When my long-time friend, Marion Fasel, told me over coffee many moons ago that she was leaving her job to start a new venture, I just knew it was going to be something amazing! Initially coy about the details, she wasn’t able to cover up her excitement and passion for her project; in fact, she was downright giddy about it! If you haven’t heard about The Adventurine by now, I’m going to just assume you’ve been on a long, exotic vacation some place where wifi wasn’t available! I think it’s also safe to assume that this blog is going to reach way beyond our industry and become an important resource among jewelry lovers and collectors the world over.
COUTURE: When did you launch The Adventurine?
Marion Fasel: The Adventurine was softly launched around 4:30 in the afternoon on May 31, 2016. It was the night before I got on a plane for Vegas to attend the Couture show. The day was planned many months in advance. I told my web developer, Rob Carlson from Gedney Studio, that I could not attend the Couture show unless the site was live. It was a crunch, but Rob and his team were amazing and worked through the Memorial Day weekend to make it happen. In retrospect I am glad I had the deadline. The work you have to do to push a site live is intense. I feel if there hadn’t been a hard deadline we could have been fussing over it all summer. Now we are technically still in beta or working over a few things but all in all, its humming.
COUTURE: What was your inspiration for launching the site?
MF: I have been enchanted by the idea of blogs ever since I heard of the concept. I am not even kidding. When I first read about blogs maybe 15 years ago in The New York Times, in a story about it how it was the new thing to do, I spoke to my co-author of many years Penny Proddow about creating one. I think it was too early in the development of the concept for us. We were entrenched in writing books and working for InStyle magazine. What inspired me then and now was the idea of a place to write about different elements of jewelry that did not necessarily fit into a book or a certain type of editorial in magazines.
COUTURE: What distinguishes The Adventurine from other jewelry sites that are currently in the marketplace?
MF: When I started writing about jewelry, it felt like there were just a handful of people in the field. Now there are many people who do great work online, in print and with books. I believe the best of what is being done brings a fresh perspective. My editorial point of view has always been about putting jewelry in a broad context, finding a unique angle, as opposed to simply showing it in a straight forward manner.
Specifically, The Adventurine is a reflection of my work with contemporary designers at InStyle. It also has parts of the nine books that I have done about jewelry history. There are a lot of sections that cover everything through the lens of jewelry from culture, books and movies to single jewels, gemstones and designer profiles. Boutique and Studio Tours are these massive slide shows of unique interiors that brilliantly reflect a designer’s jewelry collections. I almost want readers to forget that every story on the site is actually about jewelry. In other words, it is written to appeal to consumers as well as for experts and collectors.
COUTURE: Tell us about the name, why “The Adventurine,” what is the name’s significance?
MF: I did not want the name of the site to be my name. I guess I was feeling like a contrarian because, I didn’t want gems or jewelry in the name either. I wanted it to express the way I feel about jewelry. I was racking my brain to come up with something. It was the summer of 2014, I grabbed the Illustrated Dictionary of Jewelry off my shelf and started reading it for ideas. When I hit the gemstone aventurine – the name Adventurine came to me. I thought – that’s it! To me jewelry is not only about the beauty of design and gems, it’s very much about the story of how it was made and by who and who owned it. It’s about the adventure of it all. The fact that the url, Instagram and Twitter handles were all available sealed the deal.
COUTURE: You already have so much content on the site, and all of the pieces look like they were super fun to put together! Can you tell us about one or two of your favorite stories to write and why they were fun for you to create?
MF: Well, the amount of content is actually a funny story. My web developer, who is literally the master of my domain, said I needed 30 pages for launch. I thought he meant 30 stories, so that’s what I did. Now, I am just rolling with it. There are stories I have had in my head forever and other news items I am thrilled to cover as they come up.
My favorite story is The Jewelry Gene: Jewels in the Bloodstream which appears in three parts. It was a previously unpublished essay that Penny and I wrote as a test chapter for a book. We never had the opportunity to do the book because she became ill with cancer and passed away. I have been sitting on that essay for 10-years.
COUTURE: So far, what’s your favorite part of running The Adventurine?
MF: I love the modernity of the format for storytelling. I love creating moving parts with GIFS and embedding videos. I find it amazing that I can post 35 pictures in a big gallery whereas in a print magazine it would be one or if you were lucky two pictures due to space restrictions. I think being able to guide a reader to other stories or discoveries with a hyperlink is perhaps simple tech but it creates a wonderful journey.
COUTURE: What’s in the immediate future for The Adventurine?
MF: There are still a couple of categories that I have not opened yet on the site. One is Bridal and it’s epic. The category will be parallel to the book Penny and I wrote in 2001 called With This Ring. Like the book it will have history and contemporary ring stories as well as bridal jewelry.
There is also a category called What’s The Story? It will be interviews with luminaries about one piece of jewelry in their personal collections. I have found you can really go deep on a narrative if its focused on one element. I am eager to get it underway.
COUTURE: Where do you see The Adventurine in 5 years?
MF: I hope in the future to have a group of contributors to bring different voices to the site. It’s one of the other reasons why I wanted the site to have a name other than my own. At the moment I have two contributors, Hilary Heard Gurley and Tayla Cousins, who have both come to me with amazing ideas I would have never conceived. More of their work will be seen in the near future. My photographer Sally Davies is responsible for a lot of the visuals on the site. I am thrilled to be working with her.
One beautiful thing about the internet is that the information remains there forever. In five years, I hope The Adventurine is not only an amazing go-to resource for jewelry news, but also an archive of information for anyone seeking knowledge or inspiration about the wonderful world of jewelry.