On Feb. 4, designer Raphaela Pasqualina visited Frost Ceramics and Mercantile in Sea Cliff to sell her handmade jewelry.
The pop-up shop showcased Raphaela Pasqualina’s rare designs. Her jewelry is artisanal, hand crafted, and intricate, evoking a feeling of romance and delicate femininity. With highly focused attention to detail, she labors over each piece of art to ensure it fits her client’s personality.
“I love to get to know people, notice their coloring, and hear them talk about their style and what they think are their limitations,” she says. “I like to design for individuals and if they return to me, I try to expand from their comfort zone, to show them how fun it can be to adorn in a new way.”
Raphaela’s designs have been carried in over 50 stores in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, including: Fragments, Calypso St. Barth, Free People, Anthropologie, Thread Design, the Shiseido flagship store, and Lane Crawford. Her celebrity clients include Michelle Pfeiffer, Cindy Crawford, and Veronica Webb. Her work has been featured in InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Glamour, and Self.
Growing up in the living quarters next to her family’s painting school in Roslyn, drawing, painting, and creating have always been part of Raphaela’s life. Her childhood playmates were the school’s students. Painters, sculptors, photographers, and musicians rented studios on the grounds. At the age of 15, Raphaela designed her first jewelry line — hand-painted flowers on glass beads strung into necklaces. She sold the necklaces at a local shop. When she saw two stylish women she didn’t know wearing her work, she knew she wanted to pursue a career in jewelry design.
Raphaela went to college in New York City, studying fine art at the School of Visual Arts, and fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Technology. During college, she worked for Ralph Lauren and Laundry by Shelli Segal.
After college, while selling fine jewelry at Barney’s, she happened upon the gold-filled wire that she works with now. She experimented with the wire and wore her creations to work. Co-workers began to buy her designs. Then stylists borrowed them for shoots. Celebrities took notice. When the SoHo jewelry store Fragments discovered her talent, Raphaela decided to focus on her jewelry design full time in order to keep up with the showroom’s retail demand.
Today, Raphaela enjoys working one-on-one with clients and doing custom work. She has completed more than 500 hours of yoga teacher training at Yoga Shanti with Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidman Yee. Raphaela teaches yoga and attends Yoga Shanti workshops and retreats often in addition to maintaining her growing jewelry business.
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