Anny Stern ’01 found her passion at a young age. At approximately seven years old, Stern was introduced to Brazilian semi-precious gemstones and was inspired by her grandmother to begin hand making jewelry. Now that her lifelong hobby has become a thriving business, filling the shelves at department stores and boutiques alike, she reflects on what helped her earn success.
After finishing her undergraduate business degree and working for a while in Brazil, Stern pursued her MBA in hospitality and international business. She enjoyed Lynn for its small size. Rather than being one of thousands of students, she felt like she was part of a large family.
“As an international student, to feel like I had a home at Lynn was amazing."
“As an international student, to feel like I had a home at Lynn was amazing,” said Stern. “I always felt appreciated and welcome, and I am grateful for the relationships I built and still have.”
When Stern graduated in 2001, she struggled to find work and relied on her jewelry-making hobby. One day while shopping in Palm Beach, a jewelry manager at Saks Fifth Avenue approached Stern to admire her necklace.
Within weeks, Stern was invited to present her jewelry in a trunk show at the same location on Worth Avenue. After a positive reception, she continued holding trunk shows and even had her jewelry showcased some stores. Over the next seven years, her line was carried at 15 Saks Fifth Avenue locations.
“When the recession came in 2008, I had to step back from the business. People were not buying luxury items,” said Stern. Fortunately, her creations remained in high demand following the recession, allowing her to not only bounce back, but to expand representation into the Boca Raton Resort and Club, Eau Palm Beach Resort and Spa, and Neiman Marcus over the following years.
What is the signature of an Anny Stern design?
Gemstones are featured prominently in most of Stern's jewelry, and she meticulously inspects and hand-selects each piece.
“My grandmother taught me the names of all of the stones,” said Stern. “The color, intensity and energy of the stones has always fascinated me. I always select the stones myself—the ones that I connect with are the ones that I will use.”
It’s this connection that keeps her inspired to continue creating and growing as her collection gains local, state and national attention. Her work has even caught the eye of fashion editors with Vogue UK, Think, Fine, and Her Life magazines, which further helped bolster the brand. Currently, her line, Anny Stern Fashion Jewelry, can be seen at an ongoing trunk show hosted by Neiman Marcus in Boca Raton, Florida, as well as the retailer’s other stores nationwide, where her products also will be sold in the future.
“It is truly a blessing to be able to do what I love with the skills that I have,” said Stern. “Everything you can imagine can become a reality; you have to put action behind it. Dreams don’t just come true, they are made true.”
Despite her success, her love of jewelry making and excitement for the creative process remain true, and she is sure her journey is far from finished.