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Alson Chats With Penny Preville

October 24th, 2022

Penny Preville | Alson Jewelers

“To me, jewelry is the ultimate expression of love.  It expresses a woman’s personality and has a sentimental value like no other luxury item. Jewelry evokes emotion, memories and marks moments in our lives.  Every day, my goal is to create jewelry that transforms you and becomes a part of your life story.”

~Penny Preville

 

Award-winning jewelry designer Penny Preville will be at Alson Jewelers on Saturday, November 5th for a personal appearance and trunk show. Join us for wine, decadent desserts and exquisite jewelry while you meet Penny Preville.  As you browse the trunk show, you’ll see that Penny is inspired by vintage jewelry as well as finding inspiration in stars and moons, flowers, feathers, and garlands.  You’ll also find designs with a modern focus which showcase clean geometric lines and polished surfaces. While the designer adds splashes of colored gems and pearls to her designs, diamonds, in all shapes and sizes, are the main component in the collections. “Diamonds are the fairytale stone,” says Penny.

Stop in to meet Penny Preville and browse her beautiful designs and many one-of-a-kind pieces at this special event trunk show.  Read on to learn more about the woman behind the beautiful designs.

  | Alson JewelersPenny Preville | Alson Jewelers

Where are you from? The North Shore of Long Island, New York.

How did your love affair with jewelry start?  I grew up in a very creative and artistic environment.  My maternal grandmother was an artist, and my mother was an interior designer. We would go to my grandmother’s house every Sunday and she would bring out her jewelry box to show me all her jewelry.  She had beautiful jewelry from all the big design houses; Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Tiffany. Each piece was so beautiful, and she would tell me the story about how she got it, the occasion, and the memories surrounding it. She also had a treasure box filled with all her costume jewelry that she would bring out for me to play with and admire.

Penny Preville | Alson JewelersPenny Preville | Alson Jewelers

Where do you find your inspiration for your designs?  Art history – the various cultures and civilizations throughout time and throughout the world.  And I’m very influenced by things in nature.  Growing up in Long Island, we were constantly on the beach, riding bikes, riding horses, just being out in nature.

How did you get your start in the jewelry industry? I was making my own jewelry and decided to sell it on Fire Island.  There were only bikes on Fire Island, so I took a wagon and sold all my designs out of the wagon!  I then went back to New York City where there was an event at Bonwit Teller, a luxury department store.  The jewelry buyer was meeting with up-and-coming jewelry designers.  I went to this event, and she bought all my designs!  After that meeting, I went to see my friend that worked at Bloomingdales to tell her about my meeting.  She then showed the buyer at Bloomingdales my designs and she bought them as well! 

What is your favorite thing about designing jewelry? Anything I dream up or desire, I can make it! Jewelry is my self-expression and I find all the materials so magical.  It’s always something new!

Penny Preville | Alson JewelersPenny Preville | Alson Jewelers

Who is your style icon?  My grandmothers.  They both had a distinct, amazing style that although different from each other, I see parts of both in myself and what I find stylish.  My paternal grandmother was very Park Avenue, always dressed to the nines and with such an exquisite jewelry collection.  I was fascinated by the colors and cuts of the gemstones.  My maternal grandmother was an artist, so her style reflected that and was freer.  I remember she wore beautiful velvet chokers.

What jewelry trend are you loving right now?  Links, medallions, chokers and layering necklaces.  I like to take these trends and build a jewelry wardrobe that is stylish and timeless. 

Penny Preville | Alson JewelersPenny Preville | Alson Jewelers

What was your favorite piece of jewelry when you were 16?  A turquoise bead and leather choker I made.

What was your first job?  I worked at a clothing store in town when I was younger, and in college I lasted about two or three days as a waitress.  After that, I just got started doing what I loved and was passionate about, designing and making jewelry… I started selling it in college.

Penny Preville | Alson JewelersPenny Preville | Alson Jewelers

Favorite spot in NYC? Central Park – it’s wonderful to be surrounded by nature.

What is the most sentimental piece of jewelry you own and tell us the backstory?  I have two.  When my late husband Jay and I got married, it was the early 70’s. I fell in love with a double mother-of-pearl and turquoise flower ring made by the Zuni tribe that I wore for my wedding ring. I loved it! My other piece is from Jay’s mother.  She had a beautiful blue star sapphire oval cabochon set in a bracelet.  She left it to Jay when she passed away, and Jay then gave it to me.  I wore it as a bracelet, then made it into a choker, and later a pendant.  It’s a very special piece to me.

Penny Preville | Alson JewelersPenny Preville | Alson Jewelers

What is the best advice you have received?  Believe in yourself.  I’m very shy, despite my shyness, I went to stores to sell my designs.  If you don’t try, you’ll never know if you will succeed. 

For more designs by Penny Preville, check out our website.  We’re very social, so be sure to join the conversation on Pinterest, FacebookTwitter and Instagram.