Jeanette Park is the sole force behind the vision and design of ParkFord Jewelry. Her designs aim to make women of all ages feel confident and radiant, ready to face any challenge. While it's evident that Jeanette draws inspiration from architecture, color, and classic style, there's more to her than meets the eye. She's often inspired by subtle details and holds deep emotions for certain pieces she's created. Curious about the origin of the name "ParkFord" or Jeanette's design process? Dive into this Q&A to learn more.
Why is the brand called "ParkFord"?
ParkFord is a combination of my last name and my husband's last name. I didn't change my name when we got married, and so when I started this brand I thought this was a nice homage to his support of me starting my own business!
Beyond its visual beauty, how do you hope wearers of your jewelry feel when they adorn themselves with your pieces?
I love the power of jewelry. There are studies that what you wear can affect how you think and act. So when you put on a piece of beautiful, well-made fine jewelry, it can not only elevate your look but also your mood and confidence. I want women to feel like a boss when they put on a pair of ParkFord earrings. It’s that feeling of “I can take on any challenge you throw my way”.
In an industry often guided by fashion trends, how do you strike a balance between the contemporary and the timeless?
I'm not a big follower of jewelry trends when I design, but I do love a more modern, streamlined look. To keep things contemporary but still timeless, I ask myself, "Would I wear this now and 20 years from now?" If I can picture this piece still being worn years later or even passed down to another generation, then I know it’s a classic.
Is there a specific place in the world that, once visited, radically transformed your design philosophy?
Going to Barcelona to see all of the Gaudi architecture was so eye opening and awe inspiring. Not even inspiring for a jewelry collection but as a designer. His style was so radically different from the standard architecture of his time and still is for today. The Gaudi buildings are mind-blowingly imaginative and detailed. It reminds me to push my limits and not be afraid to design outside of the box.
Has there ever been a mundane, everyday object that unexpectedly sparked a jewelry design idea for you?
Doors - I love old interesting doors on historic buildings. I haven't completed a finished "door inspired" piece yet, only work-in-progress designs, but perhaps they'll be in a future collection!
How do you weave personal or cultural symbolism into your jewelry without making it overt?
This was really challenging in the Palace collection where I wanted to celebrate a cultural piece of architecture but didn’t want it to be tacky or kitschy. I actually threw out drafts and drafts of designs because they weren’t right. But the best thing about inspiration is that it’s whatever you want to make of it. I decided to take elements and silhouettes that spoke to me and my style, then I kept in mind what I would actually want to wear and designed from there.
Is there a specific piece you’ve created that still evokes strong emotions or memories in you?
I made a bold and fun ring for my grandmother who loves statement jewelry. It features a large oval amethyst cabochon offset with bright orange fire opals in a floral-inspired setting, and it’s very bold, which is also in line with my grandmother’s personality! If you'd also like a custom piece, you can visit this page for more information!
Can you walk us through the journey of one of your pieces, from the initial spark of inspiration to the final creation?
Usually I start with deciding on the inspiration for a whole collection. I look through old photos from trips and things that inspired me. After picking the inspiration that speaks to me the most, I start making quick, rough sketches of as many ideas as possible. Once I feel like I've really exhausted the ideas (and that could take weeks of sketching), I look back through them and narrow down what I really love and what's cohesive. Then those selected designs are sketched more thoroughly with actual stones and sizes taken into consideration.
From there I start to design them in CAD and make more changes or cuts. I also have to source stones and make sure they fit into the CAD and that the colors/shapes I want are attainable. Usually though this means more edits and more changes! Once a CAD is finalized, it goes into printing, and a sample to make sure the proportions, feel, wear and whole design is just right. If all is well, we move forward with producing the piece, but if not there's another round of CAD edits and sampling. And of course at the end when the piece is done, I check every detail to make sure the quality is up to my standards.
To learn more about Jeanette, you can visit the ParkFord About page to explore the brand mission as well as additional information about Jeanette's background and her exacting standards for jewelry design and production. You can also check out the rest of the posts in the Journal for education and stories that speak to ParkFord's values. Shop all the products by visiting this page.