Like many mothers and daughters, one of the things Ferzan and Benan Cakar most enjoy doing together is shopping. That Benan lives in Rye and her mom in her native Turkey doesn’t seem like much of an obstacle. “When I go back home twice a year, our favorite thing to do together is to shop for gemstones for hours over Turkish coffee,” says Benan. Alas, the stones are not for their own jewelry boxes but for Chakarr Jewelry, the business they co-founded in 2009, when Benan graduated from college here in the States. By that time, her mother’s dramatic artisanal designs, inspired by jewelry from ancient Egypt and the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires, were being sold throughout Turkey and Europe—and Benan sensed that the American marketplace was ripe for them as well.
She was right. The line is now sold in 10 states and, in 2013, the brand’s first retail outpost opened in Larchmont. In the company’s Istanbul atelier, local artisans, under Ferzan’s design direction, employ century-old traditions of metal-smithing and casting to construct each piece around gemstones or charms. Primarily silver or bronze, with a rose- or yellow-gold finish, the collection features quartz, lapis, agate, turquoise, etc., and much two-toned metal and hammered finishing. Offerings range from a silver Evil Eye charm bracelet with jade stones ($48) to a Baroque pearl necklace with hematite stones ($425), and include the signature Stone Luxe necklace, a long, diverse array of handpicked stones accented with charms like old Roman coin replicas ($245). Next up? A sapphire collection, in time for the holidays. For more info: www.chakarr-jewelry.com.