If you’re the type of person who enjoys wearing necklaces and bracelets that reflect your personality, you’ll love Auburn Jewelry, a colorful, hand-crafted brand based in Westchester.
Samantha Levine began making jewelry as a teenager. “I went to Horace Greeley High School in Chappaqua, and they had a jewelry and metals program. I took classes and was a teaching assistant during my senior year. That’s where the passion began,” explains Levine, 35. But she loved the legal field, too, and wanted to be a lawyer. At Skidmore College, she majored in American studies and minored in studio art.
In 2013, during her last year of law school, Levine launched Auburn Jewelry. (Auburn is her middle name.) She created a metals studio in her basement to craft a “readywear” line: delicate metal chains with vivid enamel charms. “I designed jewelry that I would want to wear. I love color and simplicity,” explains Levine.
She turned down a law firm’s job offer to pursue Auburn full time, and after a decade of honing her craft, she’s designed over 100 charms in 17 striking colors (available at auburnjewelry.com). The collection includes depictions of hobbies, animals, spirituality, and monograms. You can also order a custom charm: send Auburn a photo of your puppy or a hand-drawn design, and she will etch it onto colored enamel. “I make jewelry people can wear every day, pieces that express who they are and things they love,” says Levine.
Several months ago, she noticed a trend gaining traction on social media: permanent jewelry. “One of the stores we work with asked if I’d consider offering permanent jewelry. I had wanted a welding machine for my studio for years and decided it was the perfect time,” says Levine. Customers can choose from almost 20 styles of sterling silver or 14k gold chains; Levine then sizes the chain and fuses the ends together creating custom-fit, permanent necklaces, bracelets, and anklets.
Like tattoos, permanent jewelry is statement art. Unlike tattoos, however, a piece can be easily removed with a quick snip. Levine expects permanent jewelry to be popular this month. Galentine’s Day (February 13) is a fun time to invest in this modern friendship bracelet. “Whether you get one with your bestie, mom, daughter, or partner—these bracelets truly link the two wearers together,” says Levine. “Recently, we had a couple come in and they chose bracelets for each other. The mixed metals combo was beautiful,” she adds. Couples often buy charms for the chains, too, like the pieces in Auburn’s Love collection.
“Everyone has someone or something in their life super special to them. Whether it’s an initial in their favorite color or their mom’s handwriting—our pieces are specific to the wearer, and their connection to the jewelry is what makes it so meaningful,” says Levine.
You can book a private appointment at Auburn’s metals studio in Mt. Kisco. Or, act fast and grab a spot at limited weekend pop-ups, including Hudson Square Boutique in Hopewell Junction, Fado in Katonah, the Collective by Jabfit in Chappaqua, LOLA New York in Tuckahoe, and Tropea Tans in Eastchester.