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When the Stars Align: Co-Owner Jennifer Gandia on Astra, G.St's New Astrology Collection

For centuries, humans have looked to the stars to find inspiration. And now, with a new collection from Greenwich St, Jewelers, you can connect to celestial inspiration around your neck (or finger!).

To celebrate the launch of their new astrology-inspired collection Astra, we sat down with Greenwich St. Jewelers Co-Owner Jennifer Gandia to talk astrology, jewelry, and the magic of the stars.

 

Falling in Love With Astrology

For Jennifer, astrology has always been a source of inspiration. “I’ve been interested in astrology since I was a kid,” she told us. “I would read the horoscopes in the back of the newspaper every day, until I got a copy of Susan Miller’s Sun Signs.”

Reading the book helped Jennifer feel like she had tapped into a new source of powerful knowledge. “I was in junior high school, and I felt like someone had opened up a secret door to  information about myself and other people. I would meet someone, usually a boy, because I was at that age, and ask them their birthday, then run to the book and read all about them.”

Beyond helping her build deeper social connections, Jennifer’s growing passion for astrology helped her feel more in touch with herself. “I really identified with myself as a Pisces,” she said. “Everything I read resonated. As a child with big emotions, deep sensitivity and a love of anything mystical, I felt seen by astrology.” 

 As she grew older, Jennifer committed herself to seriously investigating the hidden meanings of the stars. “Astrology has been a really important part of my life,” she told us. “I began getting whole chart readings, and using it as a guiding force for timing and affirmation.”

 

A Sign of Charm 

 

As the daughter of a family who has been making jewelry in New York since the 70s, it’s no wonder that Jennifer found expression for her new love of astrology in jewelry form. 

“One of the first charms I got as a teenager was a gold Pisces charm,” she told us. “Perhaps it’s the 70s kid in me, but zodiac charms are  one of my favorite jewelry categories,” she said, “I love to see how they are artfully interpreted and how symbols are used to tell the story of the sign.”

There was something about the individual nature of the charms, how they are a touchstone representing the secret magic of the stars, that Jennifer found herself unable to resist. As her collection grew, so did the dream of creating a zodiac series of her own. “I always wanted to create a collection but there’s lots of zodiac jewelry out there, so I had to wait for inspiration to strike, ” she explained.

 

Stargazing Dreams

Jennifer’s dreams came to fruition over the course of the pandemic, when she was plucked from her familiar busy life in New York City and found herself with the space she needed to create. 

“During Covid, when we had forced time on our hands, I found myself with a strong desire to work on a creative project to bring to life,” she said. “I moved upstate during the pandemic, and one of the things I love most is just going outside and looking at the stars. On windy nights, when the clouds are traveling across the sky, it always looks like the cosmos are shifting and changing.”

Those stargazing nights helped Jennifer discover the inspiration to create Astra, the zodiac series she had always dreamed of. Taken from the Latin word for stars, Astra combines the wonder of gazing at the night sky with a gorgeous exploration of the hidden meanings the cosmos contains. “I wanted to create something that felt like a watercolor sky in enamel, which is a technique I feel really special,” she told us. 

Jennifer’s first encounter with enamel was in high school when her father allowed her to help him craft a custom enameled fire and ice pendant. Astra represents two of her passions coming together to form a symbol of beauty and fate. “I wanted to use handcrafted enamel painting techniques to create a pendant that felt like those nights, when you go out and look at the stars and the moon, and the clouds are passing through, but you can still see the brilliance of the stars underneath,” she told us.

 

Inspiration Takes Shape 

Once she decided that enamel would be the perfect medium for the Astra collection, Jennifer had to find inspiration for the pendant shape that would contain it. 

 “When I was thinking about the shape I wanted it to take, my mother’s vintage pocket watch collection came to mind,” she said. “Something about that shape made me think of the idea of using astrology as a measure for time, and as a channel for timing. It seemed like the perfect container to house a golden diamond constellation within a pocket watch shape.”

The idea of wearing a reminder of the universal rhythms of time proved irresistible, as Jennifer found inspiration in the pocket watches for much of the collection’s construction. “The pendants have a bow and crown which was the part that attaches to a chain before it slipped into the pocket.” she told us. 

She took advantage of this unique construction to create a reversible pendant that swivels so wearers can reverse it to suit their mood. “The front of the piece has this beautiful hand painted enamel, and the constellation for each zodiac sign in diamonds & 18 karat gold” she said. “When you flip the pendant, you’ve got the zodiacal  glyph. So, for example, I’m a Pisces, and the elemental energy  of  Pisces  is water. So on my pendant, the Pisces astrological glyph is sitting inside the symbol for water.”

For Jennifer, having the glyphs on the pack of the pendants create a symbol of the elemental power of the stars. “Understanding the elemental forces that are attached to the signs really can deepen our understanding of astrology and ourselves,” she said. “The elements connect us to the power of nature, the material, while the stars connect us with the forces of the cosmos.”

 

Mix and Match Magic 

Beyond the astrological inspiration for creating reversible pieces, Jennifer also wanted to create a pendant that would celebrate the wearer’s sense of play. 

That’s why she made sure that each pendant was paired with a series of choose your own adventure chain styles. “Another element of the collection that I really love is that it’s completely mix and match,” she said. “There are three chains and two pendants, and you can order the pendants with any of the chains that you like.”

Each chain makes a unique style statement, transforming the zodiac pendant into an expression of individual creativity. “We’ve chosen some really incredible chains,” said Jennifer. “One of them, which is my favorite, is a vintage pocket watch style, a twisted link that’s reminiscent of an ellipsis - another nod to the concept of time, and it’s never-ending quality.  Then there’s an intricately woven foxtail that has a really beautiful texture, and a diamond-shaped link which is a fun and fresh take that’s a bit less ornamental.”

Whatever chain you chose, your Astra pendant or ring is destined to become a part of you, connecting you to your cosmic nature and perfectly  pairing with any outfit. Worn constellation or glyph side up, the Astra collection is a representation of the power of individual expression, as well as the elemental forces that connect us all. 

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