For designer Julie Romanenko, the passion for jewelry started early. Jewelry always has meant family and special occasions to her. When she was 11, she was making friendship bracelets for her friends out of liquid silver beads.
After graduating college, she started her jewelry career in New York’s Diamond District, taking classes at Parsons School of Design at night as she started to design, create and wear her own custom-made pieces.
People soon began to ask her where her pieces came from and in no time she had landed her first major retailer, Barneys, as she launched her line of fine jewelry, Just Jules.
Then 10 years ago, she came across some vintage lockets, which not only piqued her curiosity but would completely change the look of Just Jules–she’s now inspired by everything vintage.
Twenty-five years into her business, Romanenko reflected on what it takes to endure–passion, a plan, a lot of hard work and sleepless nights, great customers and even more passion. The fact that the brand is celebrating more than two decades in business is an ode to the things she loves and the people who love her, Romanenko said.
Last year at Couture, she launched a bridal collection and the brand gained a new following.
“The expansion happened very organically, which felt very comfortable and ‘right’ to me,” she told National Jeweler. “I had customers asking me to make them engagement and wedding rings from some existing colored stone ring styles I had been creating. The next step was to create a small collection of bridal jewelry. Many of the rings are actually made from vintage pins I had collected.”
Here are seven of the bridal pieces created by Romanenko for her 25-years-old-and-counting business, Just Jules.
This ring features a rose-cut champagne diamond with white rose-cut side stones set in 14-karat gold on a textured band ($5,725).
A vintage-inspired, half floral repousse, half diamond pave ring with an opaque rose-cut diamond and full-cut white diamond pave accents in 14-karat gold ($5,850)
A 14-karat white gold vintage-inspired Art Deco necklace with three rose-cut diamonds and full-cut pave diamonds ($4,950)
This two-tone Art Deco-inspired ring features three rose-cut diamonds set in 14-karat gold ($4,400).
Just Jules’ 14-karat gold “Game of Thrones” pendant with a round Australian black opal center and diamonds ($4,100)
A vintage-inspired Art Deco-style engagement ring with a rose-cut center diamond and full-cut diamond pave set in 14-karat gold ($6,175)
This vintage-inspired ring with champagne diamond and half-moon white diamond accents is made in 14-karat gold ($11,000).