Jewelry artist Tamara Comolli draws inspiration from the colors that permeate the ocean, and makes sure that every adornment has elements of femininity, flair and fun.
The water captivates her. She finds allure in the outdoors. Beach walks at sunrise serve as her personal ritual.
Tamara Comolli, the German-based connoisseur-turned-creator of precious gemstones, draws on all that nature has to offer when designing her coveted jewelry collection.
When visitors walk into Comolli’s Palm Beach boutique on Worth Avenue, they see crisp, white cabinets, tasteful lighting and a 1950s-style refrigerator filled with bottles of Champagne. Then, there’s her merchandise. Bracelets, earrings, necklaces and rings embody everything from earth tones to jewel tones.
“I take the intimidation away,” she says during a brief visit to her store. “It can be classic, it can be fun, it can be hippie. It’s the philosophy of the brand.”
In town to take inventory of the baubles radiating from glass cases, she reflects on the success of the 3-year-old retail location—the second in the United States— and the popularity of her pieces. She also owns additional boutiques in Germany. “All of the stores are close to the water,” Comolli says of selecting the locations for her Palm Beach and Southampton, New York boutiques. “I go into the ocean, no matter the temperature.”
She pulls the Curriculum Vitae ring from its perch in the window. A masterpiece in gold, it features a circle of diamonds and sapphires intended to symbolize the course of one’s life. She then shows off a playful assortment of acorn-shaped stones dangling from leather cords. The smooth, bullet-cut design is the hallmark of her company, as is the Tamara Comolli logo: a simple turquoise drop.
Her flagship creation—a breathtaking bijoux that brands the company and appears in brochures, posters, press kits and on the website—looks like a shimmering string of clustered Jujubes good enough to eat. Called the Flamenco bracelet, it has earned the nickname “the candy bracelet,” and it launched her career. “It was the first piece I sold,” she says.
Vacationing in St. Barts, Comolli wore the bracelet to the beach, where an admiring woman asked where she purchased it. “She bought it off my wrist during lunch,” Comolli says. “That convinced me to go on.”
The Munich native, who grew up in Spain and France, discovered her love for jewels at an early age. By her 16th birthday, she had acquired a bracelet collection. She longed to turn her part-time hobby into a full-time profession but instead followed her father’s wishes and attended Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, where she studied economics and marketing. She landed a job as a consultant. But her life changed one day while she was giving a presentation to a group of clients.
“I was 29,” Comolli remembers. “In the middle of my speech, I said to myself, ‘What am I doing here?’ I quit the next day.”
Her debut collection contained 14 pieces and premiered in Las Vegas. The opening of her first U.S. store in Southampton followed. Her first client was Neiman Marcus.
“That’s how this whole thing started,” says the 53-year-old who currently lives in Lake Tegernsee, Germany. “I wanted to create a brand that was entirely different.”
Color stories distinguish the brand. Each of Comolli’s 30-plus lines comes in a family of hues with tantalizing titles such as Romance and Wildberry, or Bohemian Rhapsody and Indian Summer. Her newest line, due in the spring of 2016, will have a whimsical theme that integrates the iconic acorn and drop shapes without the use of gemstones.
“It will have the spirit of a fairy tale,” Comolli says. “They will be conversation pieces. When you see them, you will say, ‘Yes, I understand.’”