sara combs, co-founder/creative director of san francisco based jewelry line Gold & Citrus, recently took some time to meet up with me and answer a few question about her latest line, her inspirations, and what it means to be a young entrepreneur in san francisco:
Where does the name Gold & Citrus come from?
I have always been fascinated by things that don’t seem as though they should go together. I wanted to carry this into my jewelry line, not only with materials but also the whole mood of the collection. Gold is a popular symbol for luxury as well as love, while a citrus fruit is fresh and fun. When something is luxurious, it can often be stuffy and serious. The combination of Gold & Citrus is a reminder that while the pieces are made with great materials, the designs are fresh.
What is your mission in creating this line?
Really, what’s the point of anything unless it makes you happy? I am a firm believer that if our environment is well designed, it greatly impacts our mood. This translates to fashion as well. If you love what you are wearing and think you look great, you will feel great. My mission is to design pieces that are handmade, unique, well designed, and at attainable prices. And when someone buys a piece that they absolutely love and feel great wearing, it makes me pretty happy too.
Do you work with a team on design and construction?
The team consists of myself and my husband Rich. I design and make everything, but I am always brainstorming with Rich. A lot of the time he suggests that one special touch that really makes the design. I could never just sit down and design the pieces myself without getting critiques from other people. We also occasionally have interns.
newlyweds! via erica m photography
What role does the city of San Francisco play in Gold & Citrus?
If every city had a word, San Francisco’s would be innovation. That has had a huge impact on the development of Gold & Citrus. We are always inspired by the amazing startups popping up all around us. Most would say that San Francisco is not particularly fashion savvy, but I’ll tell you it is definitely tech savvy. A huge aspect of Gold & Citrus is having a well designed environment to shop our pieces online. We put a lot of time into that experience in addition to the jewelry itself. I would definitely say that is fueled by being located in SF.
Do you have any suggestions for other young artists/entrepreneurs with dreams of starting a successful business?
My advice would be to do it for the journey. Even with certain goals in mind, you never really reach an ‘end point’, so you really have to make sure you will enjoy the process of getting the business going. Also, don’t be afraid to make lots of iterations to your business. If something isn’t quite right, fix it. Continuously make things better. Those constant updates also keep things feeling fresh for your customers.
What are three must have pieces from your new line & how can we pair
those with cute fall/holiday outfits?
First, the Sinai necklace woud be a must have, especially for the holidays. It can easily dress up any basic top and give it a little holiday flair with its green color and crystals. But the best thing about it is that it’s not too glitzy. The crystal chain is offset with an oxidized sterling silver chain, adding a sense of ease to the piece. This makes it so that you can also pair it with your best LBD and not feel overdressed.
I would also steer you toward the Ray Bracelet. I have been wearing mine anywhere and with anything. It sounds weird, but I even throw it on with a sweatshirt sometimes and roll up the sleeves a little. But if you are more in the market for a necklace, you can easily do the same with the Ray Necklace. I just discovered it looks great with a plaid button-down. Again, it makes for great contrast!
And if you were to only own one pair of earrings, Torus earrings would always be there for you. Incredibly lightweight, I forget that I’m even wearing them! They also incorporate silver and gold tones, so go with anything. The length also gives you a little bit of dangle but is still short enough to feel like a stud. Plus the price is great. I would wear these with one of our necklaces to really make a statement, or a solid long sleeve top on a more relaxed day.
Where can we look for Gold & Citrus in the upcoming months?
If you live in San Francisco, you can find us these places on these days…
Nov. 12/13 - Bloomingdale’s (San Francisco Center)
Nov. 18 - Seams Boutique (Union St.)
Nov. 26 - Bloomingdale’s (Palo Alto)
Nov. 27- Bloomingdale’s (San Francisco Center)
Dec. 3/4 - Bloomingdale’s (San Francisco Center)
Dec. 4 - Chillin’ Productions (Mezzanine)
Dec. 10/11 - Bloomingdale’s (Palo Alto)
If you don’t live in the area, we are always online, and offering free shipping through the rest of the year!
What is your current go-to lipstick?
Chapstick. haha. I’ve always been more of an eyes girl with makeup, so I try to keep things pretty tame when it comes to lips. Although, I did wear some bright red lipstick for Halloween which was pretty fun. So who knows!
thank you sara! don’t forget to shop the gold & citrus website and check out the zest - g&c’s very own blog! great tips on pairing jewelery with outfits, seeking inspiration, and sf happenings.
(all images unless otherwise noted are via sara and the gold & citrus website.)