If you’re in the market for a piece of unique, handmade jewelry, allow us to introduce you to Norbu Designs. Created by Charlotte Reichman, she meticulously handcrafts one-of-a-kind statement jewelry from antique and precious items, often times incorporating Tahitian pearls and Swarovski crystals. Prices range from $30-$300.
Read on to find out more about artful Norbu Designs in my Q&A with Reichman.
Everything She Wants: What's the significance of the name, Norbu Designs?
Charlotte Reichman: Norbu is the Tibetan word for jewelry. My husband and I are both practicing Buddhists.
ESW: How did you get into jewelry design?
CR: I began experimenting with jewelry roughly six years ago, while I was working at Harvard’s McLean Hospital, which is a psychiatric facility. I was working with patients who suffered from severe mental illness, which can really wear a person down. Due to the stress of my position, finding a creative outlet was necessary. I would wear my jewelry when I would go to Newbury Street (Boston’s fashion district), and would get so many compliments.
ESW: What inspires your designs?
CR: High fashion. [As an artist] my background is in acrylics and oil pastels – additionally, one of my university majors was art history. My experience really comes from my love of the arts and of fashion that began as a child. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had an innate eye for design. What I believe to be beautiful and inspiring and what I view as dull and flat. This is true regardless of the type of art being presented. My creative passion naturally drew me to fashion magazines – which I studied as an art form.
ESW: Who is your favorite jewelry or fashion designer and why?
CR: Without a doubt, Coco Chanel. She was the first prominent woman to wear pants – and thus the first high fashion designer to make pants for women. She was also a proponent of jewelry that wasn’t necessarily made from precious materials. She saw the beauty in something that completed an outfit or a look, and it didn’t need to include a two-karat diamond.
ESW: Where do you source your materials?
CR: I source my materials from local antique stores in Northern Arizona. I also use the web to find new and interesting things that will inspire a creation. Each time I travel, I make sure to carve out some time to search the local shops for new items. I have also had friends and family send me items they think I would like.
ESW: What inspired you to start Rufus'Corner?
CR: I have a rescue dog named Rufus. I have always had a soft spot for animals; they’re so friendly and eager to please their owners. They are so carefree and natural that they inspire me in a way. So Rufus really inspired my animal-centric line, and in that vein I really wanted to do something to benefit animals. So I decided to come up with a more playful line that would afford the wearer, and me, to help animals.