Kara Ross fell in love with the art of jewelry making after a trip to Africa as a teenager where she brought home a native gemstone. Upon returning to her hometown of Philadelphia, her mother took her to Jeweler’s Row where she designed a square cut ring on an 18 karat gold band with diamonds. Kara has said that creating something wholly original at a young age really affected her and has guided her vision as a designer. Following graduation from Georgetown and a short stint in advertising at Harper’s Bazaar, Kara decided to pursue a career in jewelry. Kara became a certified Gemologist and for many years she used diamonds, pearls, and 18kt gold to create one-of-a-kind custom pieces for private clients. Her most famous private client to date is President Obama and the First Lady, for whom she created exclusive gifts made from magnolia wood that originated from the White House lawn. While the initial piece was created for visiting heads of state, the collaboration has continued, and Kara continues to design gifts for esteemed visitors and employees of the White House. Kara launched her eponymous company, Kara Ross New York, in 2003 with the vision to create jewelry that has character and imagination. Kara is inspired by alternative materials like jet, lava, wood as well as precious and semi-precious gemstones in their raw, organic forms. The company debuted with a stunning Fine Jewelry Collection, which received rave reviews from editors and clients alike. The line has expanded to include handbags and the KARA by Kara Ross fashion brand. Recognized as pieces of art, Kara’s fine jewelry can now be seen at museums around the country, including the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of Arts and Design in New York and the San Diego Natural History Museum. An special exhibition recently took place at the GIA museum in Carlsbad, California. Kara’s pieces have also been included in Ruth Peltason’s book “Living Jewels – Masterpieces from Nature”. Kara Ross is an award winning designer. In 2014, she won the GEM Award for Design from the Jewelry Information Center. In 2012, Kara was chosen as one of the International Designers of Distinction by The Silver Promotion service and was also honored with the Women’s Jewelry Association Excellence in Design Award. In 2008, she was honored with Fashion Group International’s “Rising Star” Award for Jewelry Design. In 2013 she opened the first Kara Ross boutique at 655 Madison Avenue in New York; interior designer and architect Tony Ingrao partnered with Kara to create an environment that highlights Ross’s fine jewelry and handbags. The result is an urban feel with warmth: an excellent mix of function and style.