One of Kara Ross’s fondest memories of her childhood is a safari to Africa with her parents at the age of 13. To commemorate the trip, Kara’s parents allowed her to choose a native gemstone of her choice. When they returned to their home, Kara was told she could design and create a ring with the tourmaline she chose. After a trip to “Jeweler’s Row” in downtown Philadelphia, Kara decided to create a square-cut ring on an 18-karat gold band with diamonds. “To know that I could create something wholly original at a young age really
 affected me.” 
It was a concept that would guide her vision as a designer.

In 2003, Ross founded the company Kara Ross, which has rapidly grown from its origins in fine 
jewelry and is known for its bold and unique use of exotic skins and gemstones across several 
jewelry lines, handbags, and belts. The newest addition to the brand is the Kara Ross Gemstone Collection, which debuted in Fall 2010.

Her most famous private clients to date are President Obama and the First Lady, for whom she created exclusive gifts made from magnolia wood that originated from the White House lawn. Pieces of Ross’s fine jewelry can now be seen at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of
 Arts and Design in New York City, and the San Diego Natural History Museum. In June, Ross received the 2012 Fashion Icon Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA).

Favorite Summer Destination: Hamptons.

Current Summer Reading: Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson.

What to Wear to a Summer Party: Light crepe de chine or cotton gauze dresses, printed or solid, with statement jewelry.

Favorite Summer Fragrance: Carolina Herrera’s Garden Party.

Necessary Summer Indulgence: Ice cream, of course.

Preferred Seasonal Spa Fix: Relaxing with a good book is better than a spa treatment for me.

Favorite House Gift for a Summer-Weekend Invitation: There is a kid in each of us no matter what age we are. Bottles of bubbles is a perfect way to to relax and have fun.

Photo by EndOrfinaS via Flickr

Favorite Summer Entertaining Tips:

  1. I love scented candles. Day or night, they create a comfortable mood and keep the bugs away.  
  2. Keep your appetizers fresh on ice serving tray.  
  3. Berries and yogurt are two components I can’t imagine a good summer party without.

Preferred Summer Accessories: A stack of my Gemstone Collection bangles. 

Spring/Summer 2012 Gemstone Collection by Kara Ross

Current Film on your List to see this Summer: Your Sister’s Sister.