09 November 2009

we get the nicest emails.


A client sent us greetings from her long awaited vacation. As you can see, she expressed her appreciation for our hand-cut fine jewelry.

Thank you Susan for the wonderful note. Glad you love the earrings!




16 October 2009

isaac mizrahi cosmopolitan november 09.


Designer and style arbiter, Isaac Mizrahi provides his keys for creating personal style in the fashion editorial, ”Isaac’s Elements of Style” in the November 2009 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine. True to form, he delivers his lines with wit and charm, focusing not only on trends but on the creation of a unique and standout style. When talking about when it is appropriate to splurge, Isaac and the editors combine a dress from the Isaac Mizrahi New York Women’s collection with our one of a kind, 18kt gold, fire opal in matrix, cognac diamond ring.

“Knowing when to splurge is an art. There are just two rules: Splurge on the most classic thing in the world - you will have it and cherish it forever. Splurge on the most insane thing in the world. You will have it and cherish it forever.”

We couldn’t agree more.

01 October 2009

brenda stowers.

Brenda Stowers was the first retailer to discover me as a fine jewelry designer. Graceful and independent minded, Brenda managed the San Francisco Saks Fifth Avenue fine and designer jewelry departments. Always willing to offer me advice or words of encouragement, she recognized and encouraged the talent of other jewelry designers - many who have become internationally renowned.

We found out that Brenda passed away from cancer just days ago. Since our inception, we have as a company, donated fine jewelry and time to a variety of worthwhile causes including the prevention and cure of cancer.

And suddenly it is personal.

On Saturday we will fundraise and participate in the City of Hope “Walk for Hope to Cure Breast Cancer.” We will walk to honor our mentor, colleague and friend.

Image from here.

07 September 2009

the end of summer.

I’ve got a touch of melancholy as summer draws to a close. Even though it doesn’t officially end until September 21 this year, Labor Day was always the signal that the days were getting shorter and that the start of school was around the corner. But the end of something always means the beginning of something new. As a kid, it meant new Saturday morning cartoons and new classmates. And now, it means a new season and new jewelry collections.

Stay tuned for our updates on the latest jewelry designs from Vicente Agor!

02 September 2009

the knot, summer 2009.


The Knot magazine featured our 18kt chain and diamond necklace in their Summer 2009 issue. Given its matinee length, the magazine used it as an example of a great necklace for a bride to wear, especially if the she has a higher neckline on her gown. Thank you to the wonderful editorial team at The Knot! 

26 August 2009

eunice shriver.

Eunice Shriver, founder of the Special Olympics, took a personal life experience and created an organization that now benefits millions of individuals with mental disabilities.

When this visionary passed away, her daughter, Maria Shriver read a eulogy about her mother:

“She took adversity and turned it into advantage. Inspired by the rejection she saw many women face, especially her sister Rosemary and her mother, and other mothers of special children; she turned that into her life’s focus and her life’s passion and mission. Her own brand of what I’d call maternal feminism. She believed 100 percent in the power and the gifts of women to change the language, the tempo, and the character of this world.”

Personally, I grew up with two sisters and several mentors throughout my professional life were women. As a result of listening, talking, watching and growing up with these women, I gained an insight and respect for the complex choices that a modern woman must face. It is one of the reasons why as a jewelry design company, our mythical muse - the person we design for - is a smart, remarkable and empowered woman. A woman who understands that femininity and brains are not mutually exclusive.

The beautiful eulogy describes a daughter’s love for her mother and the love expressed in return.  Though it is obviously a personal homage, it a relevant read for women and men.  For me, it serves as an inspirational reminder that it is okay to be different, to think different, to do the best and be the best. I invite you to read the tribute in its entirety here.  Rest in peace, Mrs. Shriver.

Image from eunicekennedyshriver.org

Update: As I was posting this entry, I learned that her brother, Ted Kennedy passed away. Condolences to the Kennedy family.

24 August 2009

Back.


Whew! All finished with the server conversion. Our email, blog and website were down for a bit, but it was done all in the name of a stronger web infrastructure for our company. Interesting side note: since changing our web host, all of our spam has gone away! 

We are glad to be back online. More soon!

Image from here.

21 July 2009

the story of ferdinand.

The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf (with illustrations by Robert Lawson) is one of my favorite childhood books. Even though it was first published in 1936, this sweet story of a bull who enjoys the simplicity of sitting in a peaceful pasture still holds a relevant lesson for children of all ages today … especially given the frenetic nature of our modern times.

Amazingly, this book is Michael’s favorite too. Michael is my wonderful business/partner and we both have a copy of this book from our childhood. Although I am sure we can share, I gladly acquiesce the “fave” designation to him because like Ferdinand, he will stop and take the time ... to smell a flower. As a result, he is the one that continues to teach me to take the moment and enjoy the clarity that nature provides. And so this bud's for you Michael. Happy Birthday!

Image: A scan of a personal book complete with lovingly worn and well-read yellowed pages along with some smudges from a child’s sweaty grip on its beloved spine.

08 July 2009

a moment of gratitude.

Going on right now, just after the noon hour, is an event that occurs every 1000 years. It is 12:34pm and 56 seconds on July 8, 09. Or 12:34:56 7.8.9

I love calendar dates like this and especially since it is the turn of the century, we are experiencing a lot of these dates (the last one was 8:08:08 on 8.8.8). At the studio, we use these once in a lifetime minutes to stop, recognize and be grateful for something in our lives and business. At Vicente Agor we are grateful for our customers, because they are the basis for our business.  It is our customers that we want to thrill and delight. It is our customers that have recognized the passion and artistry that we have imbued into all of our jewelry.  For us, it is an appreciation that goes beyond this one minute.

06 July 2009

haute couture fall 2009.

It’s amazing what you might stumble upon while browsing in a thrift store. Stacked in the back of an aisle were these two seemingly disparate home d├ęcor signs just waiting for someone to capture their random placement in a photograph.

The Haute Couture Fall 2009 fashion shows continue in Paris through Wednesday, July 8. As a designer for a fine jewelry company that creates precious one of a kind collectibles, the artisanship and craftsmanship of these shows fascinates me. And despite the discussions about the demise and relevance of this rarified art form, apparently Divine intervention is working in its favor.  =) 

For more coverage of the Haute Couture, try style.com.

Photograph taken by me.

04 July 2009

the fourth of july.

When I was a freshman in college, I knew I wanted to be in business (whatever that meant!) And just in case General Mills asked me, I naively came up with an advertising slogan for my favorite childhood icon and mascot, Poppin’ Fresh, the Pillsbury Dough-Boy. My slogan wasn’t related to a class assignment. It’s just that I was taught to always be prepared for the opportunity.  You know, just in case. 

Years later - after waiting for the "Win A Million Dollars By Creating A Slogan For Your Favorite Childhood Icon Contest" that never came - I have finally decided to reveal my idea. It is an especially appropriate tagline for today: 

“Poppin’ Fresh.  The Great American Roll-Model.”

Not bad for a sixteen year old, huh?  Happy Independence Day!

30 June 2009

world gold council.


For the fourth consecutive year, we have been honored by the World Gold Council. Each year, jewelry designers from around the globe submit their gold creations for consideration.  The criteria for selection is based on design, innovation and salability.  Winners represent the Council’s point of view for the year and were chosen by a Blue Ribbon Panel of fine jewelry industry experts.

I am delighted to be a part of this fabulous group of designers – many that I have admired from afar and some of whom have become our friends over the past few years. About a year and a half ago, we were highlighted on the World Gold Council consumer website magazine, “Gold Inspirations,” as a featured designer.

My personal thanks and appreciation goes out to World Gold Council for their gracious designation.

Photo courtesy of World Gold Council and www.gold.org 

29 June 2009

sf ethnic dance festival.

The 31st annual San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival – an exuberant month long celebration of world dance - just finished on Sunday. I have somehow convinced myself that if I go to an incredible multi-cultural event like this, my desire for global travel might be temporarily satiated.  And wouldn’t you know, it has just the opposite effect. Get me on a plane!

dance troupe: Shabnam photo: RJ Muna

15 June 2009

art 40 basel and patronage.



Once in awhile, the idea of going to an art gallery or exhibition sounds totally pretentious to me. And then I go and I think to myself, what was I thinking? Invariably I enjoy myself immensely. Sometimes I like the art and sometimes I don't, but I can always appreciate the work and the effort of the artist.

Although Art 40 Basel finished on Saturday in Switzerland, much is still being written about the annual international art fair, especially given the economic viability of some artists. Included in the discussion is Brad Pitt’s anointment as a patron (saint) of the arts. 

Patronage seems to be the buzzword these days. A concept that is not only being reserved for artists – umm...Mr. Pitt, at Vicente Agor we are open to all your bespoke requests and commissions - but now it is a concept that is being tossed around for different industries. In this case, patronage is being applied to the business of the media, which is experiencing its own gyrations of change. Click here to listen to the visionary idea of the age of media patronage from author and professor, Clay Shirky.

Patronage of artists and for the media; perhaps an idea applicable for two different industries during times of great change.

To see the work of the incomparable Robert Indiana at the Galerie Thomas click here.

 

05 June 2009

connected.


Vicente Agor is now a part of the Web 2.0 social marketing phenomenon. All hooked up.  At least for now.  As fast as this is all changing, I am sure that there will be updates to this list soon.

Please follow, friend or fan us:
I have already renewed some great friendships and started new ones. Personally I am quite pleased with the thought that somewhere in a conservative corporate setting - where I came from - old school executives have been forced to add the silly and fun words, "tweet" "ping" and "yahoo" to their daily work lexicon. There is a personal sense of joy in knowing that in the midst of corporate-speak land - while outsourcing their thinking to the outside of the box, or making sure that paradigms have shifted - more people are paying attention to connections and relationships. In other words, marketing that is focused on being ... social.

I couldn't resist using this photo of birds in an abacus formation because the abacus is the art of calculating with beads and to me it is the ultimate precursor for the computer. And besides, the birds are obviously tweeting and twittering.  =)  Find more photography from the talented photographer here.


31 May 2009

san francisco magazine, june 09.


I am absolutely thrilled with the feature article that just came out in the June 2009 issue of San Francisco, a Modern Luxury Media magazine. I am featured in their monthly “Style Counsel” article.
The interview with Joanne Furio was one of those relaxed, easy conversations full of great exchange, interaction and stories. I knew that the conversation was supposed to be all about me, (ha!) but listening to some of Joanne’s experiences was so interesting.  As luck would have it, the scheduled interview took place on the unscheduled first day of the roof tarring and the accompanying smell…pretty. Febreze and blowing fans aside, I had a really wonderful connection with her. The resulting article even listed a smattering of some business tips from me (from my old days of consulting to investment companies). 

The subsequent photo shoot for the article with Martin Klimek was equally fascinating. Even though I was the subject, it was so great to watch (and be a part of) his creative process.

Many thanks to Elizabeth, Joanne, Martin, Kate and Melissa. A link to the article online can be found here.


25 May 2009

fifth year anniversary.

Today we are celebrating the fifth anniversary of Vicente Agor Precious Jewelry. As I reflect back over the past five years, I know that I have created long lasting relationships with some incredibly talented and friendly folks. Wonderful relationships that go far beyond the boundaries of business. I also know that in spite of (and perhaps because of) the vicissitudes of running my own business, I have gained a valuable perspective and stronger appreciation for the bounty and richness of life.

Last year, four friends (on separate trips) went to Bhutan, a country known for its measurement of Gross National Happiness. Our friend Maria brought us back a tightly rolled prayer flag that was blessed by a monk in this country - which some are saying is the last Shangri-La. The idea of the prayer flag in the Bhutanese tradition is that prayers are said over the flags and then these blessings are continuously released into the universe with every wave and flap of the banners in the wind.  It is believed that the mantras said over the flags sanctify the air that touches the flags so that everyone throughout the world can benefit and receive this good will.

Quite a simple and beautiful sentiment.

We saved the unrolling of our gifted flag for this specific occasion.  And so, on this auspicious day of the fifth anniversary of our business, we have unfurled our flag and offer a wish of good will and abundance for all.  A wish for an abundance of days overflowing with laughter; a wish for an abundance of great days of ease from the worries or stress of modern life, and a wish for an abundance of personal dreams that transform into reality. 

Blow wind blow.

photography by maria verdan, bhutan, september 2008 

mariaverdan@yahoo.com

22 May 2009

phoebe.



This past weekend I met my newly adopted niece for the very first time. She arrived from Kazakhstan right around Easter. Not many words are needed. Just look at that smile (and the tiara from Uncle Mike)! 

And what is the relevance of this post to my jewelry business? To the casual observer, perhaps nothing. However, as a designer and artist, sometimes the things that inspire and motivate me have nothing to do with commerce, and everything to do with the illuminations of life.

Welcome to the family, bunny.

21 May 2009

festival de cannes.



A friend of mine recently left for the Cannes Film Festival, which continues until the 24th of May. Her trip prompted me to pull out some photos of my own trip to Cannes many years ago. (How long ago? Let’s just say that I had to scan this photo because I took it with a camera that used 35mm film. So old school, huh?) Even though this photograph is black and white, I have really strong memories of the vivid blue umbrellas and the sunlight on the blue water.  

The other thing I remember (besides the fabulousness of it all) was how nice the locals were.  And isn’t that the best combination, glorious and gracious?

Some vivid blue of my own: A necklace of 18kt gold, AAA lapis lazuli and diamonds.

18 May 2009

conde nast traveler, may 2009.



I always read travel magazines for the vicarious thrill of discovering new locales, or for insider tips on a metropolis. As a result, I am super excited about the gorgeous editorial spread of our jewelry in the May 2009 issue of Conde Nast Traveler. The photographs were taken in Granada, Nicaragua and feature our 18kt heavyweight (they're solid 18kt gold, not hollow) bangles with cognac diamonds and an 18kt one-of-a-kind fire opal in matrix ring.  

Our jewelry gets to go on a lot of exotic trips because of fashion editorials. Earlier this year, a different set of our fire opal in matrix rings were featured in the 2009 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition and traveled to Turkey and Mexico for the photo shoot. Seems like the one with the best multi-stamped passport in our studio is the jewelry!


05 May 2009

spring.



For the last 34 days, the building down the street has been in the midst of tarring and repairing their roof.  In other words, 34 days of that sickly-sour, sometimes headache inducing smell of hot tar.  When I can’t take it anymore – typically around 2pm – Patu and I go on a walk to get some fresh air to clear our eyes and heads. 

I am always one to capitalize on a perceived problem and turn it into a positive.  How great that it is spring!  Who knew? Sometimes I find myself rarely going outside all day long and these walks have provided a view of some new neighborhoods, a bit of urban nature, and some great new color inspiration for spring jewelry.  Look at these colors – how incredible is Mother Nature?


19 April 2009

the future.



This past weekend, I reconnected with a high school friend who now lives in Sweden with his wife. An hour and a half later on Skype, we had caught up on our lives and – wahoo! - I had scored an invitation to visit them in Sweden. One of the glorious aspects of the call was Skype itself.  It was the first time I had used Skype, and while the use of this technology may be old news for some of you, I am hooked! True, there was a bit of what I will call, “vanity anxiety” as we all “prepped” for the visual phone call, but I have to believe a deeper reconnection was made because we were able to see each other face to face. I can't wait to use this for our jewelry business when I talk with our sales managers in Boston, London, and San Juan.

As a kid that grew up with comic strip images of a Dick Tracy watch or a Tomorrowland ride at Disneyland, I had incredible ideas of what the future would be like.  It all seemed so distant and fantastical and It is amazing to know that the future is indeed, now.

for more vintage disneyland postcards, click here.

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