Exquisite, masterpiece, heirloom, fabulous, inspired. These are but a smattering of the words used to describe fine, high end jewelry. When viewing Katharine James jewelry pieces, mere words, in our opinion, fall flat. Most assuredly, her pieces contain a magnificent sparkle and an almost other worldly feeling that sets the bar incredibly high. She then ups the ante by infusing into each of her designs the kind of thoughtfulness and warmth of heart that only Katharine is able to bring these fine works of art.
As a child, Katharine was fascinated by fashion design. Gleaning inspiration from Vogue patterns, she would modify these and create her own designs. Her mother, of Greek heritage was a masterful seamstress and would bring to life the designs Katharine had created. The fire and passion for design was burning intently within her. She would be found in all kinds of art classes, thriving on them, stoking the fires of her dreams. When the time came for her to finish high school, she decided that she would go to Brooks College to become a fashion designer. Upon enrolling, the question came up of “do you sew?” For the curriculum, sewing was a requirement and unfortunately, sewing was not her forte’, “my mother could sew, she was meticulous, my sister could sew, but I could not,” so she decided to change her program to merchandising and study the business side of fashion.
In her second year of study, she started with I Magnin and “fell in love with the company.” When she graduated, she had a magnificent opportunity to move to their flagship store in San Francisco. Turning down a trip to Europe, she believed that this opportunity was a once in a lifetime chance and she grabbed hold with both hands. In time, she would move up into higher positions, learning and growing her passion for those things that, when you visit a fine boutique or store, tickle the heart.
It would be during these years that she would return to Southern California and through her experiences with fine retailers in the late eighties, Katharine would come to realize that she was in the midst of what would become a designer renaissance. She found that she was in the right place at the right time. This was a tremendous and exciting time for her, meeting and working with designers such as Halston, Estee Lauder, etc., the seeds of her design future were being planted.
Ultimately, she would find herself at the epitome of jewelry retailers, Tiffany’s and would find a world of knowledge that would be a valued part of her life forever. But while this was a fabulous experience, there were even bigger places for Katharine to go.
Working with high end designer Michael B, Inc., she would become part of their extreme success and eventually would become an integral part of company, eventually becoming Vice President.
Katharine’s father had a great deal of confidence and faith in his daughter, especially with her career success, he always felt she would create her own company. In 2004, her father became ill and one of the last things she was able to whisper in his ear was “dad, I am doing it. I am starting my own business.” After his passing, over the next year, Katharine would plan how she would build her business. After resigning from her current position, the very next day she incorporated and Katharine James, Inc. was born. Starting with one ring design, she would find a world that embraced her and thus began a line of incredible jewelry featuring the Juliet’s Love collection, designed by Katharine that would bring her incredible success.
Through difficult economic times and a few health battles, Katharine James is once again skyrocketing, and with her Bella’s Love collection, she has set the bar even higher and topped herself with a most incredibly exquisite line that you simply have to see to believe. The handcrafted quality of the settings as well as the incredible clarity of the diamonds will literally blow you away. Few designers ascend to such a high level and Katharine James is one of those designers who stands on the peak of Everest with her collections.