L.A. Transplant, Mother of Four, and Designer Zahava Ryzman on Celebrity-Obsessed Sarah Chloe Jewelry and More

Welcome to 10 Questions, a weekly series that explores L.A. through the eyes of its coolest citizens.

Photo: Courtesy of Sarah Chloe
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Photo: Courtesy of Sarah Chloe
Photo: Courtesy of Sarah Chloe
Photo: Courtesy of Sarah Chloe
Photo: Courtesy of Sarah Chloe
Photo: Courtesy of Sarah Chloe
Photo: Courtesy of Sarah Chloe
Photo: Courtesy of Sarah Chloe
Photo: Courtesy of Sarah Chloe

Did you know that humans have been adorning themselves with jewelry for about 25,000 years? Crazy, we know. Carrying on that timeless tradition and following in the footsteps of the wonderful women who produced the first necklaces made of bone all that time ago is designer Zahava Ryzman.

Ryzman is the founder of Sarah Chloe Jewelry, a line of fine and personalized jewelry made in L.A. and N.Y.C. The mother of four once designed a custom bangle to commemorate the birth of her first daughter, Sarah Chloe. After receiving numerous requests for it, she launched the label and the rest is history. It's grown to include the LanaAlexandra Fine Jewelry collection, the Dani.Ella Fashion Jewelry collection, and the Aria Bridal Jewelry collection – each named for her daughters.

Ryzman's jewelry has been worn by celebrities and style icons since its inception and has been featured in top national publications like Vogue and ELLE. You've probably seen her pieces worn by Gigi Hadid, Reese Witherspoon, Kendall Jenner, Taylor Swift, Karlie Kloss, Bella Hadid, Charlize Theron, and Jessica Alba – basically everyone we look up to and would vote for president of the world.

We caught up with Ryzman to learn more about her inspiration, role models, and more as part of our (now) weekly '10 Questions' series where we explore L.A. through the eyes of its coolest, most empowered, most innovative, or forward-thinking citizens.

Photo: Courtesy of Sarah Chloe
Photo: Courtesy of Sarah Chloe

What's your background and what was your inspiration for starting Sarah Chloe?

I always had a love of design and a strong creative vision. Growing up in New York I used to scour the beading and trimming stores in Midtown to source unique stones, beads, and appliques to turn into jewelry. My first job out of college was in the Marketing Department for a prestigious diamond house where I learned about the industry and fine jewelry craftsmanship. That background and knowledge were huge stepping stones in terms of being able to launch my brand. 

Who were your role models growing up and who are they today?

My role models were, and continue to be, strong, intelligent, and creative women who endeavor to build and create in whatever industry or field they are in. 

Do you listen to music or podcasts while working out on your own? If either, what are your jams or channels currently?

I love to listen to podcasts whenever I can. I especially love news segments that keep me updated in an informed way as well as podcasts centering on women and business. The Daily is a favorite for news and I love Hillary Kerr's Second Life podcast.

Photo: Courtesy of Sarah Chloe
Photo: Courtesy of Sarah Chloe

Other than running the business, what does your ideal day look like from waking up to falling asleep?

Every day is different, but with four children, I try and spend most of the workday being as efficient and productive as possible so that when they come home from school I am able to spend time with them and be fully present. 

My ideal day would usually consist of an early morning workout followed by work calls and design meetings. I always touch base with my production and sales managers first and review digital marketing reports and analytics on a daily basis. I love to be involved and updated on all aspects of the business so that I'm hands-on and informed. I then spend time working on the new collections and any campaigns that we are in the midst of developing. The day goes by so fast and before I know it, I'm headed home to be there when my kids return from school. After a long day, I love a chill evening at home with my family to unwind and catch up. 

What about Sarah Chloe are you most excited about in the next year or so?

I am most excited about the growth of SLDA Collection™, the Sarah Chloe sister label that is named for my four daughters. It is a DTC fine jewelry line that consists of gold, diamonds, and birthstones under $500. Since its launch, it has experienced year-over-year sales growth and we are excited to introduce it to retail in this coming year. 

Who or what is your favorite jeweler in L.A. who might be doing something particularly beautiful or innovative with their craft?

I really enjoy working with my local jewelry production vendors and factory here in L.A. Although our company is primarily N.Y.C.-based, we recently expanded some of our production to Downtown L.A. The jewelers that I work with here are multi-generational craftsmen who are visibly passionate and driven by their art. It's a pleasure to work with them as they bring my designs to life.  

Photo: Courtesy of Sarah Chloe
Photo: Courtesy of Sarah Chloe

You're sitting down with your 20-year-old and 80-year-old selves. What are those conversations like?

I would tell my 20-year old self to go with her gut and to trust and not second guess herself; to lead with intuition. I would hope that the older me would be congratulating myself on having given things my all and putting my passion into every day. 

Walk us through how you derive your inspiration for your pieces?

Generally, my inspiration evolves from my own personal aesthetic. I design pieces that I want to wear and then introduce them into the collection. That's how the brand organically started to begin with. I had designed a bangle for myself featuring my daughter's name and got a lot of requests for it when people saw me wearing it. That consumer interest is what inspired me to launch the collection and that bangle remains one of our best-selling styles to this day.

You're taking a first-time visitor on a one-day tour of L.A. Where are some of your top stops?

As an L.A. transplant, I really love and appreciate all the iconic L.A. locations that can't be replicated elsewhere – Hollywood Bowl, The Grove, Soho House WeHo, Rodeo Drive, the hotels on Sunset…I could go on and on!  In terms of neighborhood, our Sarah Chloe L.A. Showroom is on Melrose right off La Cienega, so I would also spend time visiting the shops and restaurants along the street there as they're all wonderful. 

Which jewelry trends are you happy to see fade away and which are you happy to see more of?

I'm really happy to see that fast fashion jewelry is fading away and that people and brands are embracing timeless design and craftsmanship. Sustainability and thoughtful production have always been key to our brand – it's why we produce all our pieces here in L.A. in small batches, working hand-in-hand with our factory and local vendors. Jewelry-making is an art and each piece is labor-intensive and handcrafted one by one, so seeing a rise in interest in mindful and sustainable production is reassuring. 

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