It’s the secret history of vintage jewelry that gets Ariana Boussard-Reifel every single time. When the Montana native was a little girl, she honed her hunter-gatherer skills mining rocks while playing outside, and her eye for finding diamonds (okay, at least turquoise) in the rough served her well when she landed in NYC just out of art school. “I was trying to figure out how to work on art and make ends meet. I ended up on the Upper West Side and had fun finding vintage clothes and jewelry in the neighborhood to sell on eBay,” Ariana explains. Pretty quickly, her side-hustle blew up and grew into a full-time job sourcing for one-of-a-kind antique and tribal jewelry from around the world.
From there, creating her own designs from-scratch made so much sense—in early 2016, she introduced a namesake line of heavy brass cuffs and Medieval-cross-inspired earrings, each named after a city visited by Marco Polo. And, she hopes, someday wayyyyy down the road, her pieces will still be around to start the loop all over again. “Jewelry is such a personal thing,” she adds. “Not many things last as long.” —jane gauger