When I hear the words “multitasking and driven,” many women, especially businesswomen, come to mind. These words could certainly be used to describe Diana Peters, owner of the jewelry brand Diana Peters Designs.
2Diana not only started her own company, but she is also the founder and executive director of Symbol Training Institute, an advanced training center with locations in Skokie and Addison, IL. There she leads the Institute’s initiative to help women enter the manufacturing sector.
Diana is also a mom of three young children. Needless to say, she is one busy woman. Her jewelry brand is unique and has been highly praised by celebrities, influencers, and people around the world. The collection includes gold beaded bracelets, chain necklaces, initial jewelry, and more. You can view and shop the pieces on Instagram @dianapetersdesigns. (Use the code FASHIONDETOUR for 15% off your first order.)
Read on to learn about the inspiration behind the brand.
Michal Goldfein: What inspired you to start your brand, Diana Peters Designs?
Diana Peters: Having three kids very close in age, I gave up a lot of myself and my passions in order to give my all to them. There came a point where I needed a creative outlet. I have always loved making jewelry. It started off with a few pieces being made for friends and family. Soon, word got out that those pieces came from me and Diana Peters Designs was born.
Can you describe some of your signature pieces?
Some of my signature items include gold beaded bracelets, earrings, eternity bands, calming crystal wraps, chain necklaces and bracelets, colored stones, and custom name and initial jewelry.
Have you faced challenges since the inception of your brand?
My biggest challenge is finding enough time! Most of my pieces are custom made.
You are a very busy woman and are also the founder and executive director of Symbol Training Institute. Can you tell me more about the school and your daily tasks there?
I am the founder and executive director of Symbol Training Institute, an advanced manufacturing training center in the Chicago, Illinois area that provides hands-on training and job placement. I lead the Institute’s initiative to combat the skilled labor shortage and advocate for women’s equality in manufacturing by promoting the profession to women. Since 2005, we have placed thousands of Symbol graduates into manufacturing careers. I am the co-chair of Women in Manufacturing’s Illinois chapter and founded Manufacturing Next, a 501(c)(3) [non-profit] organization that recruits women and young people to manufacturing.
How would you describe the aesthetic of your jewelry?
My collection is stylish, on trend, and can be worn by anyone from teens to older women. Many of the pieces are meant to be worn from day to night and make you feel great. We also have a men’s collection that is masculine.
Can you describe your creative process and where you gain inspiration from?
I have always been one to follow new trends and runway looks, and gain my inspiration from fashion bloggers. I also love to create my own spin on things by taking a trend and re-creating a look to make it unique. Most of my creative juices come out at night, when the kids are in bed and I can quietly work in my studio. It’s very therapeutic for me!
I love your 18K gold-filled chain necklaces. Which necklaces from your collection are your favorite?
I absolutely love to layer pieces, whether it be necklaces, bracelets, or rings. I style many pieces together for customers and always recommend layering. Link chains are the hottest trend now and look fabulous when layered with our initial necklace and 14K gold beaded choker. The Cuban Chain is also one of my favorite pieces because it’s so bold and unique. It definitely makes a statement!
You incorporate gunmetal a lot, and it’s nice to see the mix of gold and gunmetal tones worn together. Can different colored jewelry be worn in tandem?
Absolutely! Mixing metals is fun to do and gives off an edgy look. I always tell customers to not be afraid to mix those metals!
Layering multiple bracelets is so on trend right now – what are your favorite bracelets to layer from your collection?
The crystal wraps have always been one of my favorite bracelets to wear with just about anything, and they’re great for layering. The gold beaded bracelets are also perfect to layer in different bead sizes. It is fun to make your arm candy unique. Anything goes!
Your bracelets incorporate animals encrusted with stones, natural stones like agate, and evil eye motifs. What inspired these design elements?
Natural stones provide healing properties. My collection began with the Calming Crystal bracelet, which incorporates the agate stone. Agate cleanses and stabilizes the aura, eliminating and transforming negativity. This particular stone enhances mental function, improves concentration, perception, and analytical abilities. It soothes and calms, healing inner anger or tension, and creates a sense of security and safety.
If a woman were to own one or two pieces from your line to wear and never take off, which would you suggest?
The 14K beaded choker and 18K gold link chain. You can work out, swim, shower, and sleep in these pieces. They are very comfortable, light, and can be worn with a tee shirt and denim, and also look fabulous with an evening gown.
Your beaded jewelry is also gorgeous – especially the dragonfly detail bracelet with white beads. What are your favorite pieces for summer?
Summer is the perfect time to dress up those arms and neck. Rainbow stones, white crystals, and basic gold beaded bracelets are fabulous for summer.
Your initial jewelry is also fabulous. Can you tell me more about those pieces?
Our initial jewelry is personal and fun to wear. Customers can represent their loved ones through initial and name jewelry. Moms love to wear their kids’ initials and grandmas wear their grandkids’ initials. We sell a lot of name bracelets too. Customers will design a bracelet with their kids’ names, pet’s name, or an inspirational word that means something special to them. We have made pieces for wedding parties, corporate events, and even for celebrity trainers.
What has been your biggest challenge as a working mom, and your biggest reward?
My biggest challenge as a working mom is not being able to clone myself and be everywhere I want to be. When it comes to my kids, I am extremely involved, and it pains me to have to say no to volunteering at school or taking them to every activity and birthday party. It is a constant struggle trying to figure out how much of me I need to give to them and how much I need to give to my businesses. “Mom guilt” is a real thing, and like other moms, whether they are working outside of the home or not, we feel it on a daily basis.
My biggest reward is seeing how proud my family is of me, especially my oldest daughter. It makes all the sleepless nights worth it! When I spot my jewelry on people, whether it be in photos or videos on social media or while we are out and about, it brings me the greatest joy.
What piece of advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
I would tell myself to not be so afraid to fail, and to trust my gut. I would also tell my 20-year-old self to take time out every day to just sit quietly somewhere, for a few minutes if anything, and reflect on how fortunate I am. My parents immigrated to the U.S. with just a couple hundred dollars to their name and a few of their personal belongings in search of a better life for my brother and I. Reflecting back keeps me grounded and focused.
What are your goals for the future of your brand?
I would love to expand our men’s collection and kids’ jewelry line. It is a goal of mine to have Diana Peters Designs as a recognized jewelry brand worldwide.