Throughout her nearly 20-year career, Lorraine Schwartz has established herself as the go-to jeweler for red carpet glamour and accounts for several of Hollywood’s biggest stars (as well as some royals across the pond) as both clients and friends. As a third-generation diamond dealer, she has a deep understanding and appreciation for bold and unique stones, which has led her to design some of the world’s most beautiful, iconic, and one-of-a-kind creations.
But when the pandemic hit, meeting with clients purchasing these high-priced items became a challenge. How do you touch, feel and see the sparkle of a diamond over Zoom? Well, Schwartz figured out a way, and demand for her jewels has remained high. In fact, customers are purchasing investment jewelry now more than ever.
As Schwartz gets ready to celebrate her 20th anniversary this May, I decided to chat with her to find out how she became the go-to jeweler for stars and how she pivoted during the pandemic. (Hint: traveling armed guards were involved).
Why do you think you’ve become the go-to jeweler for stars?
“I’ve built strong relationships with celebrities and all of my clients — they come to me for something unique and different. We’re innovative and always try to think outside of the fine jewelry box to create truly original, beautifully crafted designs. I take great pride in designing jewelry that can be worn day to night, on the red carpet, and off, and I think celebrities are drawn to that diverseness.
“My background as a third-generation diamond dealer is also a key factor in my success. I’m passionate about educating all of my clients, showing them as much as possible, and guiding them when they are ready to make an investment. I’ve built such amazing and close friendships by being transparent, trustworthy, authentic, and always keeping their best interests in mind.”
What was the most challenging piece?
“One of the most challenging, yet amazing, pieces we’ve created — and so many are challenging because we work with really unique diamonds, so cutting them to match can be quite difficult — was the arm piece Beyonce wore in her ‘Single Ladies’ music video. She wanted something that looked futuristic, so we constructed her a one-of-a-kind titanium arm piece. We started with quite a few sketches, then she came to our office, and we actually put her arm in a cast to create a mold, and then we made the whole piece in titanium. It was really fun but challenging because we had to create something that she’d be able to perform in. It was such an iconic piece for me because I love her and love that song.”
How has travel inspired your designs?
“I love to travel and have truly been inspired by every place I visit from the smell, texture, and natural surroundings that I’ve come across during my trips. I’m fascinated with the motifs found in nature and with animals and florals themselves, which you’ll see throughout my designs. I also get very influenced by architecture; the worlds of shapes, form, and dimension, and very keenness in my work.”
Where’s the craziest place you’ve brought jewelry?
“I don’t know if you would consider this crazy, but one of the most memorable and exciting places we brought jewelry would have to be on the set of ‘Friends’ when they shot Monica and Chandler’s wedding episode. It was so fun to watch my pieces be a part of that episode.”
How has the business changed since the pandemic?
“Business has changed so much; it’s a very different world now. We’ve done a lot of Zoom and Facetime meetings. When our clients are ready for a very important investment piece, we start with a conversation and work closely with them to understand what they are looking for in terms of style, shape, and budget. We review all options, send them GIA certificates and stone information. Once we narrow down a selection, we arrange for an armed guard service to do a private viewing many times in the comfort of their home. It’s worked out pretty well, all things considered.”
Original posted at www.forbes.com