The Star Beacon Interview with Ellen Kolman Photo's by Bill West

Celeste m. designs jewelry with bold, feminine
By ELLEN KOLMAN - Staff Writer -
Star Beacon

December 01, 2008 07:59 pm

— Whether her style is delicate and feminine, boisterous and colorful, independent and strong, or just eclectic fun, what a woman wears tends to reflect her individual style. It also sets the mood for her day.
Celeste m. designs jewelry is inspired by that female spirit and emotion.
“I really like the jewelry to evoke a feeling,” says Celeste Tober from her studio boutique inside her expansive Avon home. “No matter how a woman is feeling, I get told all the time, ‘I put your jewelry on and it makes me feel so good.’”
That emotional response is what compels Celeste to custom create her one-of-a-kind jewelry and involve the customer in the creative process.
“I love nothing better than when a customer brings in a broken jewelry piece that was their grandmother’s or is a family heirloom, and together we turn it into wonderful, wearable art. If you have a hand in designing your jewelry, it is not going to sit in your jewelry box,” she says.
Celeste enjoys it when customers come to her studio and peruse the variety of styles and colors available.
“So many of my girlfriends have said, 'I never would have worn this; you have opened my eyes to what I can wear.'”
Celeste M. Designs was created serendipitously.
“I had a bridal/floral business that I really enjoyed, but after the birth of my last son, I stepped away to be home full-time with the boys. Just before we moved into this house, I ran across a pearl and started playing with it using some wire and made a ring. I wondered if someone would wear something like that,” she says.
After the move to Avon, Celeste came across that first ring and revisited the idea with better wire and a better stone.
“I remember I ‘Googled’ hand-made wire jewelry and no one was doing it, so, I started making pieces for gifts for family and friends and it just took off from there,” she says.
Confirmation came when strangers followed Celeste into restaurants and stores just to ask her where she got her jewelry and who made it.
“It's true it happens to me whenever I wear her jewelry,” says Cindy Luffred, also of Avon and Celeste M. Designs’ outside sales representative.
“Celeste and I met a year ago through a neighbor and I fell in love with her jewelry and asked if she needed any help,” Cindy said. “When people ask about the jewelry, I give them Celeste”s contact information.”
Celeste creates jewelry by combining precious-metals wire with unique gems, stones, crystals, glass, fresh water pearls and beads she collects during her travels.
“My mother lives in San Magel, DeAllende, Mexico, and I find really great beads and stones there. Plus, my sister-in-law lives in New Mexico and I look for turquoise with her,” she says.
“As a child I would crochet clothes for my Barbies, now I crochet wire for artistic looking necklaces and bracelets.”
Imagination is Celeste”s only limit as she hand-hammers the 14k gold wire for some creations and molds like clay sterling silver into stunning, one-of-a-kind pieces.
“I like creating a piece of jewelry with two moods by juxtapositioning a big pearl with delicate crocheted wire, like the two sides of today”s woman, tough yet feminine,” she says.
The same passion that creates the jewelry also gives generously to a variety of local charities.
“H.O.P.E. (Horse Outreach Program through Education) is a charity that is dear to my heart. I heard the founder of HOPE speak and I was so impressed. It is a fabulous volunteer organization,” Celeste says. “My boys and I have been out to the barn to visit the horses.”
Catering to the free-spirted woman, Celeste created Pony Bracelets for women who wear an elastic band on their wrist just in case they need to put their hair up in a pony tail.
“A Pony Bracelet is a customized elastic bracelet decorated with the beads of your choice that look great on your wrist and in your hair,” she says. “A set of three is $30 and I want people to have what they want.”
So who is sporting the chic look of Celeste M. Design Jewelry?
Local celebrities are Rebecca Wilde and Jen Toohey of Q104 Radio Station in Cleveland; American actress and model Lacey Chabert, best known for her roles in “Party of Five” and “Mean Girls”; and the American Daytime Emmy Award-winning actress, television personality and talk show host of “Live with Regis and Kelly,” Kelly Ripa.
“I really admire Kelly Ripa because she works hard and does it all; so I sent her a gift of some pieces of my jewelry and I got this fabulous hand written thank you note of how much she loves wearing it — I definitely pulled a muscle when I jumped in the air after receiving her note,” says a thrilled Celeste.
But, as exciting as that is, Celeste”s heart for her jewelry is with her friends and neighbors.
“Celebrities are fun, but I would rather my girlfriends and neighbors wear beautiful jewelry and feel good about themselves,” she says.
Set up an appointment with Celeste Tober at (216)406-1523 or visit her Web site, Copyright © 1999-2008 cnhi, inc. Photos

Jewelry designer Celeste Tober is the founder and owner of celeste m. designs in Avon. BILL WEST