A Q&A with One Oak by Sara designer, Sara Reichert

One OAK by Sara designer Sara ReichertAt Visible Interest, we agree that indie jewelry designer Sara Reichert is one of a kind.  Her jewelry collection One OAK by Sara, which stands for “One-Of-A-Kind, is full of sophisticated modern jewelry that blends the textures of natural gemstones with edgy chains. Sara finds inspiration in antique stores, flea markets and in vintage jewelry that she values for both quality and design. Reichert makes the majority of her pieces by hand in her New Jersey studio. She was named Emerging Designer of the Year at 2010 New Jersey Fashion Week and the collection counts celebrities Maria Menounos, Olivia Munn and Haylie Duff among its fans. One OAK by Sara also has respect for the earth’s natural beauty and is proud to partner with American Forests® to plant one tree for every item sold. Visible Interest loves One OAK by Sara for its ability to artfully combine the rugged textures of nature with polished chains and other elements that result in wearable edgy, modern jewelry styles.

How did you start designing jewelry?

I have always collected jewelry–vintage pieces and natural gemstones. It was not until I took a jewelry-making class at Sundance in Utah that I started designing and creating my own pieces.

What’s your favorite part of the process? 

I absolutely love seeing people bring their One OAK by Sara jewelry to life. It’s so exciting for me to see the end result–people really have a lot of fun with layering the line. I also love getting inspired by a shape or a certain material and designing a collection around that.

Do you have a favorite medium? 

I love quartz crystal and so many other types of natural stone. I also love using gunmetal plating because it so easily complements other jewelry: Fashion or fine, Gold or Silver.

Do you have a favorite piece? 

It’s always changing, depending on what I’m working on. Some of my favorites in addition to my own designs are the pieces that have been passed down to me. I love mixing One OAK by Sara with vintage fine and fashion pieces of jewelry with special meaning.

                                                             Stella Pink Opal and Pave Necklace

What’s your design philosophy? 

I think it’s organic and ever changing. Generally speaking, I get inspired by a material or shape and try to build a collection around that. My goal is to create pieces that are classic, but also make a statement and have some sort of unexpected design element.

What did you want to be when you were little? 

A writer. A psychologist. An architect. An interior designer. A chef. I have always enjoyed creating things and striving to bring different ideas to life. When it comes to a career and work, I have always tried to be in the moment (as much as possible) rather than trying to plan too far ahead.

Describe your work in three words. Chic. Feminine. Timeless.

What’s behind the name of your collection? 

One OAK stands for One Of A Kind. Using vintage components and natural gemstones, I strive for a distinctive look. Most One OAK by Sara jewelry is made by hand. Each piece is one of a kind in nature or in the way it’s worn.

Who or what inspires you? 

I’m inspired by natural materials. To me, they are endlessly fascinating and exciting to work with. I’m also inspired by my customers and friends. I very often get ideas for new pieces or new ways of doing something at trunk shows, where I have the opportunity to see people responding to the jewelry.

                                                             Vincenza Cuff in White Cats Eye

Who is your design/fashion crush?

In terms of jewelry designers, I’m a big fan of Robert Lee Morris. I love that his designs seem so inspired by the natural world. During one of my trunk shows at Henri Bendel, I had the opportunity to meet him. He was modest and approachable, and I really appreciate his design aesthetic.

Do you have a signature look? 

I enjoy getting dressed up, but I typically have more of a jeans and t-shirt type of style. I like finding pieces that are classic, but have some interesting or unique design elements. I also love adding dimension to my outfits with accessories. Of course, layering One OAK by Sara jewelry is part of my look.

Who do you design for? What kind of woman wears your jewelry? 

I think the woman who appreciates One OAK by Sara jewelry enjoys clothing and pulling together outfits that express something about herself and her style. The One OAK by Sara customer is fashionable, but not necessarily trendy. She enjoys layering and appreciates the one-of-a-kind nature of the line.

What makes a woman look modern? 

To me, having a modern look is a lot about not following trends, being comfortable in what you’re wearing, and focusing on pieces that are designed and fit well.

What piece of jewelry is most important for a woman to own? 

It’s hard to pick just one. It could be a bracelet or necklace, but it would have to provide a great foundation for layering.

                                                            Caterina Necklace - Gold

What does modern mean to you? 

Modern design is fresh and at the same time, timeless. I think it is design that is beautiful today and into the future.

What visibly interests you? 

People interest me. I really enjoy meeting people at my trunk shows, seeing how they interact with the jewelry and use clothing and accessories as a form of self-expression.

What can’t you live without? 

My family. I am so grateful for the overwhelming support of my family and friends. Oh, and also–chocolate covered pretzels. I have a sweet tooth.