As a BIPOC owned brand, expanding inclusion in the world of fine jewelry has always been a passion of the G.St team. Over the years, we’ve worked closely with designers from around the world to build a collection that’s as inclusive as it is gorgeous.
And now, in a new collaboration with designer Lorraine Schwartz and the Natural Diamond Council, G.St is taking it to the next level. We’re so excited to introduce you to The Emerging Designers Diamond Initiative, a collective created to support designers of color in their work with natural diamonds. Join us as we peek behind the curtain for a look at the EDDI all stars—the pieces we’re the most excited about, the deep meaning behind the initiative, and what’s next for G.St.
For the Gandia sisters, the EDDI project was a natural extension of their years-long effort to build a brand that celebrates the work of jewelry designers from a diverse array of backgrounds and aesthetics.
The project seeks to welcome talented emerging BIPOC designers into the world of fine diamond jewelry by providing them with access to diamond credit, and creating a platform to showcase the designs these new materials inspire. “When you have industry powerhouses like Natural Diamond Council and Lorraine Schwartz combining forces to address equity in the jewelry industry, we knew that the EDDI was going to be a program that made a difference,” G.St co-owner Jennifer Gandia said.
One of the most joyful parts of building the G.St brand has always been the treasure hunt for new talent to showcase. The Gandia sisters care about uplifting creatives and small business owners by providing them with access to the G.St customers who will fall in love with their work. So for Jennifer and Christina, the EDDI initiative felt like a natural extension of the values that built G.St.
“The group of designers chosen are such powerful artists, we knew from the moment they were announced that we wanted to present the collections in our store,” Jennifer said. “We're passionate about emerging artists, so getting involved with the initiative seemed like a natural fit. We felt very strongly that these collections should be experienced in-store, available for everyone to come in and try on, hopefully fall in love with, and make their own!”
Breaking Down Barriers for New Designers
The EDDI initiative was grounded in a simple concept; building a more equitable future for the diamond jewelry industry by providing BIPOC designers with opportunities, removing barriers to entry, and offering unparalleled access to industry education and resources.
Each of the five designers in the flagship group was given a $20,000 diamond credit, in addition to retail and press opportunities, production, sampling, and design software funding, and mentorship from industry experts who helped them take their design practices to the next level.
“Financing and access to material resources is the biggest barrier for many to build luxury businesses,” said Jennifer, who knows firsthand how challenging growing a fledgling business can be. “We have had the benefit of our parents providing a foundation for us to build upon, and are grateful to have been able to witness POC turn their dreams into a reality from a young age,” added Christina.
The elder generation of the Gandia family began the G.St brand from a place of inspiration, just like the designers in EDDI’s grant program. “Our parents came to the United States from Puerto Rico with their eyes set on forging a better life for their family,” Jennifer said. “They started their store in 1976, a tiny 400 square foot space where our father did repairs and custom design, and the jewelry in the window were all pieces he'd made for my mother as gifts. It's taken us 45 years to get to the place where we stand, a store that offers luxurious designer fine jewelry with myself and sister Jennifer now at the helm,” Christina elaborated.
This family history made Jennifer and Christina eager to collaborate with other BIPOC jewelers who, like their parents, were eager to break into the jewelry business. “We know from firsthand experience that starting a business is for the most visionary, creative and brave souls, and that without access to capital, it's not just challenging - it can be impossible,” Jennifer said. “Each one of these artists have designed collections that can sit alongside the most famous names in jewelry, which only proves that there is no lack of talent and creativity, only deficits in access for all. Equity and diversity in jewelry enriches and strengthens the industry, making it more exciting and resonant for jewelry lovers everywhere,” says Christina
A Bold Approach to Classic Styles
So what happens when you take five designers and give them access to the best materials the jewelry world has to offer? Some seriously creative and exciting designs!
Both Jennifer and Christina have been inspired by the imaginative and energetic brilliance the EDDI designers have brought to their new pieces. “Each designer has such a defined point of view that they've expressed brilliantly in their collections,” said Jennifer. “This closely mirrors what we aim to achieve in our selection of designers, curating makers with strong aesthetics spanning many different styles of design - design diversity. Each collection is exciting and there is something for everyone here, from a design perspective.”
One of the most exciting things about EDDI’s first launch is the abundance of visual inspiration the designs draw from. “The collections encompass modernity, nature as muse, sensuality and movement,” Jennifer said. “As Latinas, seeing more POC being given a chance to express their full creativity in precious metal and diamonds is not only inspiring, it’s important.”
The Gandia sisters love all the pieces from the EDDI collection, but each has a favorite design she covets. For stargazer Jennifer, it’s the bold diamond Progression Constellation Earrings by Made by Malyia. This reimagined gold hoop earring look pays homage to one of the jewelry world’s most ancient forms, reinvigorating the classic circular silhouette with a daring new look.
Christina’s romantic heart is drawn to the sculptural and rustic Coral Ring by Dorian Webb, an iconic statement piece that draws on the coral jewelry traditions of the global south. Webb’s design captures the organic forms of the coral plant with delicate branches of gold, floating across the hand with liquid grace.
At the base of the sculptural form is a rose cut diamond that sparkles like the open sea, anchored by a pavé band that evokes fragmented sunshine on warm, tropical waves. A daringly dimensional take on the classic diamond ring, this statement piece is destined to become a cherished heirloom.
Ultimately, Jennifer says that she hopes the EDDI collection will be a sign of greater things to come. “We only need to look to nature for the beauty and resilience of diversity,” she said. “My great hope is that the world of fine jewelry becomes more divergent, and given the conditions it needs to grow in extraordinary ways. Looking at this initiative and these collections, I think that hope can be easily realized by giving underrepresented designers the access and opportunities they need to develop and achieve their goals. As retailers it's so exciting to have 5 incredible collections to present in collaboration with the designers and NDC."
There’s never been a better time to dive into the world of inclusive jewelry design.
Explore the EDDI collection today!