Moms and Dads

All that Glitters Is Gold

For some families, a jewelry collection is prized not just for its cost, but for the sentimental value it carries. In this issue, Modern Parenting talks to moms who own jewelry businesses on their take regarding what jewelry means to them and their children.

Jewelry has an inherently sentimental value. Often, the most high-quality of jewelry become heirlooms that are passed on from generation to generation. Children grow watching curiously as she puts on pieces before work or a night out. And for some kids, this can be a rite of passage to the world of aesthetics and finery.

Indeed, there is something about a well-crafted piece that delights and inspires. And as these six moms share, jewelry is never just jewelry. Instead, it’s a mode of expression, care, and craftsmanship that anyone can appreciate.

More importantly, the act of teaching your children how to wear and style jewelry can be a core memory for them as they grow older—and like jewelry, become all the more precious as time goes by.

Kathy and Kathy

Kathy & Kathy Bespoke Jewelry—founded by Kathy Sarabia Babst and Kathy Gregorio Añover—is more than just a clever name; it embodies serendipity. Both hailing from Iloilo with jewelry enthusiast grandparents, their shared background not only fuels their passion, but also shapes their discerning approach to material creation and sourcing.

Their knowledge of popular designs in both fine and costume jewelry informs their sourcing strategy. Here, they combine local materials with rare, quality elements from places like Italy, the Czech Republic, and Japan. Kathy Gregorio Añover describes their design philosophy as centered on producing “timeless keepsakes” and advocating “for the art of traditional handmade craftsmanship.” This philosophy gives each piece a nostalgic feel, blending quality materials and craftsmanship with old-timey maximalist elements. Handmade by local goldsmiths, the pieces showcase the ingenuity of Filipino artisans.

When purchasing and mixing jewelry, the two give three tips. First, prioritize longevity by considering the quality, design, and sentimental value of a piece, ensuring it becomes a cherished keepsake passed down through generations. Second, invest in timelessness, directing your focus towards pieces made of durable materials like gold, adding a lasting value to your collection. Lastly, build a cohesive collection by expanding it with pieces that complement each other, ultimately enhancing both versatility and longevity.

Erica Concepcion Reyes

Erica Concepcion Reyes—a fourth-generation jeweler and collector of antique pieces—has etched her name into the jewelry world through seamlessly blending the glamor of the late 1950s and early 1970s with modern aesthetics. Her journey began through a decade-long collaboration with the late Ramon Villegas of Yamang Katutubo Artifacts & Crafts, starting in 2007 when he reworked her personal vintage collection.

Her great-grandmother, Doña Victoria Lopez Araneta (a fashion trailblazer who defied tradition) is also a major muse, as she reflected her forward-thinking approach to both fashion and jewelry. As a result, Erica’s design philosophy involves a delicate balance between vintage allure and contemporary their jewelry purchases, Erica emphasizes on focusing on the elements, and this is evident today in Riqueza Jewellery’s designs. In guiding parents on emotional connection with each piece. Whether real or costume, jewelry should be akin to acquiring artwork, speaking to the buyer’s heart and bringing joy. She encourages buyers to follow their instincts, selecting pieces that make their hearts beat and add happiness and beauty to their lives.

Her advice extends to her children, teaching them that jewelry’s true power lies not in its price tag or trends but in its ability to make the wearer feel beautiful and joyful. Erica advocates for unique, well-made, and timeless pieces that enrich life and elevate even the simplest of dresses. Through her passion, her pieces preserve the elegance and heritage jewelry brings, while imparting valuable lessons about self-expression, beauty, and joy to the next generation.

Kristine Dee

Kristine Dee’s foray into jewelry started while she pursued a Master’s in Industrial Design at the Pratt Institute in New York. A chance encounter with the institute’s Jewelry Department inspired her to venture into the field, and armed with her Industrial Design expertise, she went down the path of creating pieces that draw from her perspective as a discerning customer.

Her creative process varies, often influenced by the inherent beauty of a stone or conceptual ideas on paper. Regardless, she consistently upholds the three pillars of quality: craftsmanship, material, and individual design. Kristine believes these elements bestow value and preciousness, especially if they’re passed down through generations.

Kristine views jewelry-making as a means of creating a lasting legacy. When it comes to choosing and mixing jewelry for both parents and children, she advises to always go for quality, whether fine or costume. Moreover, they can choose pieces that match their personal style and design preferences, items one can pass down to create special connections within your family and lasting memories.

Papat Aquino Fider

Remember Catriona Gray’s iconic Three Stars and a Sun ear cuff from the 2018 Miss Universe pageant? It’s actually the Alab at Dangal ear cuff by Tessera, the jewelry business co-founded by Papat Aquino Fider and her husband, Carl.

While she might have begun as a bank AVP, Papat’s venture into the jewelry world isn’t a drastic change. Her childhood passion for jewelry, inherited from her mom and grandmother, influenced her decision to pursue something she genuinely loves in her side business.

For Papat, Tessera is not merely a business. Instead, it’s a valuable family heirloom to pass down to her children. She emphasizes that the creation of each piece of jewelry is not just about aesthetics, but also about preserving traditions.

Moreover, when it comes to wearing jewelry, Papat shares that there are no strict rules to it. “I personally look for a piece that will never go out of style— something that can match any outfit and more,” she shares. “Buy something wearable regardless of age and time, any design that you find pretty, suits your taste, something that makes you feel happy, special, rewarded, and others.”

Joana Gube

Joana’s lifelong passion for design— spanning tablescaping, fashion, and handmade crafts—was deeply rooted in her family ties. Influenced by her father’s handicrafts business during her youth, she developed a keen interest in Philippine design and craftsmanship. This passion led to the creation of Heyjow in 2003, when Joana handcrafted fashion accessories for a college project.

Despite the delayed realization of her dream, Joana transitioned from a career in PR and marketing for the beauty and fashion industry to pursue Heyjow a decade later in 2013.

When asked about how to wear select jewelry—both for parents and their children—her advice centers on three key points. First, choose pieces that resonate with your heart and express your life story, character, and personal style. Second, envision how your jewelry fits into your most cherished activities, ensuring it complements your lifestyle.

Finally, consider how the piece blends with your everyday wardrobe, aligning with your personal story and style. In Joana’s words, “Wearing jewelry is an art form. It’s one of the ultimate forms of expressing your personality and creativity.”

Sharlynne Cabigas

Sharlynne Cabigas is an entrepreneur with a passion for fine jewelry. Having co-founded Suki Jewelry with her husband, she seeks to bridge the gap between affordability and luxury. This drive was propelled by her struggle to find pieces that resonated with her, as there was a dichotomy between disposable yet affordable options and overpriced long-lasting pieces.

Drawing on her husband’s family’s four-decade history in fine jewelry manufacturing, Suki Jewelry emerged to cater to the unmet needs of the market. The brand prioritizes wearability and versatility, crafting pieces that strike a balance between the delicate and bold, ordinary and odd, and straightforward and luxury. The standards are high, as both Sharlynne and her husband commit to at least 14-karat gold and natural diamonds for their pieces.

Being a parent, Sharlynne values the versatility of jewelry, especially for those managing busy schedules. She also cherishes pieces with personality, the types that carry meanings and stories. Emphasizing the investment nature of fine jewelry, she believes it should be meant to last a lifetime and passed down through generations.

Inspired by her husband’s father, Sharlynne upholds values of hard work, superb craftsmanship, good customer service, and fair treatment in running the business. The brand aims not only to provide premium products but also to create art and encourage individual expression, standing
out as a destination for the boundless, expressive, and dynamic.

Beyond something restricted to a select few, jewelry can be an extension of self-expression, beauty, and timelessness. And as these moms have shared, these values aren’t meant to be limited in any way. Instead, they’re meant to be passed down, regardless of status or generation. In essence, jewelry is the gift that keeps on giving.

More about jewelry and fashion?

The Cutest Personalized Jewelry And Accessories To Remind You Of Your Babies
The ARAO Life: A Mompreneur’s Journey Towards Creating Modern Heirlooms
How This Tita Helps Kids Craft And Transform Their Future

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