"I started experimenting with the natural curve of the wire that lent itself to a tear drop shape. I followed its lead and added hanging hand cut gemstone briolettes. I fell in love with the slightly irregular tourmalines, citrines, peruvian opals and how they catch the light. As the first earrings were evolving, I wanted more detail, more color and more texture so I tried threading small beads onto thinner gauge wire and wrapping it around thicker wire. The first designs were very rough, and Michelle Pfeiffer took one of the earliest pairs right from my ears." Raphaela Pasqualina's rare designs are unique because of their fusion of styles. Her jewelry is artisanal, hand crafted, and intricate, evoking a feeling of romance and delicate femininity. With highly focused attention to detail, she labors over each piece/work of art to insure it fits her client's personality. The detailing brings together a rustic influence with a modern edge making Raphaela Pasqualina's designs rare and unique. Raphaela's designs have been carried in over 50 stores in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, including: Fragments, Calypso St. Barth, Free People, Anthropologie, Thread Design, the Shiseido flagship store and Lane Crawford. Her celebrity clients include Michelle Pfeiffer, Cindy Crawford and Veronica Webb. Her work has been featured in InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Glamour and Self. Creating relationships with clients is what Raphaela finds most rewarding about her work. “I love to get to know people, notice their coloring, and hear them talk about their style and what they think are their limitations,” she says. “I like to design for individuals and if they return to me, I try to expand from their comfort zone, to show them how fun it can be to adorn in a new way.” Growing up in the living quarters next to her family’s painting school in Roslyn, N.Y., drawing, painting, and creating have always been part of Raphaela’s life. Her childhood playmates were the school’s students. Painters, sculptors, photographers and musicians rented studios on the grounds. At the age of 15, Raphaela designed her first jewelry line—hand-painted flowers on glass beads strung into necklaces. She sold the necklaces at a local shop. When she saw two stylish women she didn’t know wearing her work, she knew she wanted to pursue a career in jewelry design. Raphaela went to college in New York City, studying fine art at the School of Visual Arts, and fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Technology. During college, she worked for Ralph Lauren, and for Laundry by Shelli Segal. After college, while selling fine jewelry at Barney’s, she happened upon the gold-filled wire that she works with now. “I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it but I knew I needed to have it,” Raph explains. “I gambled by spending my next month’s rent on wire and gems from 47th Street.” She experimented with the wire and wore her creations to work. Co-workers began to buy her designs. Then stylists borrowed them for shoots. Celebrities took notice. When the SoHo jewelry store Fragments discovered her talent, Raphaela decided to focus on her jewelry design full time, in order to keep up with the showroom’s retail demand. Today, Raphaela enjoys working one-on-one with clients and doing custom work. She is a certified yoga instructor having completed 485 hours of teacher training at Yoga Shanti, with Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidman Yee. Raphaela teaches yoga in addition to maintaining her growing jewelry business. Seeing clients enjoy her unique designs and benefit from her insightful teaching sparks her creativity and motivation to learn more.