Designers Maya Brenner and Sarah Hendler melt their talents to forge a sparkling collaboration.
From top: Sarah Hendler; Maya Brenner
How did you two meet?
MB: We were seated next to each other at a charity luncheon last year. We realized quickly how much we had in common—both jewelers; our men are in the restaurant industry; and our kids went to the same school. I liked her energy right away, and there was no hint of competition or attitude between us.
What made you want to work together?
MB: I bought a vintage three-pearl ring from Sarah’s estate jewelry line and we both admired the ring so much, it was like a lightbulb went off in our heads.
Having husbands who work in the restaurant world must give you a lot to talk about. What similar experiences have you had in that regard?
SH: The life of someone married to a person in the hospitality business is not easy. Sure, it’s fun to eat at amazing places, but the life is not for everyone. There’s a lot of independence as a partner to someone who has chosen that career path. Maya and I are both very strong-minded and equally passionate about our own work, so I think being with people who also share that love makes it fun.
Now to the Maya Brenner x Sarah Hendler Estate collection. How did you come up with the designs?
SH: Maya and I would meet up at her studio downtown and chat about what would be great additions to our personal jewelry collections. After hashing out a ton of ideas, we always returned to the most classic and simple ones: rings that were easy to layer; a pinky ring because we wanted something a little masculine; the earring as a single piece; and the pearl necklace that could be sold like a charm or on a long chain to add to the client’s current collection.
MB: We wanted to do a very focused collection that felt really new and fresh for both of us. We also wanted to design pearl pieces that didn’t take themselves so seriously. Even the names were meant to be fun and whimsical, inspired by our weekend together in Mexico City.
SH: We love the classic nature of a pearl. Both of us like to wear pearls but in a way that’s not too fancy or precious.
From top: Tres pearl earring, $125; Tres pearl ring, $650; Perla pinky ring, $500; all jewelry from the Maya Brenner x Sarah Hendler Estate collection.
How do you see people wearing the pieces? Every day? Special occasion?
MB: Definitely every day. We designed each piece with a specific ‘how to wear it’ style to take the guesswork out.
SH: Every day! The pearl is so versatile. Giving people who wear current trends a little nod to the past or adding the natural element of a pearl to your look could help break up all the stones and metals people mix and match today.
Do you have a favorite piece in the collection?
MB: I love the Tres Pearl earring. I haven’t taken it off since we designed it. I keep switching it around for various looks because it styles perfectly with my gold hoops and my birthstone studs.
SH: Currently, the long diamond cut chain we offer with the single pearl. I’m obsessed with layering it with vintage watch chains and some new pieces from my fine jewelry line.
Can we expect future collaborations between the two of you?
MB: We’ve had such great reception of this collaboration, so who knows. And we could certainly throw a great launch party with delicious food and drinks at one of our man’s places, so why not?!
SH: Ditto to Maya’s remarks. Launch parties for jewelry and amazing food sounds like a plan!
Clare V., locations vary
Photography by: maya brenner x sarah hendler estate jewelry photos courtesy of the brand | maya brenner photo by nicki sebastian | sarah hendler photo by broken english