Maya Brenner is a woman of many faces: Mother, wife, jewelry designer, and entrepreneur. She didn’t always want to become a jewelry designer. She was a social worker when she discovered her passion for creating jewelry. What started off as a means off relaxation quickly turned into a full blown, successful jewelry business. Maya has a large celebrity clientele. Her state, initial, and Charm necklaces have been spotted on many celebrities including Nicole Richie, Cameron Diaz, and Demi Moore. Her jewelry has been featured in Lucky, People Style Watch, Oprah, and Seventeen magazine. She published a book called Beaded Jewelry, Create Your Own Style. As if this wasn’t enough, she’s been collaborating with Stella and Dot for years designing and selling an exclusive line of beautiful, sought after delicate pieces. Most recently she was asked to team up with J Crew for a line of initial necklaces and earrings. I was fortunate enough to ask Maya a few candid questions about her life as a multi talented and inspiring woman of many faces.
Q: Who’s the biggest celebrity that’s been spotted wearing your jewelry?
A: Demi Moore wore my necklace in her first appearance after marrying Ashton Kutcher and those pictures were everywhere as you can imagine.
Q: Who (In your eyes) is the coolest person to wear a piece of your jewelry? Someone that really wowed you. It doesn’t have to be a celebrity.
A: My very stylish friend Clare Vivier who is a handbag designer wears two of my necklaces layered and in her own words-“she never takes them off”. She could pretty much wear any jewelry she wants and she chose mine so I’m extremely proud!
Q: If you could make a one of a kind, piece for anyone, deceased or not, who would it be and why?
A: When I was a girl I was obsessed with the Wizard of Oz and Judy Garland. It would have been cool if Dorothy had worn a Kansas state necklace so she always had a little bit of home with her. Haha…
Q: What inspires your designs?
A: I design pretty much what I want to wear at the moment. When I moved from NY to CA, I designed the state necklaces and when I had my kids the letter collection was born (no pun intended). I love fashion and try to keep up with what is trending. But I’ve been doing delicate pieces for a long time now even when statement jewelry was more popular-because that is what I like…personally.
Q: I see you collaborated with (my favorite store) Jcrew for a special “initial’s” line of jewelry, how’d that come about? It looks like it’s doing very well, seeing that most of the initials (including mine) are sold out 🙂
A: Can you believe the buyer saw my jewelry in a store and just emailed me?! I almost fell out of my chair I was so excited. She asked me to send her samples so she could show Jenna Lyons for approval. Then I really did fall out of my chair!
Q: Do you have a favorite piece of jewelry that you’d be upset if you were to lose?
A: I have a few pieces from my grandmother that have sentimental value and I would not want to lose but everything else can be replaced
Q: Who is your favorite clothing designer/brand?
A: I love the look of Isabel Marant but it’s not practical or affordable for me. But realistically I love the brand APC.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Eclectic and feminine with an edge.
Q: If you could choose one item, on the house from any jewelry designer, who would that person be? Why?
A: A smoky topaz planetary spike ring from Monique Pean. She uses such unique materials and her designs are amazing.
Mayas designs can be found online @
Jessica Simpson seen wearing her Texas, Maya Brenner state necklace
More of Mayas beautiful and most popular state necklaces. I love my AZ state necklace
The beautiful Maya Brenner