After a childhood spent exploring the Southern Utah deserts around her house, Ida James leaned into her oil-painting skills and got a fine-arts degree from the University of Utah—but she knew that she wasn’t quiiite ready to settle down locally. So, along with her husband, Adam, she started taking regular trips to India to source a textile line they’d developed...and those excursions changed everything. “Those trips started my love affair with India. I’ve always been drawn to the mystery and wildness of it—it feels like a different planet,” Ida says. In fact, they loved it so much that they picked up and moved there for almost a year—while Ida was pregnant with twins! After returning stateside, in 2014 Ida and Adam opened a home and design store in downtown Salt Lake City called Bohem and quickly found that their customers were on the hunt for jewelry, specifically wedding rings. “I started creating pieces for myself, just as an opportunity to work with my hands. Soon my friends were asking if could make pieces for them and encouraged me to sell them,” Ida explains. The result: a namesake line of gemstone-heavy pieces, produced with her friends in India, that would look fitting on the hand of Cleopatra—but aren’t too fussy to wear with your favorite jeans.
In search of a slower pace, in 2017 Ida and her family settled in the French countryside, where she now has an abundance of time and space to create. “Our store was open for two years, and while we loved it, the lifestyle was too hectic,” she explains. “I still make trips to India now, working with local artisans. I’m constantly inspired by the people there and their willingness to take risks with color.”