We had the good fortune of connecting with Cielomar Cuevas and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cielomar, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
It’s been an ongoing evolution and self discovery journey.
My interest in jewelry started about the same time that I embarked on my first adventure traveling through Europe when I turned fifteen. I just loved collecting jewelry that would remind me of my travels and that I could treasure for years to come.
But it wasn’t just about collecting for me—I have always seen jewelry as a powerful form of self-expression. I realized that I wanted to create that feeling of transformation and empowerment for others through jewelry. When I moved to the Bay Area in 2010, I decided to take my love for collecting jewelry and expressing my personal style to the next level. I began to study jewelry-making at CCA and Silvera Jewelry School to learn the skills needed to create my own jewelry line with a signature minimalist aesthetic informed by my graphic design background.
In 2014, I launched Cielomar Jewelry, designing high-quality, minimalist jewelry for modern collectors like me, who value originality and believe that the right jewelry can change the way you feel and present yourself to the world.
Like the people who wear my designs, I continue to grow and change along the way. It’s important to me that Cielomar Jewelry also continues to evolve and transform, finding new ways to help our Collectors express themselves through modern fine jewelry and custom designed heirloom pieces.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Cielomar Jewelry is a modern jewelry brand located in Walnut Creek, CA. We aim to inspire our Collectors with the power of self-expression and storytelling, offering timeless, minimalist pieces to elevate the everyday and custom-designed fine jewelry that reflects the beauty of each Collector’s personal journey.
What started in 2014 with our first collection of beaded jewelry has evolved into a beautiful line of modern, minimalist jewelry designs developed through the art of 3D rendering, lost wax casting, and hand-fabrication through collaboration with highly skilled draftsmen, casters, mold-makers, goldsmiths, and ethical gem sourcers. In the last two years, I’ve continued to challenge myself by expanding my offering from elevated everyday jewelry to now creating one-of-a-kind fine jewelry pieces to celebrate my clients’ stories.
I think the hardest thing about creating a brand from scratch is having the courage to believe in yourself and your vision year after year, even before getting the external validation that shows you that you are on the “right track.”
The hardest decision I’ve made since starting Cielomar Jewelry as a passion project has been to make the leap to leave my full time job as an Art Director to focus on the growth and evolution of Cielomar Jewelry. We tend to wrap up our identity in what we do, and it takes lots of courage to believe in yourself and go after something that you’ve never done before—like being a business owner! I love the daily challenges of being an entrepreneur and the discipline it takes to push yourself to evolve every day. It’s amazing to look back and realize all the micro steps and people that have believed in me and supported me to get me where I am today.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love this question! One of my favorite things about California is the variety of places you have to visit in such proximity. For a week-long visit, I would plan around three different trips to share my favorite spots in the city, coast, and mountains.
Day 1 (Friday)
Starting with a trip to San Francisco, I would visit the Ferry Building for coffee and morning snacks, followed by a visit to the De Young Museum of Art, and dinner at Nido’s Backyard in Oakland.
Day 2 (Saturday)
Day hike in Mount Diablo, followed by a healthy lunch at True Food Kitchen in Downtown Walnut Creek ,and dinner, brews and live music at Del Cielo Brewing in Downtown Martinez.
Day 3 (Sunday)
Beach Day at Stinson Beach enjoying an early morning hike and a beautiful sunny afternoon with extra-fresh seafood at the local restaurants.
Day 4 (Monday)
Bodega Bay. Perfect day to enjoy the views of the coast accompanied by fresh oysters, clam chowder, and other seafood goodies. One of my favorite spots is Tony’s Seafood Restaurant, with a lovely view of the bay and dog-friendly patio.
Day 5 (Tuesday)
Head to the Mountains extra early in the morning for a mid-morning hike at North Lake Tahoe followed by a pool day at the top of the mountain in Squaw Valley, and a smooth ride back down on the lift to the Village for dinner and drinks.
Day 6 (Wednesday)
Head to Truckee for breakfast at Jax at the Tracks, grab lunch at a local sandwich shop, and head to Truckee River Rafting to enjoy a day hopping down the river…enjoy beautiful views of Tahoe’s majestic nature, the sun on your shoulders, and lots of laughter.
Day 7 (Thursday)
Enjoy a morning bike ride before heading back to the Bay Area. Want a place to eat on your way back? The Waffle Experience is a great spot for a late brunch. My favorite is the Sacramento King savory waffle sandwich with french fries on the side. Yum!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
It really takes a whole community to build a business and a brand that serves your customers while creating the life you want to live. There are three main support systems that have helped me along the way: Silvera Jewelry School in Berkeley, CA; Flourish and Thrive Academy; and my community of Cielomar Jewelry Collectors.
Silvera Jewelry School has supported me since the start. I spent my weekends at the school taking every single class possible to learn the skills I needed, from developing my jewelry brand to selecting the right torch set-up for my studio. It’s come full circle, as I now share my knowledge building a business with their community through online talks.
The online jewelry community and mastermind programs at Flourish and Thrive Academy have been invaluable in teaching me the ins and outs of creating the systems necessary to grow a successful jewelry brand. I’ve developed forever friendships with jewelers all around the world, and we support each other and share resources. We are all about community over competition.
And lastly, I couldn’t have done it without my community of Cielomar Jewelry Collectors. They have encouraged me along the way to continue honing my craft and have guided me on what they look for in jewelry, informing my design decisions as Cielomar Jewelry continues to evolve. Nowadays, I especially love working one-on-one with my clients on Custom Jewelry Designs and bringing their design ideas to life!
Photo Credit: Lifestyle (People): Oh, Honestly Photography (Lia Cecaci) Jewelry + Packaging: Ella Sophie Photography