Thursday, September 9, 2010
Designer Spotlight: Kevia Jewelry
Kevia Jeffrey-West's exposure to the world of fashion began at the ripe age of five, a period often spent admiring her mother's clothing sketches and playing with fabric swatches. Over time, she developed an eye for color, contrast, texture and detail: skills she now uses to design her line of jewelry and handbags.
Jeffrey-West began developing jewelry for her personal collection while studying in Zimbabwe as an undergraduate at Lewis & Clark College in 1997 and 1999. She collected locally mined and cut stones, sketched designs, and found local jewelers to make her creations. While completing her bachelor's and master's degrees in psychology and social change, she worked in the fields of urban environmental policy, community outreach, and social justice for eight years. Her community and academic work led to a full ride fellowship in an education research and policy PhD program at the University of California Santa Barbara in 2003.
While living in Santa Barbara, she once again began creating jewelry in her spare time, the designer notes, "The natural beauty of the coastal region is vividly striking and inspiring. My partner and I lived in a two-bedroom apartment; I had a balcony garden but really needed something more substantial to occupy my creative energy." Only three short months after being approached by a local boutique to develop items for their store, Kevia's jewelry was being carried in 20 high-end Southern California boutiques including Wendy Foster in Montecito. Kevia decided to officially launch her line in the winter of 2005 using her own namesake, which means "beautiful child."
The small list of stores carrying her jewelry rapidly grew to over four hundred stores in six hundred locations by 2008. In addition to gracing the shelves of high-end boutiques across numerous continents, Kevia's collection has been featured in several renowned publications including InStyle, Lucky, Life & Style, People Espanola, and Real Simple. Her work has been seen on Desperate Housewives, Private Practice, Lie to Me, and the movie 27 Dresses. Katherine Heigl, Norah Jones, Amy Brenneman, and Teri Hatcher have been spotted wearing her jewelry.