme Scrub by Mychelle and available at Whole Foods, it smells amazing and gives amazing results while still being gentle. (Tip: leave it on like a mask for a few minutes before rinsing to let the fruit acids break down all the dead skin cells.)

No. 2 : Hydrate & Prime

Don’t skip the very first step in makeup application. Priming smooths the skin and allows makeup to hold longer and blend better. Glossier came out with one of my favorite products ever recently; the Priming Moisturizer. It has a big dose of glycerin which hydrates the skin so well that foundation and concealer glide on like butta, it’s one of my top skin secrets that I use on every client. If you want extra glow without all the work apply a healthy blueberry size amount of Laura Mercier Radiant Primer. It gives a gorgeous lit from within glow and will lock your makeup in place all day. You can also mix these two products for an even speedier application.

No. 3 : Bronze & Highlight

All skin tones benefit from these two magical products, they simply give life and brightness to the face without looking like you tried. After blending your foundation and or concealer, lightly set with powder and then with a large fluffy brush apply your bronzer over the top of the forehead, over the temples and under the cheekbones, down the sides of the nose and then lightly on the chin and just under the jawline. Finally don’t forget to blend bronzer down the neck! Our heads act like little umbrellas for our necks and they are often much lighter than the face and chest, trust me it makes a huge difference in the end result. Highlight goes in all the opposite places, tops of cheekbones, brow bones, inner corner of the eyes, cupid’s bow and lightly down the center of the nose. This combo gives the face dimension, so not only will you glow you will also look slimmer in the face. My favorites for almost any skin tones are NARS Laguna bronzer and MAC Soft & Gentle highlight.

No. 4 : Hint of Tint

Tinted moisturizers have come a long way recently, if you haven’t tried one of the new extra radiant formulas it’s time to join the club! Using a tinted moisturizer gives you a supernatural glow and with the proper concealer to finish up with, you’ll have just as flawless looking skin as if you had used a more full coverage foundation, but it will look effortless and fresh. Jouer Luminous skin tints are my go to on everyone, they are truly stunning. I pair them with NARS Creamy Concealer where needed and the result is gorgeously glowing and flawless.

No. 5 : Color Story

Choose one neutral shade and carry it through eyes, lips and cheeks- this monochromatic look not only takes guesswork out of how to pair shades it gives you an instantly cool and effortless look that plays up the face without distracting from your features. You can even use the same product for eyes and cheeks as long as it’s not too bright, keep the tones earthy. My favorite shades to do this with are rose gold, tawny nude bronze and peachy corals. Keep the look simple and clean, full soft brows and a couple coats of mascara to finish the look.

JennyAtWork

Thanks for the tips, Jenny!

Photo Credits / Clean Slate Campaign
Photographer: S. Elle Quintana – @selle_quintana ,  sellestudios.com
Model: Miriam – @1realmiriam at @freedommodelsla
Make-up/Hair: Jenny Bowker –  @sistergolden , jennybowkermakeup.com

5 Tips to Brightening any Space with Plants: Our Interview with Floral Designer Amy Balsters

We recently had the pleasure of working with Amy Balsters of Amy Nicole Floral on our Language of Flowers campaign and quickly discovered her passion and skill for creating a mood with flowers. This month we invited her to our boutique to bring in a bit more green to our space and were amazed at what a difference it made.  As much as we love flowers and plants, creating cohesion in a room is not always as easy as it looks, which is why when hearing Amy’s eye-opening suggestions, we couldn’t wait to share them with you. Read on to learn Amy’s top 5 tips to brighten any space using plants and flowers and transform it from simple to stunning!

5 Tips to Brighten any Space with PlantsAmy Balsters of Amy Nicole Floral

No. 1 : Start with a focus on your containers-they define and unify the space

It’s important to always consider the container before purchasing plants or flowers you are decorating with. Examine the area you are accenting and consider the height, the width, how much the container may hold. etc.

     

No. 2 Choose your ingredients strategically 

If you have a lot of space to fill, consider choosing tall elements to help bring the ceiling down visually. It can also be helpful to choose plant material that “breaks” the edge of the container meaning something that can hang over the edge so the eye doesn’t get stuck visually at the lip of a container.

     

No. 3 : Line your container

If you have chosen a vase with drainage for plants, great! Plants love and need drainage but ensure that the pot has a liner inside or a dish to sit in to avoid water rings from condensation damaging your furniture. An inexpensive lining option is to use a heavy plastic or moss.

     

No. 4 : Frame the area you want to highlight

It helps to set some visual parameters by framing the container or arrangement with the tallest or widest materials and work your way back to the center or lower parts of the design. Ask yourself if the plants or flowers placed in the vase will be big enough to make an impact or too big to overwhelm the space.

     

No. 5 : After care

Every plant has different watering needs and everyones home has different light, humidity, etc. Succulents need less water than most. Ferns require a lot of water, and cactus require almost none. It is important to look up each plant and care for its individual needs rather than watering at the same time every other week.

5 Tips to Brighten any Space with Plants

And one final bit of advice from Amy, “Lastly, I would love to add  that it’s helpful to buy plants from reputable places and remember that you often get what you pay for! Also, don’t beat yourself up if plants die, it happens to everything and can feel so defeating. Just clean out your container well and try again!”

Photo Credits

Photographer: Lara Lam – laralam.com

The Language of Flowers

Nature Inspired Bohemian Stacking and Wedding Rings

“We plant, we nurture, we grow and we give, different flowers for different moments in time, but all for the same purpose: to say that which cannot be said, and to say it with beauty and with grace.”  Vanessa Diffenbaugh

In so many cultures through time, flowers have been central to the human experience.  From east to west, ancient societies to modern, whether we celebrate, love, mourn or pray, we do it with flowers in our hands.

The Victorians embraced all things Romantic, and the language of flowers was no exception. Flower symbolism could be seen widely in jewelry, which by nature is designed to celebrate all the important moments in life. Victorian jewelers crafted roses, violets and forget-me-nots for courtship jewels, orange blossoms proliferate in wedding rings, and wreaths of cypress are ever-present in mourning jewelry.

Always inspired by antique designs, we are so thrilled to introduce a collection that is not only influenced by vintage style and symbolism, but one that actually incorporates original antique components into one-of-a-kind pieces filled with history and sentiment. Our latest collection embraces these timeless motifs to convey our deepest emotions, and presents them to the world with the aide and beauty of nature’s most treasured expression. Please enjoy the Language of Flowers.

Nature Inspired Bohemian Stacking and Wedding Rings

Nature Inspired Bohemian Stacking and Wedding Rings

Nature Inspired Bohemian Stacking and Wedding Rings

Nature Inspired Bohemian Stacking and Wedding Rings

Nature Inspired Bohemian Stacking and Wedding Rings

Nature Inspired Bohemian Stacking and Wedding Rings

Nature Inspired Bohemian Stacking and Wedding Rings

Photo Credits

Photographer: S. Elle Quintana – @selle_quintana ,  sellestudios.com
Model: Sammie Yochelson – @sammie_yochelson at @freedommodelsla
Make-up/Hair: Jenny Bowker –  @sistergolden , jennybowkermakeup.com
Floral: Amy Nicole Floral – @amynicolefloral , amynicolefloral.com
Clothing: Morgane Le Fay – @morganelefay_ny , morganelefay.com
Ribbon: Silk & Willow – @silkandwillow , silkandwillow.com

Dog (town) Days of Summer : #LOCALLOVE

As summer wanes and the hottest days of the year linger, we believe there’s no time like the present to take advantage of these last few weeks of slow paced living and easy-going attitude. And what better way to highlight these dog days, than by capturing the best of a lazy Sunday afternoon in dogtown on our favorite street where we call home, Abbot Kinney Blvd.

For this month’s shoot we asked our favorite LA cool girl and jewelry lover, Jadan Huter @jaybirdhoots, to model some of our signature layered and stacked pieces and joined her at our treasured local hot spots.

Bohemian Stacking Rings

Bohemian Stacking Rings

Our morning started at bohemian hang-out, The Butcher’s Daughter @thebutchersdaughter_official .  May we recommend the acai bowl and matcha latte!

Boho Stacking Ring

Bohemian Engagement Ring

Bohemian Engagement Ring

No lack of palm tree lined side streets for taking a stroll, and though we’ve seen our fair share of food trucks, how happily surprised were we to stumble upon Spencer’s Flower Truck @theunlikelyflorist .  His summer bouquet was just the perfect add to our shoot!

DogDays8

What afternoon in Venice is complete without ice cream? Our latest fave sweet spot, Salt & Straw @saltandstraw.  Strawberry Tomato, anyone?

Photo Credits

Photographer: S. Elle Quintana – @selle_quintana ,  sellestudios.com
Model: Jadan Huter – @jaybirdhoots ,  theblondeandthebrunette.com
Make-up/Hair: Ashley Ford –  @ashleyfordmakeup
Shades: AHLEM available at @akinneycourt

Bohemian Summer Photoshoot

The inspiration behind this seasonal collection was to create motifs such as sunbursts, garlands and fringe in radiant materials like gold, diamond and ethereal opals that will have you in a state of perpetual summer bliss, no matter what time of year.

The bohemian styling of this photo shoot was created around the peacock chair that we found while doing some local antiques browsing. Peacock chairs are crafted with the perfect combination of whimsy, casual elegance, and texture. You almost feel regal when sitting in them, which is exactly the backdrop we wanted for this collection.  When it came to choosing a location, what says summertime more then a setting at the beach on the bluffs?  By sprinkling in elements of beach-y hair, a natural makeup palette, wild flowers, leafy garland, and the loveliest white gowns with satin button details and lace – we hoped to capture the perfect bohemian beach vibe that makes you and your soul feel kissed by the sun!

BohoSummerShoot1

BohoSummerShoot2

BohoSummerShoot3

BohoSummerShoot4

BohoSummerShoot5

BohoSummerShoot6

BohoSummerShoot7

Photo Credits:
Photographer: S. Elle Quintana – sellestudios.com
Model: Genevieve Rokero
Agency: Freedom Models
Gowns: Solstice Bride – www.solsticebride.com
Make-up/Hair: Stacy Bisel – www.stacybisel.com