Meet Your Bridal Jewelry Designer Noelle Kostraba
The classic, alluring style of low back bridal and formal gowns inspired me to create backdrop necklaces to fill the space with glistening droplets of crystals and pearls for your big event.
I first started creating bridal jewelry, for real, for my own wedding. I couldn’t find back jewelry or any backdrop necklaces that were unique but classy. I decided to give it a try and make my own bridal jewelry. An artist and nail tech for over 30 years, I knew I had the same skill set to hand craft jewelry for a living. I met Lana May, a world renowned jewelry instructor and took classes for a couple of years. I was working on my own jewelry pieces between nail clients in my salon and clients took notice. They started commissioning me to design pieces for their weddings. When our photographer saw me at my own wedding, she first commented on my necklace, not my gown, which made me think that I might be onto something here. I thought most people would comment on the gown first.
In 2009 I submitted pieces to Fire Mountain Gems for their worldwide beading contest. Four of my pieces made it to the finals out of thousands of submissions. That was huge to me and gave me the confidence to put everything I had into my passion.
I have had a love for design and jewelry since I was very young. I am one of 5 granddaughters and we each had a week with our grandparents during the summer. During a visit, when I was about 5 years old, I told them I wanted to make jewelry for our daily “art project”. My grandmother, a wonderful seamstress, always collected random things that her granddaughters might like to play with. She retrieved all her empty spools of thread and a bunch of old shoelaces that I’m sure she was saving for such an occasion. I colored the spools with markers and she showed me how to thread them onto the shoelaces and tie a knot in the back. I made “a necklace” for myself and one for my grandmother. We both proudly wore my new creations every day that I was there. She probably threw it in the back of a drawer when I left but the fact that she wore it at all, made me feel special.
The next year, my grandmother said she had a big surprise for me and took me to her friend’s bead shop. I had no idea such places even existed and was so mesmerized by all the sparkly beads that I almost fainted from the excitement. I told my grandmother I wanted to work at the bead shop when I was old enough. My grandmother told me I could pick out crystals to make a bracelet. I remember thinking they were diamonds and searching through the shop for the most sparkly beads I could find. Later, my grandmother patiently showed me how to thread a needle, string the beads and tie a knot. The most beautiful bracelet in the world (to a six year old) was born.
Remembering how I felt having all those strands of sparkly crystals wrapped around my wrist made me want to create the same wondrous feeling for brides on their special day and for women who love to sparkle for those other Champagne Occasions!
Photo Credit: Bridal Photo: Anna Marisol Photography www.annamarisol.com
Tuxedo: Mr. Formal www.mrformalaz.com
Hair on Bride: Jaime Volez www.scissorsbeatpaper.com
Champagne Photo: Model Dena Mezzulo Denamarie8@hotmail.com