Gemstone Gallery owner Suzanne DeBow was a public relations and marketing executive prior to becoming a gemstone jewelry designer. She grew up in London, England. “I was lucky to have spent the ‘60s in London at a time when fashion and music were exploding,” said Ms. DeBow who was born in Alexandria, Egypt of French and Italian parentage.
“I studied fine art in school and I loved to write,” said Ms. DeBow. I was lucky to be able to develop careers where I practiced both,” she said. Ms. DeBow moved to the U.S. with her immediate family after she finished school. “We wanted to join family members who had arrived here from Egypt via France five years earlier,” she said. “It was a dream come true to be reunited with close relatives, as with many immigrant families,” said Ms. DeBow.
In every aspect of her journey she absorbed the culture of her surroundings. This is apparent in her work. “The design process has always been very exciting to me,” says Ms. DeBow. “I love to see where a design will take me; I don’t always know before I begin,” she said.
Her passion for jewelry design and making surfaced when she came across a stunningly beautiful necklace displayed at an upscale Manhattan department store.” I remember thinking how much I loved that necklace,” she said. “It was made with the most exquisite semi-precious stones. I loved everything about them — their shape, size, colors and even their individual texture,” she said. “Unfortunately, it was out of my price range. I searched for another necklace like it but nothing came close. I even returned to the store twice hoping it had been reduced but no such luck! Suddenly, I had an epiphany: Why not design and make my own necklace? It worked. I got a lot of satisfaction from making the necklace. I accomplished what I set out to do and I loved being creative. This was the beginning of my second career and my incredible adventure and venture into jewelry making and design,” said Ms. DeBow. “This was the launch of Gemstone Gallery.”
Ms. DeBow works with a variety of semi-precious stones. Her line of jewelry incorporates Carnelians, Amethysts, Citrines, Jade, Onyx and Turquoise stones as well as very unique and unusual stones such as the African Opal. She also likes to work with the family of quartz stones that come in many colors including some beautiful translucent and vibrant shades. “Quartz stones are so appealing and extremely flattering. The faceted miniature stones in unusual shapes are especially wonderful for dangle earrings,” said Ms. DeBow.
Keeping a close eye on the apparel industry is very important in her work. “I like to stay on top of fashion trends,” she said. The fabrics and colors for each new season’s fashions inspire me to blend the designs and stones together to complement that new look.”
Ms. DeBow derives great satisfaction from creating “wearable art” that delight her clients. “Whether it’s finding the right piece of jewelry for an outfit or buying a gift for a friend, my challenge is to make beautiful yet affordable jewelry,” said Ms. DeBow.