ESC: Trendsetters at Work, Zoe ChiccoJacqueline Lee/E!

With celeb fans ranging from actresses like Jessica Alba, Jennifer Lawrence and Lucy Hale to models like Gisele Bündchen and Hailey Baldwin, it's no surprise Zoë Chicco Fine Jewelry is one of our favs (and soon to be yours too). 

And that's why taking a tour of Zoë Chicco's office (and getting some intel on what the brand's CEO/Principal is really like) was a no-brainer. Turns out she (and her gorgeous Doberman pup, Rocco) are just as beautiful and inspiring as we for yourself!  

What was your first job?
The first job I ever had was a summer one working with some friends at a swim club, in the café. I worked behind the counter and ran the cash register—also sometimes helped make light snacks (like pizza bagels!). I forget how old I was, but it was before I could drive. My mom would drive me there and pick me up every day, which took about 20 minutes each way. (When I think about it now, I realize how great it was she was willing to do that every day just so I could have that experience.)

Trendsetters at Work: Rails
Jacqueline Lee/E!

How did you get into the industry?
In high school I was lucky enough to have an art teacher who was a metalsmith. She sort of took me under her wing and taught me some of the basics, then I fell in love with it. I continued my studies in college and majored in Studio Art with a concentration in metalsmithing. After graduation, I worked as a bench jeweler for several different designers on both coasts. Once I honed my skills, I went out on my own and started Zoë Chicco Fine Jewelry from a closet in my San Francisco apartment.

What's a typical day like for you?
My little boy, Truman, usually rises and calls out for Mama and Dada at around 7 a.m. My husband Tim and I have a bit of cuddle and play time with him, then Tim is off to our DTLA studio/office. I stay behind to have breakfast and hang out with Tru for a while. Once our nanny arrives, I typically check my email then head to the office around 11 a.m. Depending on the day, I meet with my sales director and our production manager to check on what's in the works. That's followed by a visit with my small jewelry production team to review what they're working on and answer any questions. I make sure I'm home by 7 p.m. to have dinner with my family, give Truman his bath and tuck him into bed.

Trendsetters at Work: Ella + Rubi
Jacqueline Lee/E!

Tell us about your office/workspace décor.
Since all our jewelry is produced in-house, it's really important that my office and workspace has a calm and creative energy. In the office, we have some modern pieces as well as vintage accents I've collected from local flea markets in LA and abroad. I like to keep the overall color scheme fairly neutral with white walls and concrete floors although I do love color, so you'll find rugs and details with hints of yellow, orange and pink throughout the studio. I amped it up in my office and the showroom by adding a touch of Hollywood Regency pieces. Both rooms are done in white, gold and black with a mix of eclectic pieces and vintage finds.

What's the most significant item in your office?
I have beautiful framed photo of my husband and Truman, just after he was born. It's so precious and is the perfect symbol of love and family to me. It makes me so happy every time I look at it.

What's the best part about your job?
I love what I do. When I can just shut the door and hole up in my office, surrounded by diamonds, stones and sketches, and work on the designs for the upcoming season is when I'm happiest. But I also love the flexibility that owning your own business allows. I'm very lucky that I can make my own hours and spend mornings at home with my son. We waited a long time to have Truman and I knew that when we did I wanted to put my family first. I feel grateful that I'm able to do that, while still being able to run a business I'm proud of.

Trendsetters at Work: Heretic Parfum
Jacqueline Lee/E!

What's the most daring career risk you've ever taken?
When I decided to focus on jewelry in school, it was always my intention to create my own brand. I got my start as a production jeweler, and it took a true leap of faith as well as a commitment to my ideas, designs and collections to launch my own line. I didn't necessarily realize how difficult it would be to get a new business off the ground, but I really wanted it. So I put in the time and work necessary to make it a reality. It's been 16 years, and I've never looked back!

Who are some of your career heroes?
Well my father was a lawyer and my mother was a stay-at-home mom raising two children. I'm not sure who had the harder job, but both have inspired me tremendously in the way I live my life. My parents always encouraged me to do something I was truly passionate about. They instilled in me at a very young age how important it was to have a strong work ethic and to see things through. I'm very thankful for that and I've always carried it with me. There's no doubt I wouldn't be where I am today without their guidance and encouragement.

What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?
Work hard and be kind. Every day I strive to do the best I can with what I have to offer. Most days that means putting my energy into nurturing the business so we can continue to grow and thrive. I've found the most important thing when running a business is to treat the people that work for you with kindness and respect. When your team feels respected, they tend to give so much more and as a result everything runs smoother, is more productive, and everyone is happier. Win-win.

Trendsetters at Work: Ariel Gordon Jewelry
Jacqueline Lee/E!

What designs are you best known for and why do you think you do it so well?
I'm known best for simple, classic, everyday jewelry—the pieces you put on and never take off. That's what my customers come to me for. I think I do it well because I tend to make the pieces I want to wear. I kind of design for myself and the girls in my office are my focus group. When I make a new piece I show my team and if they all want it, I know I have a winner.

What celebs are a fan of your line?
I love seeing any celebs in my pieces. It's always exciting when a celebrity, who can have just about anything, chooses my jewelry. A highlight was when a friend of mine, who was wearing one of my lariats, was working on a photo shoot with Miranda Kerr. Apparently Miranda really liked it and put it on for the photos. My friend texted me and said Miranda Kerr really wants my necklace, so I'm going to give it to her if you can you please make me another one ASAP! I was on board with that. Charlize Theron and Jennifer Garner have also worn my lariats as well.

Do any celebs inspire your designs?
I definitely design with fashion icons in mind, but with the knowledge that even though they're the trendsetters, they're also real people. Many are working moms and most of the time they want to wear everyday fine jewelry that's refined, modern and cool without being overdone or too trendy.

Trendsetters at Work: Voluspa
Jacqueline Lee/E!

Finish the sentences below:

Today for lunch I had…a salad—greek, cobb, kale…it never gets old for me.

The first website I log onto every day is…Instagram (if you consider that a website?).

My usual Starbucks order is…I'm a lucky lady and my husband's quite the barista (a.k.a. coffee snob), so he makes me my coffee each morning. But if I were to order at Starbucks, I would choose a grande nonfat vanilla latte.

If I wasn't doing this job, I would…probably be an interior designer.

My favorite place to visit is…Palm Springs. It's so close to LA, but every time we go I truly feel like I'm on vacation and can relax.

List five things that are on your desk right now…my computer, a Voluspa candle, lots of brass office supplies, my iPhone and a plethora of materials that I reference regularly—an assortment of gold findings, castings, diamonds, pearls and turquoise stones and stacks of paper with drawings and notes. So many notes!

The book I'm reading right now is…I just started reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. A friend of mine recommended it to me and it sounds like some magic I could really use in my life!

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