Interview with Rachel Clinnick of Thalia Jewelry

When you step into Blanc, some of the sparkle that you see is by one of our favorite jewelry lines, Thalia, made by jewelry designer Rachel Clinnick. Here's a peek into what inspires Rachel's design aesthetic and why you have to come in and try on some of her pieces!

blanc blog thalia rachel pic.jpg

 

What's your five-second elevator introduction when a stranger asks about your jewelry business?  Thank you, I am the designer, here is my card, we specialize in hand fabricated one of a kind pieces made here in our San Francisco studios. (This happens often)

Where does the name of your company, Thalia, come from?  Thalia is one of the Three Graces in Greek Mythology. The name means to flourish or bloom which I think a woman or man does when they wear our designs. 

blanc blog thalia 1.jpg

The diet starts tomorrow. What are you eating today to satisfy a future craving? This gets me into trouble, but I don't diet. I do however have three essential food needs: black tea, bone broth and dessert.

What are your design influences?   I am influenced by almost everything I see, nature, architecture, art. My husband wishes I had an "off" switch! That said, I am heavily influenced by Ancient Roman art and textiles, which if you look at it covers quite a span of time and geography from around 750 BC to the 4th century or so... although I pull from later periods as well , and the Romans adapted styles from many civilizations before them in addition to the areas they conquered or bordered. I also have a love of Medieval signet rings and Memento Mori pieces. I also covet Georgian Jewelry.

blanc blog thalia 2.jpg

You are very stylish. What's the most prized piece in your closet? This is tough, I have a few for different reasons. I am however in love with my runway Chanel metallic thread gold jacket from the Autumn/Winter 1996 Collection.

Let's talk Dior: GianFranco Ferre, John Galliano, Bill Gaytten, Raf Simons or Maria Grazia Chiuri? This is a tough one because there are incredible designs from each designer and era. The film Dior was a wonderful look into the pressures placed on Raf Simons when he took on Dior, I think you really see that with the culmination of the fashion show and his emotional response. I am excited, however, about Maria Grazia Chiuri. First off, this is their first ever female head of Dior. I enjoyed what she did for Valentino in collaboration with Pierpaolo Piccioli and see her inspired mix of youthful whimsy with classic style creating a story in the latest designs for Dior. This is an exciting time for Dior and a fresh take on couture while still remaining true to the quality and craftsmanship of a luxury house of fashion. I personally have been loving it all. 

blanc blog thalia 3.jpg

 

How important is design (in society) and in jewelry (versus generic jewelry)?  My clients and myself included are not interested in generic run of the mill jewelry. The devil is in the details as they say, not only does generic jewelry not hold its value but it is recognizable by anyone in "the know" as such. One of a kind jewelry at a certain price point covers a few parameters: an investment, an emotional connection, style, and sometimes most important for my clients- something no one else has.  This does not have to be exclusive to the 1% or even the 20%, if you shop with artists true to their craft anyone at almost any price point can have a one of a kind heirloom quality piece of jewelry that is art as much as it is jewelry. 

blanc blog thalia 4.jpg

 

What past decade or century would you like to live in?  I often think I would love to have to lived in Ancient Rome or have lived in Georgian England. However I think I appreciate today and modern medicine more! 

Your go-to Karaoke song?  Nope, not singing. But I will watch my friends ;)

blanc blog thalia 5.jpg

What one tip would you give to a sales person who is selling designer jewelry for the first time? First of all, KNOW your merchandise, you can't sell what you don't understand!!!  Listening to the customers needs is key; what is their budget, is this a custom piece, is there a timeline? Then gently guide them to a few options, never too forceful, always attentive and above all polite. 

What's the most exciting piece of jewelry in your current collection? We have some absolutely stunning over the top pendants finishing soon. A piece that I just love is the 18k Ancient Roman spear tip with Pave Diamonds, it is a powerful piece that feels protective and  representative of our current environment, especially for women. It's my power piece. 

blanc blog thalia 6.jpg

 

What's your favorite thing about being based in San Francisco?  I am a Bay Area native! My husband and I go back multiple generations and I feel blessed to run businesses based here that give back to the community. We donate regularly to CASA, the court appointed special advocates for foster children in SF as well as various local charities.

Favorite menu item in your favorite restaurant in San Franciso?  Kokkari has been my go to for years, loads of happy moments spent there and I love the Moussaka. 

What's your Spirit Animal and why?   The Lion. I am a strong defender of my family and friends and I am also fiercely independent. 

Who's a person living or dead that you'd like to have coffee with?   Cleopatra

 Why? Naturally one of my favorites in history...  Caesar, Mark Antony..: shrewd, intelligent, incredible ruler.. I want all the details :)

Besides you, of course, who should people follow on Instagram?  Top Notch Faceting, Jean-Noel is a true artist. 

blanc blog thalia 7.jpg

 

Tulle or Fringe? Tulle all day long! 

 Crock Pot or George Forman Grill? George Forman Grill

Who would your dream collaboration be with?  My daughters, family is more precious to me than anything.

What are you looking forward to (business wise) in the next three to six months? As I am always expanding our Bridal Collections, I am truly honored to be a part of such an important part of my clients lives. We have started making stunning One of a Kind 22k pendants and bracelets incorporating ancient artifacts or playing on those themes. Very jeweled, very large and very heirloom worthy!

Go to Rachel Clinnick's website to discover more of her jewelry collection: http://thaliajewelry.com Her Instagram account is http://www.instagram.com/thalia_jewelry