Calista West: Private Jeweler
It's been awhile, but I'm SO excited to introduce my latest It Girl and private jeweler, Calista West!
It all started over a decade ago where Calista began her career in luxury retail & dedicated the last four years in fine jewelry. After college she studied at the renowned GIA (Gemological Institute Of America) in New York and received formal training & education in Diamond Grading. Prior to launching her business, she managed Boston-based Pageo Jewelers on Nantucket for three years.
Calista always knew she wanted to be an entrepreneur and had been dreaming up ways of how to be one since she was a kid. "I realized an opportunity in the fine jewelry market when a friend of mine was shopping for an engagement ring, Calista remembers. "He was spending a lot of time going back and forth between several jewelry stores in Boston, looking at loose diamonds, and bargaining for the best price. The company he went with beat the other by $1,000 that he was deciding between and that's when the light bulb went off for me. I thought to myself, I can do this, do it better, and offer extremely competitive pricing without the overhead of a brick-and-mortar." In 2017, Calista launched her business on Nantucket.
Technically Calista is a full-service jeweler, but her focus is on diamonds, engagement rings, and all things bridal. Her favorite part of her job is redesigning jewelry that is outdated. Nearly all of Calista's work is custom and she doesn't own any inventory, which is one of the reasons she is able to be so competitive. However, she does have access to nearly every designer around the globe, meaning she can always find the perfect gift or investment for her clients regardless of budget.
Calista meets with clients by appointment around the world in a private office in any major city. She can also go directly to her client’s home, office, or meeting place of their choice. She usually starts with a consultation by email or phone. She determines the needs of her client, timeline, budget, and presents a curated selection of jewelry for them to choose from. She searches nationally and internationally for loose diamonds to find the nicest at the best price based on her client's wishes and designs a setting around it.
This winter, Calista's goal is to design her own signature collection of engagement rings and wedding bands. She also plans to travel to West Africa in early 2018 to see diamond mining first hand, meet the communities of diamond miners, and learn what their lives are like. In the future, she would like to start her own foundation where she sends a portion of profits from every engagement ring to benefit the diamond mining communities in Africa who need it the most. She also has a top secret item going into production this spring that she is super excited to reveal in 2018!
All of Calista's work is custom/made to order and takes 2-3 weeks. If any of you would like something done by Christmas, you need to contact Calista no later than Friday, December 8th to guarantee delivery! She also has a sweet curated collection of some of her favorite female designers I love and support for sale on her website! You can shop those here.
As you all know, I always ask my It Girls what their one piece of advice is for other women starting their own company. According to Calista, "Know your worth, don't underestimate it, and be firm about it!" You can follow Calista & her fabulous Instagram page here.