Colleen Choi

An accountant-turned-artisan's exoskeleton pendants, chunky resin necklaces and other statement-making accessories

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Former CPA Colleen Choi left her California home and career, moving cross country to NYC to pursue her dream of designing jewelry. Since graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology, Choi now does just that, coming up with one-off accessories that expertly mix a range of high and low materials and speak to her strength as both a conceptual designer and skilled metalsmith.

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Choi studied Tuscan stone setting techniques at Le Arti Orafe in Florence where she learned to bring her avant-garde sensibilities to life with excellent craftsmanship. As a result, her intricately-detailed statement pieces offer surprising touches—such as the “No Swimming!” pendant (above), which can be worn as either a necklace or brooch, with or without a cage-like exterior made of oxidized silver and diamonds.

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Choi’s belted bag (above left) brings a little wit to the waist, pairing a wide brown leather belt with a brass bag-shaped buckle. The “Rock-It” necklace (below right) redefines chunky jewelry with resin rocks and metal mesh backing to create a modern- medieval look.

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Says Choi, “I want people to live in my imagination and see the world the way I see it. When people glance at my pieces, I want them to have to take a second look.”

Choi’s designs are available upon request; contact her for more information or to commission works.