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Choosing a piece of jewelry, whether for yourself or another person, is perhaps the most intimate gift exchange. By selecting a piece you hope to wear, you’re opting into the story that piece is telling. In the crowded space of DTC jewelry brands toting gold star signs on pendants and chains of every variety, there’s no shortage of options. But choosing something incredibly tailored and totally indiutalistic – that’s a challenge.
Enter Silent Opus, the latest venture of Vanessa Stofenmacher, who founded VRAI in 2014. The brand’s spot-on styling and blissfully neutral feel is a welcome relief from flashy colors and trendy styles. Having been searching for a piece of jewelry to wear for my wedding day that would bear my husband’s initials, in honor of keeping my own last name, I immediately knew Silent Opus would have something. Designed for everyday life, but elevated for the most important day of my life, I created a ring to wear on my left pointer finger that I can’t wait to never take off.
Vanessa Stofenmacher knows jewelry. Even after leaving VRAI, she couldn’t resist the call back to the industry. “My daughter was born shortly after I left and I was reminded of a gemstone ring my mom made when I was born. She had a custom ring made for each of her three daughters which she wore stacked together until our wedding days when she passed them down to us,” she shares. “I was inspired to continue this tradition with my daughter and help others create their own.” This high level of intentionality seeps into every design in the Silent Opus collection.
The best jewelry is the kind you can wear every day. Silent Opus’s line ranges from timeless link necklaces ($4,460) to gold huggies with subtle diamonds ($690). Stofenmacher’s personal jewelry style, which she describes as “minimal, effortless and essential — balancing form and function,” is reflected in the collection. To her, the pieces we wear are more than ornamental. “Jewelry is a powerful vessel that holds meaning and memories so it’s important to me that the pieces I wear everyday feel special and bring me joy when I wear it.” The second I slipped on the ring ($1,425) I created with my partner’s initials, I felt that same visceral connection.
Offering customization is part of what sets Silent Opus apart in the world of fine DTC jewelry. “I want the customer to really feel like they are a part of the design process and customizing to this extent almost forces them to put thought and intention into the piece they’re creating,” Stofenmacher explains. “Getting people to connect on a deeper level is ultimately our goal.”
To Have and To Hold
The gift of jewelry can mark any occasion—a promotion, a friendship, a new beginning. When I created my engagement ring with my partner, I felt inspired to maintain a collaborative relationship with him for all the jewelry I hoped to be gifted in our life together. There was something connective about taking the time to discover what spoke to me, instead of dropping hints or hoping for the best. Shopping jewelry that’s ethically created is just as important to me as the aesthetics of the piece.
Silent Opus is vertically integrated, meaning everything from sourcing through production happens in-house. The customization process moves at lightning speed with only a 10 day turnaround time. “The process starts as soon as an order is placed when a digital file of the customer’s unique design is sent to our CAD team. From there, our team adjusts the file for production and sends it to our 3D printers to print in wax,” shares Stofenmacher. “The wax mold is then cast in gold, the stones are set and the piece is polished and inspected before being packaged and shipped to its new home.”
The Experience of Gift Giving
Great packaging is considered an essential to survive in the competitive DTC jewelry landscape. Luckily, Silent Opus has the market cornered here. My ring arrived in a stunning box, complete with my initials, which I customized, and well as a pen for cleaning jewelry. I’ve stored the box with my wedding dress, completing my big day wardrobe. In the future, Silent Opus plans to extend the packaging experience to new, digital, heights. “We’re excited about a digital experience we’re creating that will allow customers to attach meaning and stories to their jewelry purchases – like a family photo album meets a NFT,” shares Stofenmacher.
5 Standouts From Silent Opus’s Collection:
1. Duo Ring ($1,345), complete with customization of a variety of gems, this stacking ring would make a dreamy wedding band for the most modern of the married.
2. Uno Huggies ($690)—chic, subtle, and the perfect gift for an earring-lover.
3. Oma Bead Bracelet ($400), the ideal addition to any wrist stack. This piece is great for wearing without thinking about it.
4. Silky Chain ($735) is perfect for signifying a little win only you know about. Wear it every day with pride.
5. Puffy Gem Square ($455) was made to pair with the heirloom chain from your grandmother you’ve never figured out how to style.