Ones to Watch – Michelle Pajak-Reynolds

June 11, 2014

michelle pajakreynolds

This week we had the chance to catch up with jewelry designer Michelle Pajak-Reynolds to find out what inspired her to become a designer and what 2014 holds for her brand.

As a little girl, Michelle Pajak-Reynolds spent hours playing with pop-beads and jelly bracelets in front of a television watching Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman.

Michelle Pajak Reynolds jewelry is highly sought after by fashion stylists, celebrities and collectors. Her pieces have been exhibited internationally and worn by celebrities including Sophia Bush, Jillian Barberie, Nona Gaye, Dina Manzo, and Miss Brazil 2010 Debora Lyra. Michelle’s designs have also been featured on the cover of Grace Ormonde Wedding Style, LA Brides, and Created Woman magazines and the runways of New York Fashion Week.

Michelle Pajak-Reynolds headshotWhy did you decide to become a designer? I’ve been designing jewelry since I was a little girl and my love of jewelry and design runs deep into my DNA.  My parents fell in love over a jewelry counter; my dad was a police officer and my mom was a jewelry department manager and worked with jewelry while pregnant with me. My mom also made many of my childhood clothes and my grandmothers were always sewing and creating, so a career as a designer was a natural progression of my creative interests.

My formal jewelry and training began in a 10th grade jewelry class and then I went on to refine my artistic and business skills via a BFA in Jewelry from Kent State University and an MBA in Entrepreneurship from Baldwin-Wallace University.

What’s it like being in the fashion industry? The industry can be equal parts exhilarating and the most intense pressure cooker. Things are constantly changing but by specializing in handcrafting one-of-a-kind designs, my collections serve as a counterpoint to the cookie cutter fast fashion styles that dominate the jewelry industry

How would you describe your brand? Extraordinary jewelry for extraordinary women.  Every detail in my jewelry designs possesses a love and tradition of artisanal hand-craftsmanship found only in true couture.

What has been the biggest highlight of your career so far?  Seeing my jewelry on the runway at Nolcha Fashion Week and on the red carpet during the Premio Los Nuestro Latin Music Awards in Miami in February 2014.

What is the inspiration behind the Nimbus necklace? My inspiration for the Nimbus necklace was a stunning image of the sunrise on Mars.

Describe your ideal consumer.  Women with their own unique sense of style, desire to stand out from the crowd, and a passion for collecting art, fashion and design.

What is your favourite piece and why? Picking a favorite piece is a lot like picking a favorite child; an impossible task.  My current favorite is the next piece I’m working on because it’s the one I’m dreaming about.  My favorite piece from my newest collection, the Hypatia Collection, is the Nimbus necklace.  This one of a kind necklace features 3 pyrite sun gemstones totaling 683 carats, a handcrafted sterling silver setting and clasp and ombre beadwork. Each stone has a unique radial texture and pattern that is breathtakingly beautiful.

If you could have any celebrity spokesmodel, who would it be and why? Iris Apfel.  She’s so passionate about fashion, jewelry and people not looking boring.  I hope to have her same sense of spunk, sass, and style when I’m 92.

What store would you love to have your jewelry in? In addition to working directly with my clients, I would love to have my designs in small boutiques, such as Fivestory in NYC, that specialize in designers producing one off or limited edition pieces.

What does 2014 hold for the brand? 2014 is a busy year of collaborating with stylists on a variety of editorials, working on new couture collections and custom orders for my clients, and several writing projects.

“My passion for creating jewelry is to celebrate and enhance the unique beauty of every woman.”


The Nolcha Fashion Week Ones to Watch feature is a weekly interview highlighting an independent fashion designer that is making moves in the fashion industry. Whether from a runway show in New York City or discovered by our globetrotting team we are proud to be a platform of discovery supporting innovative independent fashion.

If you are an independent fashion designer interested to be featured in the Ones to Watch interview series please email megan@nolcha.com with more information about your brand.

Nolcha Fashion Week: New York, founded by Kerry Bannigan and Arthur Mandel, is a leading award winning event held during New York Fashion Week hosting independent fashion designer runway shows.