Gorjana Reidel and her husband launched Gorjana in 2004, in Laguna Beach, California. They hustled from trade show to trade show and literally made jewelry on their apartment floor. Fast forward 15 years later and gorjana can be found in over 1,000 retailers nation-wide and 11 brand owned retail locations, with 2 more locations set to open this year. This mom of 2 has perfected the delicate, feminine, layered look we all love. Her modern designs and price point have enabled everyone from the college student to Michelle Obama to covet her timeless pieces. Michelle Obama even put gorjana’s engravable rose gold bar necklace on her holiday gift giving guide. Gorjana is passionate about jewelry, but she is also passionate about giving back. She is known for always donating jewelry items for local charity fundraisers, they have run a local food drive for over a decade and actively donate to the Children’s Hospital of Orange County. She is even the room parent at her kid’s school. Our sister site, South OC Moms Network chatted with the Laguna Beach mom about how to balance her family life with her passion and of course her favorite go-to piece of gorjana jewelry.
What was your inspiration behind creating gorjana jewelry?
I was 22 and wanted to create a line of jewelry that was beautiful and affordable. When I started designing there really wasn’t anything like that out there, it was either fine or costume. I look at jewelry as a form of self-expression much like how clothing is. That’s why I love layering, it makes it fun and playful and creative.
Why did you decide to make Laguna Beach the headquarters for gorjana?
I fell in love with Laguna the moment I saw it. It is such a beautiful and magical place. It’s a real community and a great place to raise kids. It’s also a huge artist community which made it an easy choice for our headquarters. You can really feel the creative energy and there is something really grounding about Laguna as well.
Family is also really important to me. I grew up, until I was 7, around a ton of family and when we moved, I really missed that. I knew that when I had my own kids that was something I really wanted for them. Luckily my in laws live in Dana Point so that made Laguna even more ideal.
How do you balance being a businesswoman, philanthropist and mom of 2?
I say yes to a lot and just make it work by finding the time. Sometimes that means skipping a work out or staying up late but it’s all fulfilling and part of my life so it’s worth it. My kids are now 12 and 8 so I feel like I have had a lot of time to get it down. It’s never all balanced at once, that is impossible. I have realized that it is a flow and sometimes work is where my focus is for the week, or it’s the kids or its volunteering. There are definitely days I sit back and think “oh $%#@” there is no way I can get to all of this but if I just check off one thing at a time it usually works out. I have also realized the power of self-talk and how I used to get it all done but be stressed out the whole time. Now I just approach it in a more calm and positive way and that has really helped.
What is your favorite outdoor activity to do with your kids in Laguna Beach?
Our favorite activity is probably going to the beach. We are lucky we have some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, so we definitely take advantage of that. We always have a great time and I leave much more relaxed and grateful.
What is your favorite date night spot in South Orange County?
Our favorite place to go is Selanne’s, it’s close in town and has a great “adulting” atmosphere.
Best piece of advice you got from another mom?
Travel with the kids while they are young because once they get older and school gets harder, it’s not worth it.
If you had a whole day to yourself without kids, what would you do?
What is your favorite go to piece of gorjana jewelry?
Right now, it is our new Parker Necklace. It goes with everything and also looks great alone and can be worn different ways. It is for sure a must have!
This article originally appeared on our sister site, South OC Moms Network