By Judy Carmack Bross
“I have always loved jewelry since I was a little girl.” Diana Rodi Hall.
Tiffany, Cartier, Graff, Harry Winston, Chopard, and their magical jewels: Kashmir sapphires, Burmese rubies, and Columbian emeralds and so many more which she examined, compared, designed, and sold. Who but Diana Hall could have impacted the success of global jewelry houses in such an elegant and transformational way? And who could be having more fun now in her career, off on her own heading the Diana Rodi Hall collection?
“After leaving the big houses behind, my husband pushed me to start my own business after several great clients continued to seek my advice. I started very small, and the business has grown organically into a full time job, continuing my passion for jewelry. Now that I am my own boss, there are no constraints, and I search high and low to find the right piece for my client.”
Hall has been selling jewelry since she was 14.
“I grew up on the near North side of Chicago, and my mother frequently took her three daughters to Cassandra’s Jewelry Store, located at the time next to the Esquire Theater. Cassandra and Leona, who were in their mid-80s owned the shop. One Friday, when we were visiting, one of the employees hadn’t shown up, and they asked if I could fill-in that day. I started working Saturdays and a few holidays and fell in love with both the jewelry and connections I made with clients. I had found my niche.”
Hall told us about how her career in the jewelry business took off quickly, expanding into design and leadership roles.
“At 25, I opened Cartier’s Michigan Avenue salon in Chicago and became the company’s youngest boutique manager. For seven years, I served as the U.S. representative on the Cartier Design Committee in Paris, where I helped influence Cartier’s design decisions for the global market. After twenty years with Cartier, I joined Graff as Vice President of Sales and Marketing. From there, I moved to Harry Winston as the Global Vice President of High Jewelry. All of these great houses exposed me to the rarest gems in the world.”
“I have developed a world-class eye in terms of both beauty, value, and craftsmanship. I have examined, compared and sold some of the most exceptional stones available across the globe. My strong connection with the diamond industry allows me direct access to sourcing these gems.”
Here’s how she explains the Diana Rodi Hall collection.
“I specialize in three areas: Italian jewelry, engagement rings and classic diamond staples. All are handmade at the highest quality and at the best value. Jewelry should be beautiful but also functional; you don’t want a bracelet where it takes three people to figure out the clasp.”
On the day we talked, Hall had just delivered an order to a customer’s front door.
“He called at noon to say that it was his wife’s birthday, and he thought she’d already chosen a gift. Knowing she was eyeing some pieces in my collection, he was able to quickly find the perfect gifts. When you buy from the large houses you have to go through unbelievable rigmarole when you place a phone order.”
Hall’s advice you can bank on: here are some of her tips.
“First of all, classics are great and can be complemented with another piece with a twist. My clients like to wear two of my bracelets next to a Cartier Love bracelet. I adore things in threes; The look is stackable and not flashy. Create a look that represents your individual style. Make sure it’s comfortable, wearable, and of course, quality. Just having jewelry that you take out of the safe six times a year is no fun. Clients want jewelry that feels like a second skin.”
“I remember in the ‘80’s and ‘90’s that it was the fashion to dress head to toe in Chanel. Now just as you might mix a Chanel jacket with Levi’s Jeans, mixing Cartier with Diana Hall pieces makes sense. You don’t want to be a walking advertisement for any house.”
One of her favorite parts of her job is helping choose engagement rings.
“There is a lot of confusion in buying diamonds, and clients need guidance. Cut, color, clarity, and carat weight all matter, and it’s essential to have a GIA (Gemological Institute of America) certificate. I like being straightforward when guiding a couple through the nuances and hidden realities of buying an engagement ring. It is such a joy to be a part of the happy occasion and later receive photos of the happy couple.”
Hall has recently returned from Venice where she attended the largest jewelry show in Europe. “Things are definitely not back to normal yet. There were just a few Americans there. But these shows are so much fun for discovering new designs.”
Hall’s daughter Jackie, global marketing manager for TikTok, has caught the jewelry bug as well.
“We worked together to create a design, and many of her friends have had first dibs on buying it. She’s in the process of launching her own company, RODI design.
Hall herself talks a lot about joy, helping others find just the right fit and just the right piece. “When a customer says, ‘Diana, I just love this item. I haven’t taken it off, it brings me much happiness,’ I feel very blessed”
For further information visit: dianarodihall.com