Despite being a mother of three and running her own business, Brent Neale Winston radiates an easy, carefree glow. That distinctly sunny disposition carries over into her jewelry designs — vibrant colors, whimsical motifs, playful silhouettes. Brent Neale jewels, much like the woman behind them, don’t take themselves too seriously. It’s been less than a year since she launched her eponymous collection but thanks to her infectiously fun aesthetic, Winston has already gained a devoted following.
While attending Johns Hopkins University, Winston began dabbling in jewelry as a hobbyist: going to gem shows on the weekends and experimenting with design after class. Soon, customers beyond her friends and family started to express interest. On the advice of Penny Proddow, a jewelry historian and InStyle editor, Winston decided to get formal training and enrolled at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Winston went on to work for Kara Ross, eventually becoming the brand’s jewelry director.
After eight years at Kara Ross and the birth of twins, she left to spend time focusing on her family. But she couldn’t shake the itch to create. She knew if she were to start her own line it would have to be something different; something unique. The resulting collection, called After the Rain, is precisely that. Inspired by the wonders of nature and the bold colors of David Hockney and Ellsworth Kelly, the collection features gem-studded rainbows and opal clouds along with the occasional bumblebee and unicorn. The pieces range from statement-making cocktail rings to delicate mix-and-match studs, offering Winston’s brand of whimsy in doses large and small.
Her latest collection applies the same penchant for color to a fairytale mix of grand doors (the kind that might lead to Narnia or The Secret Garden), wildflowers and hummingbirds. The doors come as pendants of carved malachite or turquoise; garlands of gold wildflowers dangle from chandelier earrings. Observing the pieces up close reveals remarkable craftsmanship — all Brent Neale jewelry is manufactured, mostly by hand, in New York City — which brings Winston’s fantastical designs to life. In just two collections, Winston has defined her dreamy point of view; we’re sure her next chapters will prove equally enchanting.