We chatted with Sophie Ratner, a New York City jewelry designer who creates pieces for the everyday woman who wants to live in her jewelry day in and day out. Sophie’s journey as an artist began in painting, and quickly transformed into jewelry design when she realized her passion was to create wearable art. The rest is history. Sophie spills the beans on NYC’s best kept secret, who inspires her and what’s next for her jewelry line.
Where do you live?
What’s your city’s best kept secret?
We have some of the coolest hidden gardens tucked away in all parts of the city. My favorite one is Greenarce Park on East 51st Street. It has a waterfall which washes away the city sounds.
What led you to become a jewelry designer?
I originally went to the Rhode Island School of Design for painting, but I wasn’t satisfied with creating art that people admired from afar. I switched to jewelry, because I wanted to create art that could live on a person, make people feel more confident and become a special part of their lives.
Who/what inspires you?
I am inspired by my mom. She is an amazing OB/GYN who has shown me the importance of women leaders in the work place. She’s always pushed me and my twin sister to do what we love, and she’s also my biggest fan.
Who are your mentors? And what was their best advice?
I’ve had a couple of mentors over the years. Early on, they taught me about artistic process, but more recently they’re teaching me the ins and outs of entrepreneurship. I think the best advice that I’ve received is that success doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and patience to create a lasting brand.
Coffee or tea?
Mint tea, but on occasion I like to splurge on a latte.
What kind of woman do you design for?
I design for women who want to live in their jewelry. My pieces are lightweight, everyday, and can be dressed up or dressed down. I envision my wearer being a busy women who likes easy to wear classics.
Tell us about your creative process.
I like to sketch pieces, but sometimes I find drawing jewelry to be very tedious and not realistic enough, so I prefer to take the design in my head and make the first samples out of metal. There’s something very satisfying about making a design come to life.
Who’s your style icon?
I love Jacqueline Kennedy because she captured the imagination of America. She was the picture of classic, all American polish.
I love Fire Island. I grew up spending weekends and summers there. It brings me back to my childhood: long summer days with family and BBQs.
What’s next for Sophie Ratner jewelry?
We’re so excited to be partnering with different organizations that support causes we feel passionate about. Our latest collaboration is with Physicians for Reproductive Rights. We’re making a “1973” necklace to celebrate the year Roe v. Wade was decided.