It’s been six years since Kelly Bello took the chance to launch her namesake label Kelly Bello Design, which has already caught the attention of celebrities such as Lucy Hale, Carolina Soto and Kris Jenner. After graduating from New York City’s Pratt Institute in 2014, the Colombia-born artist put her knowledge to work through the form of elegant fine jewelry made for wearing every day. Aside from being aesthetically pleasing, her luxe and delicate pieces tell the stories of those wearing them through timeless personalization.
To further enhance the individualistic feel, the mom-of-two recently launched the ‘Design Your Own’ feature on her company website, which allows customers to fully customize pieces and create personalized designs made to last for a lifetime. One can choose from large and small letters and numbers and even sparkly birthstones to tell their personal story.
Keep reading to find out how Kelly’s Colombian culture inspires her jewelry and for which celebs she hopes to accessorize one day!
HOLA! USA: Did you always know you wanted to work in the jewelry industry?
Kelly Bello: “Not quite. I always loved jewelry even as a little girl, but I went to design school not knowing what specifically I wanted to do, so I didn’t know at the outset that I’d end up going into the jewelry industry. I did, however, know that I wanted to start my own business and design under my own name. I also knew that I wanted to design in a space I loved, so I considered designing shoes, furniture, and other things. I figured out pretty quickly in exploring these options that getting started would be very cumbersome because of the size of these items, so storage would become a problem, especially in New York City where I lived (and still do). Then, it hit me…jewelry! I have loved jewelry all my life, my family has had some jewelry businesses, so I realized that’s what I had to pursue, not to mention storage of jewelry would be much more manageable since everything is so small.”
How do your Latin roots and culture play into your designs?
KB: “My Latin roots definitely play into my designs. As you probably know, the Latin culture is very family oriented and we also put a lot of value into things that have meaning to us, whether it’s family, friends, or our beliefs. This is part of why I love designing unique pieces for clients that really mean something to them. It’s incredibly fulfilling to design special pieces that I know not only have value to clients because they are fine jewelry but also because they represent something special in their lives.”
How would you describe your customers?
KB: “Elegant and understated. Our customers love our minimalistic yet elegant designs that make our jewelry everyday pieces, they love layering, and most importantly they love personalization and being able to make custom pieces that are unique to them. Our clients also recognize the value and quality of fine jewelry and know that it will last them a lifetime.”
What would you say is unique about your pieces? Do they tell a story?
KB: “All of our pieces tell a story, especially all our custom pieces which is really the bread and butter of our brand. Each customer has a reason for making a specific design, whether it is their kids’ names, their mom’s birthstone, or a mantra they live by, they all tell a story and have real sentimental value. For designs that are not customizable, they all have a story of their own. When I started designing jewelry, I simply started making pieces for myself. I made pieces I loved that I would wear every day, and that’s what then inspired me to design beautiful everyday pieces for women that would make them feel beautiful, elegant, and give them confidence in their everyday lives.”
What is one of your main sources of inspiration?
KB: “Sources of inspiration for me come unexpectedly every day, from anywhere, and I never know what is going to inspire me. However, one consistent source of inspiration for me are my kids. I have two little ones, and I’m always thinking of ideas to design pieces where I can incorporate my kids in some way. This is so helpful for me because many of our clients also want us to design custom pieces that represent their kids or important family members, so having so many designs of my own that represent the same for me makes that process easier – and more fun!”
Aside from the celebs you've worked with, who else would you love to wear your jewelry?
KB: “Sofia Vergara or Shakira. As a fellow Colombian, I grew up looking up to them as women with incredible talent. I love Sofia’s acting and all her work, and I absolutely love Shakira’s music. Not to mention how much I love the fact that they are both such boss ladies, which I admire so much. Having them wear my jewelry would be the honor of a lifetime!”