Gorjana Reidel fell in love with jewelry while working at Neiman Marcus. On a mission to create stylish and effortless pieces at a more approachable price point, she and her husband, Jason Griffin Reidel, launched her eponymous jewelry line in 2004, literally from their apartment floor in Laguna Beach. That vision has now grown into a full-fledged empire, complete with 10 brick-and-mortar stores in California and New York—including three in Orange County—and more on the way. Here, she shares her thoughts about the journey, what keeps her inspired, and what she loves most about Laguna.
You launched the Gorjana brand 15 years ago. What are you most proud of?
I’m super proud of our employees and our company culture. I also love the direct interaction with a customer in our own stores, and seeing how much they love the product and how happy it makes them. That makes it so rewarding.
What is it that you love most about jewelry?
That it makes people happy. There’s a certain emotional connection that one has to jewelry. It represents something, and you get attached to it. I love being a part of that and feel so grateful that people love it as much as I do.
Tell us about the retail expansion.
We opened our first store here in Laguna on a whim. It just opened our eyes. I love our wholesale partners, but no one’s going to tell our story like we are. Once we opened, it was doing so well, so we just went in that direction. It’s been great. Our customers are really loving it.
How do you stay inspired to create new designs?
I just love jewelry. Since we’re all about layering, every season we think about what you can wear with what we already have. It’s a constant evolution.
What do you love most about Laguna Beach?
It’s so eclectic and so authentic. There’s a sense of community. I obviously love the beach and the whole topography of Laguna. We live up on a hill. I see the water every day. It’s just one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to.
What are your favorite spots?
When I need to buy a gift, my go-to place is Brass Tack. For the best clothing boutique in town, I go to Laguna Supply. They are the epitome of California cool. There are so many great places to eat, but a couple of my favorites are The Grove, for their amazing breakfast, and Banzai Bowls, for their delicious acai bowls. Victoria Beach is one of my favorite beach spots in all of Laguna and is a must-see for anyone visiting.