Her designs are carried at Barney’s and adored by Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, who Brooke Garber Neidich counts among her friends and inspiration, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The Chicago native has taken over the fine jewelery business started years ago, Sidney Garber, which includes both a Chicago location and a brand new New York City store. Recognized for her philanthropic efforts and art collection almost as frequently as her jewelery designs, Brooke Garber Neidich is the epitome of both style and grace.
Sidney Garber is a family business, having been started by your father. Did you always plan to join the company? When was it clear that jewelry was your calling?
I never planned to be in the jewelry business! I loved it but never saw myself running it. When I inherited the store it was the recession, I had 6 employees it would have been unconscionable to close the store.
How do your designs differ from those of your father?
I hope my designs are not so different from my father’s. His chic eye was unerring.
What pieces of jewelry do you wear every single day? Which pieces do you have fun swapping with different looks?
I always wear a stack of bracelets. I am loving brooches right now.
You’ve recently collaborated with Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen and their line, The Row. How did you first meet them and what surprised you most about them?
I met Mary Kate and Ashley through my son Jon. Their work ethic is extraordinary. As for their style, my eye is informed every time I am with them.
Where do you look for inspiration when designing a new piece? Do you have any consistent muses?
I think about what I want to wear when I look at what my daughter Mallory is looking at; she loves flea markets and thrift shops or I notice what Mary Kate and Ashley are wearing and how they are combining different pieces.
You’re very passionate about your art collection, of which we were able to see just a tiny sampling of recently in the Chicago store. How did you first become interested in collecting, and what advice do you have for young people looking to invest in their first few pieces of art?
Art is a passion, I never think of it as an investment. My advice to anyone who wants to collect is look and look and look! See everything you can, museum shows, gallery openings, art fairs.
Philanthropy has been such a big part of your life. What are your favorite organizations to be involved with and what do you look for when choosing causes to support?
My favorite organizations are those that make a difference in children ‘s mental health, the arts and education. For me it is The Child Mind Institute, the Whitney Museum and Lincoln Center Theatre. We also support 52 other charities through Sidney Garber.
You’ve helped your two sons and their wives plan absolutely exquisite weddings, the most recent of which was just featured in Vogue. What’s your best wedding planning advice? What details made those days extra special for you and your family?
Most important is the music, if everyone is dancing you have a great party, my secret weapon was a brilliant experienced party planner, we used Bronson Van Wyck.
Signature Scent – Fracas by Robert Piguet
Cocktail of Choice – Margarita straight up no salt
Handbag – Pre 2007 32cm Box Calf Kelly Returne
Must-Have Beauty Product – Marilyn Miglin tissue cream
Guiltiest Pleasure – Magic Bars made by my cousin Sarah
Stationary – Connor at Barney’s
Favorite Website – Childmind.org
Lipstick – By Terry Kiss Me Quick
Favorite Hair Product – Lenore Greyl Mousse au Lotus
Best Spa Service – A massage by Aurelia
Favorite Movie – Sabrina (the original)
Magazine – Artforum
Winter Coat – The Row classic camel coat
Favorite Candle – Frederic Malle Jurassic Flower, I always have it burning in my store.
Best Vacation – St. Barth
Heel – Manolos
Flat – Birkenstocks
Favorite Font – Caslon
Watch – Pre 2000 Chopard dual time
News Source – The Skimm
[Photos By Hallie Duesenberg]