Ten years ago, on a trip to Turkey, Heather Asbury bought an Indian necklace that would change the course of her life. She began filling her jewelry box with similar exotic pieces and then, years later, decided to splurge. She found a set of imported bracelets at a high-end boutique and thought they’d round out her collection, but the $60,000 price tags gave her pause. Then it gave her an idea. As a former fashion buyer and current interior designer, she had the resources and know-how to do it herself.
Asbury sat down and sketched out her own take on five classic Indian bracelets. Then, taking a leap of faith, she sent the plans and wired the money to an Indian jeweler. She waited, praying the bracelets would arrive. A box of jewels showed up four weeks later. “They were all that I’d dreamed they would be,” she says. “Not only were they exactly how I envisioned them, but they were beautiful quality.”
That was that, she figured, but then the compliments flooded in. “I really didn’t know I had a business until one of my best interior design clients asked if I could please get her some,” Asbury says. “She wore them to the Dallas Country Club on a Saturday, and by Monday I had five women calling and saying, ‘How fast can I get them?’ ”
Now Asbury has a collection of more than 350 pieces, including 18-karat gold cuffs with intricate scrolling on the interior; silver bangles with rough-cut diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and sapphires; and enamel bangles adorned with vintage brooches. Modern mixes are there, too, in horn cuffs with custom diamond monograms, beaded necklaces in onyx and jade, and chain pendant necklaces with chunks of white turquoise. Each creation is built by hand, and every stone is unique.
Even better, if you prefer not to shop for these little luxuries online (raregemsofindia.com), Asbury will come to your home—Louis Vuitton luggage in tow, chock-full of cool jewels—and lay them all out for you on your kitchen counter.