Mara PhotoThis week we're featuring Mara Stellino, a young Sicilian jewelry designer and goldsmith.

Jewels became Mara's greatest passion around the time she graduated from the university of Fashion, Arts and Entertainment in Palermo. Her thesis was on 'Mediterranean Red Coral and Its Traditions'. This was the launching point for her -- into the wide and wonderful world of jewelry design. She now freelances, creating beautiful adornments from gold, silver and natural stones -- especially turquoise, coral, amethyst, amber and onyx. All her handmade jewelry is one of a kind -- made with love and attention to detail. She is driven by her passion to help every woman to feel beautiful and unique!

Mara OrangeMara's inspiration comes from nature -- things like the animals, people, and the very colors of her homeland. For example, Sicily has always been known for its traditions of coral fishing and famous for its coral masters, who used particular and unique techniques for carving corals. Her favorite piece is the one of a kind red coral necklace shown here.

Mara has big ambitions! Her next plan is to go to New York, to pursue growth and success as a jewelry designer (and also meet up with the love of her life who lives there). For now, she has an Etsy shop; she also has a loyal following at home in Sicily. It was fun to talk to Mara because she is determined to become a great and famous jewelry designer. (We hope she doesn't forget us at The Bead when she starts looking around in the U.S. for very special gemstone beads and focal elements, because we think she'll make it!)

In the meantime, we will remain jealous at the moment -- life in Sicily!! Wow! But seriously, we wish her well -- and we plan to visit her upscale New York shop when it's up and running! In the meantime, contact her via her Etsy shop: to inquire about a custom-made piece!

If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy our previous post on 'Judith of Malta'.