A local jeweler will soon be opening a new studio in Worcester, offering unique designs as well as an “immersive shopping experience.”
Ilah Cibis, owner of Ilah Cibis Jewelry, has owned a small custom jewelry studio in Sudbury for 16 years, but in March, she started selling her own designs online. She said she is hoping to open the new studio at 218 Franklin St. in February.
“I’m basically just making whatever is in my head,” Cibis said. “I spent 16 years making pieces for other people … I essentially collaborated with thousands and thousands of people on things. It gave me a lot of time to figure out what I like to make, and what I want to make, it turns out, is a lot of different stuff.”
She began releasing “mini collections” of jewelry designs this year. Each collection is different, and is themed around different gemstones or concepts. Some of the collections currently available are inspired by geometric designs, scales and feathers, armor and even Star Wars. Cibis hopes to release a new mini collection approximately every month.
Cibis uses only lab-grown or conflict-free gemstones in her designs. Pieces with stones are customizable, she said: customers can choose to use a different type of stone in a setting that they like, or even use a stone they already have.
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Many of the designs are humorous or provocative, like a poison ring with the slogan “#thriving,” a signet ring that says “None of this is real” and the largest collection, a series of stacking rings called “Words of Wisdom,” many of which bear expletives.
Cibis said that series started because she wanted a pair of rings for herself that said “f— around and find out.”
“I showed a couple of friends and it absolutely blew up,” Cibis said.
Many of the Words of Wisdom rings also include words related to the LGBTQ+ community, such as “queer” and “pride.”
The new studio, which Cibis purchased last year and has been working to renovate since, will be half-devoted to manufacturing the jewelry and half retail space. The retail side will be a unique shopping experience that is part store, part art installation, Cibis said.
“It’s entertainment shopping. It’s a really out-there concept,” Cibis said. “If you make retail space really fun and interesting, they’ll want to go. So it’ll be a wild, wild space.”
Everything sold at the studio will be made right here in Worcester.
“This is a Worcester brand,” Cibis said. “We’re a very local project and want to bring something really unique to Worcester.”