Jeannie Prounis, a 2011 graduate of Manhasset High School and 2015 college graduate of Skidmore, has launched a business based on Roman-Greco-Etruscan inspired fine jewelry.
While many others in Manhasset entered the corporate world, Prounis’ love of the arts, initially inspired by Manhasset High School’s art department and Fashion Institute of Technology’s summer program, propelled her passion for all things beautiful. While at Skidmore, she took studio art classes along with several jewelry internships that furthered her love for jewelry making, and a career was born.
The vision for her jewelry was inspired by her Greek grandfather, who spoke about ancient Greek art and triggered her love for the antiquities. He also talked about his father’s popular and distinguished nightclub, The Versailles, in New York City in the ‘40s and ‘50s. That further inspired her love for the classic touch, as it was the nightclub to go to, where Edith Piaf sang, the house band was led by Desi Arnaz, and Bob Hope, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis all performed. The classic color of sage green from the Versailles’ tablecloths can be seen in the Prounis brand colors, jewelry sachets, and hand-painted trunk show invitations.
Granulation—a tedious embellishment process dating back to ancient Mesopotamia—is a signature of the brand, used in hero pieces like the Duo Nona studs, in which nine granules create diamond shapes ($380 per stud).
The Prounis jewelry approach, all handwrought, uses ancient gold-smithing techniques with 22 kt gold for its unique and special color, and the granulation techniques add a signature look, infusing each piece with special character. People who have bought her jewelry say it “makes me feel pulled-together and beautiful,”“It’s the final touch to making an elegant and distinguished look.”
Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, Prounis focuses on unpolished gold, cabochon stones and softer-than-typical metal, which molds to reflect the imperfect nicks and knocks of everyday life.
“I felt like there was a hand touch missing in a lot of jewelry—everything I make is made in New York. I [personally] make 90 percent of what I sell and the rest is made by three very talented jewelers in the jewelry district. There was a really sterile feel in the environment, and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes to how you wear it every day,” Prounis said.
The brand was officially launched in October 2017. Find her designs at www.prounisjewelry.com and follow on Instagram @prounisjewelry.