Show features Mara Labell’s unique jewelry


There is a lot of high quality, elegant jewelry out there, but perhaps none so unique as the pieces created by Mara Labell.

How unique? Consider: She has actually copyrighted the hand-stitched, glass bead latticework that backs some of her work.

Last weekend, Labell held a trunk show at the Grand Bohemian Gallery in St. Augustine, showing off her latest creations and meeting local fans. Among the pieces on display were some of her biggest sellers, as well as her new 18-karat gold line, which she introduced in September.

The demand for these latest creations has been great, and Labell works diligently to keep up.

“It’s just gone gangbusters!” she said.

Bracelet Breakthrough

Labell grew up surrounded by art. Her mother, Trudy Labell, ran a contemporary, fine art gallery in Boston and relocated it to Naples, Florida, when her daughter was 8 years old.

In addition to years of exposure to great art, Mara Labell benefitted by her mother’s insightful critiques.

“She has the most amazing critical eye,” Labell said. “She was never the mom who said, ‘Oh, honey, that’s beautiful.’ She was always very, like, ‘I don’t know; I think you could do better.’ She always instilled this idea of universal beauty, and that there really is a ‘best’ — and that you can achieve that.”

Labell, who said she has been making things throughout her life because she “sort of can’t sit still,” found herself inspired by some of the artisan jewelers her mother was representing.

“I made this crazy bracelet that stuck out in every single different direction,” she said. “It was made with these tusk shells. I walked into the gallery — we were hosting a charity event that night — and Mom grabbed my arm and said, ‘What is that? Where did you get that?’”

When Labell said she’d made the bracelet herself, her mother was silent.

“That was the best approval I could have ever gotten,” Labell said. “I thought: I’m onto something. I think I can do this.”

A photographer for the magazine covering the event took a picture of her bracelet. This new, unique style took off, and the Ritz-Carlton resort gallery in Naples began to carry her jewelry.

A little more than a year ago, Labell quit her day job and moved to Greenville, South Carolina, where she saw the Grand Bohemian Lodge, part of the Kessler Collection, under construction. She met with one of the company’s gallery directors and began showing at various Grand Bohemian hotels.

“It’s just been go go go since then,” she said.

What to Wear

Labell’s unique approach and exquisite use of precious materials all but guarantee that anyone wearing her jewelry at a social function will stand out.

Her Fleur pieces feature plated disks and Swarovski crystals attached to a hand-stitched lattice of tiny glass beads plated in 24-karat gold. At the recent trunk show, one woman remarked at how comfortable she found these pieces to wear. Each takes Labell about 15 hours to make.

Labell’s Dare collection features some of her biggest sellers in St. Augustine. These feature precious Momo coral — also attached to Labell’s signature hand-stitched lattice and often embellished with Swarovski crystals and dazzling briolette elements.

Another collection features sparkling, skinny strands that are meant to be layered with other jewelry.

“They’re tiny diamonds in all different colors,” Labell explained. “They’re called Your Daily Diamonds because you’re really meant to just be wearing them all the time.”

Your Daily Diamonds evoke delicacy yet have an indescribable impact.

Though the trunk show has concluded, the Grand Bohemian Gallery at 49 King St. always carries Labell’s jewelry. In fact, if a desired piece is found on Labell’s Instagram site and is not available locally, one may contact the gallery and have it shipped there so that it can be tried on and perhaps purchased.

“People need to be able to try on the jewelry,” Labell said. “You need to see how it looks. It needs to make you feel beautiful.”

For more information about Labell’s jewelry, go to, where there is a link to her Instagram page.