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The jewelry designer on her capsule collection of necklaces, available at our Madison Avenue boutique, and what it’s like to live in Bangkok

The inspiration behind my eponymous line

We moved to Bangkok in 2005 and, right away, I noticed Buddha amulets sold on nearly every street corner. I began to research and collect Thai “lucky charms.” Then, I found some semi-precious stones at a street market in Luang Prabang, and attached them and my Thai amulets to a sterling chain. It felt good around my neck, but what really surprised me was that people stopped me everywhere — in New York elevators, L.A. parking garages, London restaurants — to find out where they could get one. My two daughters, Anthea and Xenia, encouraged, no I should say insisted, that I make a few more. Before I knew it, I was a jewelry designer.

And this collection of necklaces…

I call this the Inle Collection. It’s inspired by the blues, greens and neutrals of Myanmar’s magical Inle Lake, where our family spent a very special holiday last year.

The back story here…

In 2010, a mutual friend suggested I show Tory my collection of charm necklaces. Tory’s feedback was so encouraging, and she asked me if I could design one in gold. I wasn’t ready then, but when I finally did move into gold a few years later, Tory placed one of the first orders for herself!

My travel influences…

I am very lucky that my husband’s career has taken our family around the world — to Vienna, New York, London and now Asia. Along the way, I have always collected items that have caught my eye or inspired me. Now with my jewelry in mind, when we travel, I look out for small memorable objects that I believe will have a place on a future necklace or will spark my creativity in other ways.

My good-luck talismans…

I’m very superstitious and always wear my Nang Kwak, which, according to ancient Thai legend, brings good fortune and luck into the household. I also feel empowered wearing Hindu Ganeshas, Buddhas, the Chinese goddess Kwan Yin and the earth goddess Mae Thoranee. I also collect Phra Pidta amulets, which feature a Buddhist monk with his hands covering his eyes, believed to ward off external evils and ensure peace and happiness within.

My personal mantra…

Let the charms and good spirits of the world surround and protect you.

Best style advice I ever received…

My mother has always been my style guru. “Quality classics are keepers” is still her motto. To this day, both my daughters and I constantly borrow her European-chic clothes and accessories.

And my style tip…

I love finding disposable style at Bangkok’s seemingly endless Jatujak Market as well as the latest designs among the up-and-coming Thai designer boutiques at Siam Square.

My ideal day in Bangkok begins with…

The sound of the birds in the palm trees. I like to meditate on the little terrace overlooking our frangipani trees and ginger bushes in our garden, then make offerings to our Thai spirit house. After a morning swim and breakfast, I’ll take a car ride — Bangkok traffic can test anyone’s patience — to one of my favorite amulet stalls, then meet my husband for lunch at the charming Issaya Siamese Club.

And then…

If it’s a weekend, I can always be found scouring Jatujak for goodies. Otherwise, I may stop in and see my friends at Kathmandu Photo Gallery; buy lotus and jasmine garlands at the Indian temple for my Buddhas; then jump on a long-tail boat along the Chao Phraya River, and catch the late afternoon sun for a photo shoot with my daughters at my favorite temple Wat Ratchanatda.

And it ends with…

Khun Teen’s pomelo and spicy green papaya salads on the terrace, en famille. Dinner would be followed by necklace designing in my little studio upstairs, with a good glass of wine and Sanook, our Labrador, breathing heavily under my desk. I’m so much more creative at night!

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