Laura Powers always knew what she was going to do when she grew up: make movies. “I started in film—that’s what I studied in school and thought I’d do forever,” she says. After nabbing her degree from Emerson College in Boston in 2009, she moved down to New York City to pursue her big-screen dreams. After just a few years, though, she ran into a snag. “I got really tired of working freelance in the film and TV industry—that grind just really didn’t jive with my personality,” Laura explains. So she started bartending while figuring out her next steps, and soon turned a nascent interest in jewelry into a job at Brooklyn’s blossoming Catbird.
During the day, Laura helped customers choose dainty rings and bracelets, and by night she taught herself how to solder and set her own pieces via YouTube videos. Eventually, she combined the two and joined Catbird’s production team—but she also had a personal itch to scratch. “Starting my own line felt so obvious to me, but to get there was this long meandering journey,” she recalls. Part of that journey included saving up to purchase the fine-jewelry materials for her first pieces, made from diamonds, solid gold, and rubies. It was all worth it when she launched Bruce in 2017, showing off her hard-won skills with intricate curved bands and layered necklaces that look like planetary orbits. You might say each one is worthy of a starring role.