Delicora Jewelry: Interview with Founder Sandra Martinelli

Delicora Jewelry is a company that creates high-quality, lightweight, and very fashionable pieces. Founded by designer Sandra Martinelli, Delicora creates collections in hypoallergenic 14k gold and sterling silver in styles ranging from classic to bohemian to sophisticated. Delicora pieces contain semi-precious stones and, or every piece sold, twenty meals are donated to fighting hunger through a non-profit organization known as Feeding America.

Founder and designer Sandra Martinelli recently discussed her brand and her hopes for its future via an exclusive interview.

Meagan Meehan (MM): How did you initially get interested in jewelry making and how do you select your mediums?

Sandra Martinelli (SM): When I was 5, I learned that I had an allergic reaction to nickel and couldn’t wear the unique styles and colorful pieces I drooled over. Once I discovered nickel-free ear wires in college, I’d stock up on ear wires, come back from the mall with a collection of fun earrings, and start switching out the ear wires with a pair of pliers. This was where it all started. The necessity of nickel free materials combined with my artistic curiosity led me to start creating simple shapes, experimenting with textures, and making jewelry for myself and my loved ones. Gold filled and sterling silver materials are free of nickel and pass my personal sensitivity test, so I’ve been using these materials exclusively. Most of the collection consists of semi-precious stones and wire work, but I also don’t shy away from incorporating fun pops of polymer, leather, or acrylic findings!

MM: What kinds of jewelry and styles do you focus on in particular?

SM: Earrings and necklaces are my bread and butter! Many of these designs stemmed from my personal style preferences for hammered hoops with dripping chains and delicate lariat necklaces. However, I’ve come to adore smaller, minimalist styles as I evolved the line to fit with what my customers want. You’ll also find a few bracelet and ring designs in our collection, and new mask chains to conveniently keep your face masks close and sparkly at the same time.

MM: How did you establish your company and has it been tough to stay afloat during the pandemic?

SM: My jewelry designs were initially sold on Etsy in 2017, Delicora was officially born in 2018. Over the years, I’ve established the brand through content creation, grassroots marketing, expansion of availability in small retailers, in person pop ups or trunk shows, and connecting with my community. The pandemic certainly struck fear in me on both personal and business levels. However, I’ve been able to pivot and evolve the business by developing new products like the mask chains to offer DIY build your own bracelet kits and incorporating special gift features that customers have appreciated during this time.

MM: Which pieces have been the most popular with consumers?

SM: Our customers are loving our:

· Laguna Hoops — these are your everyday hammered hoops that will go with anything in your closet… and elevate the comfy outfits, especially loungewear!

· Neptune Double Chain Necklace — our customers are obsessed with the magnetic clasp on this necklace. It is also great for layering with longer necklaces.

· Sandra Studs — for the days where you don’t have time for hoops, but still want a little bling!

· Face Mask Chain — designed to keep your face mask close and in style! No more hanging your mask from one ear or misplacing it in your purse.

· New Bold & Gold Collection — filled with huggies, cuffs, and designs for fall, customers are loving the simplicity and sizes of these pieces especially during a time where they are constantly putting their masks on and taking them off.

MM: Do you have a personal favorite piece?

SM: My personal favorite pieces constantly evolve as each collection rolls out. The Manhattan Chain Hoops hold a very special place in my heart, but the Anna May Hoops are my current obsession. Over an inch in diameter, these hoops are just the right size and thicker than any other we’ve offered before. I often pair them with the Cleo Cuff, which is super fun because you can play with the placement as no piercings are required. I love putting them on in the morning. They bring that wink at yourself as you walk away from the mirror vibe!

MM: Do you design all the pieces yourself or do you also work with other designers?

SM: I create or sketch most of the collections myself. My very first design collaboration, I AM STAR POWER, launched in July with ANTM’s own Hannah Kat Jones. It was such a blast bringing her favorite mantra and stones to life in true Delicora fashion. Hannah and I met at a NYFW event two years ago, and had this fun idea to collaborate on a few designs. I love the creative design process, bouncing ideas off one another, and mapping out a fun vision for the seasons to come. While I will be designing the majority of our collections, this experience has been wonderful and I’ll definitely be having future collaborations!

MM: How do you hope Delicora evolves over the next five years?

SM: I hope Delicora evolves to be a go-to brand for treating yourself or finding something special for a loved one. Growth will be a constant as we expand our reach, develop partnerships, and learn entrepreneurial lessons! Designs will change and new pieces will inspire experimentation in the consumer’s style journey. Jewelry is embedded in our culture. By enabling our stylistic expression, it serves as a key component of identity and self-confidence. That’s worth celebrating! You feel a certain way after you put on your favorite pair of earrings or necklace or bracelet. That feeling is what I wake up to each day and want my customers to experience in their own way. I believe that high quality, fashionable jewelry can be accessible and should be accessible to anyone who wishes to have and experience it.

MM: What are your ultimate goals for the future and is there anything else that you would like to mention?

SM: My ultimate goals for the future are to develop the brand into a household name, land a placement at a large retailer, and make a positive impact on the community. I want my customers to always feel welcomed and cared for, my team to feel inspired and valued, and to continue to help those in need. Over a year ago, Delicora partnered with Feeding America donating 20 meals for every item sold. We also participate in giving back to local non-profit organizations, and this will continue to be a part of our DNA.

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To learn more, visit the official Delicora website: https://www.delicora.com/

Meagan J. Meehan is a published author of novels, short stories, and poems. She is also a produced playwright and an award-winning modern artist.