Walking into Andrea Fohrman’s vibrant studio is a pleasure. It’s warm, colorful, and filled with spirit (we went gaga over her Pink Floyd, “Dark Side of the Moon” string art). Fohrman fashions fine jewelry from enamel, stones, and precious metals to create pieces with reflective color and inherent light. Jewelry has always been a personal affair but Andrea has found a way to create pieces that go even deeper. Her signature Moon Phase collection lets you to select a date that is meaningful to you, and then she’s able to serve you a starry pendant with the exact moon from that date, allowing you to wear that moment, that memory in time, close to your heart.
Melissa: Tell me about how you started your brand and what led you to jewelry? What is your background?
Andrea: I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from college and lived in Italy during my junior year. Living there allowed me to take all these courses in photography, sculpting, and goldsmithing— classes I would have never been able to take here. My background in Florence was incredibly inspirational to me. Initially, I never thought I would get into jewelry or anything like that, however, I have always had a passion for creative arts. When I graduated, I worked at universal studios in production, and it was not as creative as I thought it would be. For a creative outlet, on the weekends, I would start beading jewelry and making pieces I liked. I would also go to flea markets all over Los Angeles to collect antique pieces, like brooches and pendants, to start reworking those with my precious stones.
I used to give those pieces to celebrities I would meet, and from there, stores wanted to carry my pieces. With my partner at the time, we used to sell to stores like Barneys and Henri Bendel, and a bunch of other popular stores in that realm. When my partner and I broke off, I decided I wanted to do cocktail rings, an idea inspired by my Grandma, who always had these amazing rings. This then led me to do the bigger stone pieces, and from there, I just landed in the fine jewelry world. A jewelry maker during the day and a mom at night was my vision at the time! It has been over a decade now—the journey has been hard but great and wonderful and terrible all at the same time.
Melissa: Your work is very celestial driven. Have you always been a fan of moons and stars?
Andrea: The first pendant I ever designed was my version of the Luna crescent, which was inspired by a Victorian brooch that my mom had passed down to me. Part of my goal with the jewelry is that you do not feel how heavy it is, as I think it is really important that the jewelry feels light. There are around eight different sized stones in this pendant, which gives it texture— this is the trick behind some of the jewelry I create.
The celestial part of my line is amazing…how it came to fruition. I grew up in Northern California by the mountains, and my friends and I would go to this plateau at night where we would look at the moon and shooting stars. I was always obsessed with the phases of the moon. It was not so much about astrology for me, it was just about the beauty of the sky, and the connection I felt towards it. I feel very connected to my line because I am designing things that I am interested in. I am really into color and have never been afraid to wear color or make something with an assortment of different colors. I have always been interested in how color plays off of things. Another part of my line is collecting gemstones from all over the world which enables me to make my pieces around that stone. The combination of these things allows me to express myself in my jewelry.
Melissa: Nowadays, so much jewelry is so small and dainty. However, your pieces are bold and colorful. How did you decide to go that route? Is that method based on your personality and your love for color?
Andrea: I am not a dainty-jewelry wearer. For me, I was never afraid to use bold or bigger stones. When I had my first line of jewelry, there were a lot of big pendants which is something I personally have always gravitated towards wearing. Now I offer a lot of smaller and more affordable versions of the bigger, over-the-top pieces that I carry.
Melissa: I know you also help people design wedding rings. What is the process with that, and how do people find you?
Andrea: I got married a long time ago and my wedding ring was this simple platinum ring. For our wedding anniversary, I asked if I could re-design our ring. The answer was yes, and I decided to melt everything, restructure it, and added more diamonds. A lot of people have gravitated towards this and have wanted me to redo their rings by taking their original design or stone and make something new for them.
Melissa: What are your particulars? Do you have a daily or nightly routine? Are there certain ones you tend to stick by?
Andrea: Every day is a new day. I have two kids, so I hope to get enough sleep the night before, so I can wake up and get going. I like to wear comfortable clothing, the basics. I am also a massive lover of denim, the 70s-era is what I am drawn to the most. I always like a fun handbag. Whenever I am buying handbags, I always do some pop of color. That is my getting ready thing. I love hiking and meditating, the two are so important to me. I meditate twice a day, as I find it saves me from the stress of life. I also find that I am way more productive if I meditate.
Melissa: What’s up next for you or your line? Are there any new pieces you are designing?
Andrea: I have a new collection that I am debuting in June for Pride month, which I am very excited about. I just got back from the Tucson gem show. I came back with a ton of stuff, which I am excited to start to work with. That show gives me a ton of inspiration.
Melissa: If you could pick your top three faves, which would they be?
Andrea: My favorites change a lot, depending on what I am into at that moment. I am really into these rainbow moonstone rings. If you look closely, you can see the rainbow shimmer. I also like our mini galaxy collection…and we have added these mini cosmos, which are at a great price point too.
Melissa: Amazing! Thank you for spending time with us!