Polish jewelry designer Idalia Baudo fell in love with travel, fashion and the dazzling world of accessories early on in life. Growing up in Krakow, she often accompanied her parents, who owned three upscale clothing stores, on buying trips to France and Italy, and enjoyed the sartorial perks that came from watching her mother and grandmother dress up in their luxe attire. “They were my style icons,” she says, “and my grandmother was super stylish.”
Baudo was a teenager when her parents moved her and her younger brother to West Palm Beach in the mid-1990s and opened a floral design company. From her late father, she learned to assemble exquisite, blossomy arrangements, an art she still practices, and the secrets of running a small business successfully. In her free time, she pursued a dual degree in marketing and management at Florida Atlantic University. She would also fashion jewelry for family and friends, so she enrolled in jewelry-making classes, like the ancient art of wire weaving, to evolve her intrinsic talent.
Her love for baubles led her to a job at Nordstrom in The Gardens Mall, where she managed the jewelry department. “It was love at first sight,” she says. “I called it a candy store for women.” Four years later, she moved over to Neiman Marcus, gave birth to her first child, and then, in 2008, went to work for a private bank handling marketing and special events. It seemed like her jewelry days were done.
Everything changed when Baudo’s son, Jack, was born. “I said, ‘OK, if I don’t do [jewelry design] now, I will never do it,’” she says. An appreciation for fine mesh led her to Tuscany, a city she visits regularly with her husband, where she uncovered an extraordinary featherweight variation composed from metal threads and strands of silk.
In November 2014, she launched her “Core” collection, featuring 10 silver and gold vermeil styles made with the Italian “couture mesh,” as she dubbed it, including her long signature chain that can be worn multiple ways. Two more lines—a daintier weave with a diamond-cut chain named “Lush” and a midnight-hued metallic that takes its cue from Venice’s darker side named “Holiday”—followed.
The Atlantis resident’s designs are now found at local boutiques, like Grace in Palm Beach, and on her website. She credits her husband and business partner, Chris, for her many achievements as well as the encouragement she has received from clients, like Jill Zarin of “The Real Housewives of New York,” who hosted a private trunk show for Baudo at her Southampton home last summer.
Sharing her success through philanthropy is an integral part of her company’s business plan. Every year, she partners with charities like Big Dog Ranch Rescue and Place of Hope through their annual fundraisers and donates up to 25 percent of her sales. Eventually, she wants to donate a portion of every sale to a single charity.
In March, she’ll unveil a botanic-imbued collection with spring motifs, and will debut a jewelry line in the fall for pint-sized trend setters like her 7-year-old daughter, Sophie.