Karina Brez: The Horse Enthusiast With A Passion For Gemstones

Photo courtesy of Frank Castillo

Jewelry has always been timeless and there are societal symbols that just do not become outdated. Combining these two aspects, former Miss Florida USA and renowned equestrian fine jeweler Karina Brez used the classic horseshoe symbol in creating her latest jewelry collection.

The Karina Brez Lucky Horseshoe collection is a modern heirloom that reimagines the classic motifs of protection and good luck that horseshoes are associated with. The collection features necklaces, earrings and rings that celebrate the joy of equestrianism through color and symbolism with a variety of palettes such as classic diamond white, pastel and colored enamel.

Although Brez comes from a family of jewelers, she never thought her career would keep her in the industry, despite her passion for drawing and accessories. It wasn’t until she joined the pageant world that she discovered her deep love of exquisite jewelry. When creating her own pageant dress, Brez’s design consisted of a cabochon moonstone in a four-prong setting. The integration of high-end jewelry into her dress impressed her fellow contestants and led to Brez’s desire to further involve herself in the world of fine jewelry.

Her journey hadn’t been planned since childhood, but Brez had a dream to win a pageant and saw it through. This go-getter attitude carried her toward her jewelry goals.

“That’s kind of how I went into that whole world of pageants, just by a goal that I set,” Brez explained. “I set my mind to it and I said, ‘this is what I’m going to do,’ and I went for it.”

Through pageantry, Brez was able to access the equestrian world. She was involved in two major charities, Horses Healing Hearts and the Kids for the Winter Fest Parade, where competitions are held every Saturday night before the big horse riding season.

“I love horses. I’ve grown up loving them,” Brez said. “I was never given the opportunity to ride them because it’s an expensive sport, but I’ve always loved them and I’ve designed jewelry. So I said, ‘Well, what if I combine them?’”

It was during the Winter Fest of 2012 when Brez took action to create her jewelry collection. She had an appraisal business of jewelry but it had served its purpose and she wanted something different. Having handed off her crown to the next Miss USA, she was ready for her next chapter.

Brez said, “I’m going to design equestrian jewelry and I’m going to open up my store because I’m going to combine my passions and go for it.”

With that, the Karina Brez brand was born.

When choosing what she wanted her jewelry collection to consist of, Brez chose the unfailing diamonds. Why? The short answer is that she loves diamonds; they sparkle. To her benefit, Brez said that equestrians also love diamonds and horses.

“I think those two are very hand in hand. And a lot of my riders love wearing my pieces while they’re riding. I make a lot of like my huggable hooves rings. They’re solid gold [and] they’re heavy and nice.”

Brez said diamonds are just one of those easy staple pieces. She has designed wedding bands meant to be worn under the gloves of an equestrian, which she explained are very low profile. When showing one of her wedding band pieces, Brez stated, “It’s super thin, but you get all the diamonds, which is great because a lot of my clients love big diamonds but they can’t wear them and they take them off, and they tend to lose their rings.” 

She added that when someone puts one of her rings on, it goes smooth against the gloves yet has a bold look, which her clients love. The wedding bands are a popular seller but aren’t advertised because they are custom-made. When Brez does custom jewelry, she does her best to ensure her pieces are special for her clients.

“I am super hands-on and there’s a multi-step process to making their dream come to life,” Brez said. “If it has my name on it, it has to be high-end, it has to be luxury, it has to be beautiful, and it is beautiful.”

Brez uses a variety of stones such as amethyst, emeralds and sapphire. “I love good quality pieces. I like things that are rare,” she said. Some other components of her jewelry include enamel, so that she can add certain stones to them like turquoise, which is fragile.

When it comes to the future of Karina Brez the brand, there are already several collections lined up. Karina Brez is at every horse show around the country and uses the horses as inspiration to create new collections every year. Brez recently kick-started her tiny home luxury jewelry store in Wellington, Florida. She hopes to launch more of these stores, given the current location’s success, so that the brick-and-mortar fronts will pop up all over the country and also be featured as a mobile boutique-on-wheels at the horse shows.

Brez is also working to make a fashion collection with a well-known Italian brand, and teased that it will be an amazing integration into the fashion world as a whole.

“I was told when I was young that when you become the best in a particular field, then you can branch out […] because if you don’t know what your core is or who you are and what differentiates you from other brands, you almost kind of get lost, and I’m emerging from my core, being an equestrian jewelry designer,” Brez concluded. “But as the years go by and the more people know who I am, I’m going to do other collections that are not just equestrian based, but they will have some ethoses to the equestrian world.”

To stay updated on what’s to come from Brez, visit karinabrez.com.