Jewelry designer Jillian Sassone is the founder of Marrow Fine Jewelry, and the recent proud owner of a new Newport Beach boutique in California. In an interview with JCK, she discusses her rising career as well as the new place.
When asked how she first started out and how her career evolved, Sassone said, “I started out designing chunky pieces. I really loved opal and mixing white diamonds and black diamonds and turquoise. I loved seeing turquoise set in yellow gold. Then what happened very quickly is that I started skewing bridal. I still make those statement pieces, but the business, based on demand, started skewing bridal. Engagement rings and wedding bands started becoming our bread and butter. A lot of people [in the market for an engagement ring] say, ‘I got a guy.’ They may feel this connection to a family referral, so they’ll get their engagement ring from that corner jeweler who’s done grandma’s and mom’s rings. But the girl will sometimes want to add her own spin on it. So I started designing wedding bands, and that really took off around 2017. Now we have over 70 different wedding bands. A lot of them fit together, have different stones. It’s rare that a girl with a solitaire will come in and will leave with the same look as someone else.”
When asked about her Ballerina Ring, Sassone explained, “I became really interested in art deco–style ballerina rings. A lot of girls started coming to me with solitaires, but they really liked the ballerina concept. So I said if they already have this solitaire, how could we create this look that’s more versatile? I created an oval style where you could take two of them and sandwich your engagement ring for that whole look, a mix-and-match approach, and those really took off.”
When asked what sets her business apart from every other in the jewelry industry, Sassone said, “We’ve had our flagship at One Paseo in Solana Beach for two years on March 1. And the Newport space just opened at the end of January. We’re sourcing a lot of antique diamonds now—such a fun aspect of the business. It’s such a treasure hunt. It’s from the 1800s and we pull it out of a tiara. And that differentiates us from a Blue Nile or Costco. Some of the stones we find are such one-of-a-kind pieces, they’ll never be re-created.”
“This space feels really elevated," she said of her Newport Beach Boutique. "The colors are our brand colors. The floor is this rad terrazzo flooring. The walls are hand plastered by an artist who does these hand wall treatments. Bells + Whistles did our first spot, our flagship; they did our home, a mid-century modern; and then they did this space. Even the fabric of the furniture—everything just feels luxe. We consulted these lighting experts who put this lighting in that makes the jewelry sparkle.”
Information originally sourced from JCK.