stôn by Latondra

 

There’s something so exciting about the birth of a brand new jewelry line! stôn launched just this past June, and it’s making a splash in the world of jewelry. I was fortunate to connect with Latondra (Ton), the designer of this line, and explore some of the pieces in person.

First, take a look at the Pulley II necklace — so unique how it moves along the chain.

Tell me a bit about the Pulley necklace. I just love the kinetic movement!

The pulleys were inspired by my three sisters. They’re busy mothers and career women who are always on the go but are rarely frazzled. I wanted to honor them with a design that moves freely but has discipline at the same time (and I have to admit that it also appeals to my engineering background). The four of us have these pulleys in sterling, and I used gemstones from some of our late mother’s fine jewelry. I guess we get that energy from her!

What is your background — have you always been in jewelry?

Jewelry is a relatively new passion for me; I’ve always played around with textiles, small household fixtures, painting and photography, but nothing captured me like jewelry has. I grew up in a large family of artisans — quilt-makers, furniture makers, home builders — so making things is in my blood!

How did you end up creating this line?

We officially launched stôn in June. Before that I made custom pieces for friends’ special occasions, like his and his wedding bands. That experience gave me the confidence to do more.

One of the pieces I had the pleasure of trying on is the Shield ring made from bronze and rose cut grey diamonds. Latondra said, “The Shield ring evolved from an idea, to a sketch, and is brought to life in a powerful, finished piece. Cast in bronze and set with rose cut, natural colored diamonds. You never know when inspiration will hit you. I was heading into a difficult meeting one day, and the idea of armor came to mind. I jotted this design on a scrap of paper. This ultimately became our Shield ring. I hope it empowers women to charge though difficult times with strength, grace and integrity.”

You have four women on your stôn team — what roles do you each play?

Evelyn is a highly talented jeweler. When I knew the demand would exceed my personal capacity, I wanted to find someone who could not only make beautiful things but help me develop my craft as well. Sarah manages our story telling platforms. She introduced me to Evelyn, and she also encouraged me to pursue this work when I had doubts about it. Melissa and Stacey keep the wheels on the operation. They are terrific planners and operations managers who allow me to focus on what I love — creating! All of us are sales ambassadors for stôn, and we have a shared value for quality and sustainability.

I love the way women work together. We uplift each other, juggle so many obligations, and still manage to have a great time.

 

Ton in ball + chain cluster necklace and Rick Owens gown; Photographed by Sarah Alexandra Teodorescu

 

How would you describe the aesthetic of your line?

My designs are inspired by women and nature — both are resilient. I want the patina, textures and heft of the pieces to provoke images of unearthing treasures. Antiquity meets modern.

I think this is perfect description of this line. Here is a diamond bracelet, called the ball+chain III. It’s crafted from oxidized silver and rose cut diamonds, cast in place. It definitely has the feel of something from long ago, yet modern in approach. I could easily see myself wearing this stacked with other bracelets in my jewelry box. (Take a look at yesterday’s Instagram post to see this in action!)

What sort of woman do you envision wearing your jewelry?

I fantasize about a tribe of women out there wearing stôn who are confident, kind and making a difference in their own ways. They don’t need to wear something shiny to know they’re wearing something special.

Do you have a “jewelry uniform” and wear the same pieces every day? Or do you mix it up? Do you ever mix your pieces with other designers?

I mix it up each day. Often, I’ll wear prototypes of new designs so that I can see how they wear over a period of time before fully committing to them. stôn mixes so well with different styles, and I especially enjoy wearing it with my vintage pieces. Layering is such a great way to transform an outfit.

What are your dreams in how the line will evolve and grow?

I’d love to evolve and grow over time, keeping it a bespoke line. Success for me is having the freedom to create when I want, meeting amazing people along the way, while appealing to that growing tribe of women who see the potential this world has. I’m not in a hurry — there’s so much to learn along the way.

Of course, as a stylist, when I see a jewelry collection I immediately start envisioning how I would style it, wondering what clothing lines I could see it effortlessly meshing with. In this case, I pictured an edgy look from Rick Owens.

Or, with a dress such as this maxi from Zero+Maria Cornejo. Perfect backdrop for jewelry, don’t you think?

How would you style the line to suit your own personal style? I want to thank Ton for her time and for letting me explore these pieces in person. I truly appreciate it, and I wish you and your team a very sparkly future!