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Check out Carolyn DeKoven’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Carolyn DeKoven.

Carolyn, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and professionally.
I have been a vintage jewelry lover, collector and dealer for over 35 years. I walked a tightrope (like most creatives) of a real job, mine is in the lending industry and working at my passion, vintage jewelry as a “side project.”

I started like most vintage dealers in a brick and mortar shop and doing the So California Antique show circuit. Originally I started with all types of Antiques and Collectibles furniture, glass, knickknacks. While schlepping a ton of boxes into a show one day I started thinking I need to do this Antique show thing “better and smarter.”

This decision led me to pairing down what I wanted to sell. I decided to sell and learn about what I loved Jewelry, Purses, Compacts and Perfume Bottles…All the girlie things. I became very well known as a dealer in these items and frankly, it made the selling much easier. Instead of renting a truck to do a show I was walking in with a few boxes and setting up shop.

We’d love to hear more about your work. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
Well…with the internet being so much more a part of how we do business these days it opened a new world (literally) of people being able to see my jewelry. I closed my brick and mortar shop, stopped doing shows and moved to an online business only.

I have always been a creative soul by nature. Looking at magazines like Vogue, seeing fabulous editorial beauty photos with stunning jewelry. I knew in my heart I wanted to bring my jewelry to the pages of a magazine.

Not to mention my age here, but I am considered a senior citizen. The thought of many people is that at my age you should be doing less…but I have decided to take on more, being a stylist. So with that in mind, I embarked on my styling business JVL Collection.

Talking about the inspiration in my creative career is easy, that is my daughter Alta. She is an extremely talented makeup artist, whose talent and creativity I admire. Back a few years ago we decided to combine our talents together and take on our first editorial photoshoot. The process was grueling and exciting and the outcome was many fabulous photos that represented my vintage jewelry in ways I had always dreamed of. This shoot led to two editorial magazine spreads. I have also had the support and encouragement of many of my friends as well which has been invaluable to my career.

Being a stylist has not been an easy road and to say there is some discrimination out there is real. Having to reach out to other creatives I want to work with that are half my age is daunting but I live by these words…”If you don’t ask…you don’t get”. I have found that once my peers have seen my work they know I am the real deal.

Have things improved for artists and creative professionals? What should cities do to empower artists?
I truly believe that an artist life is not an easy one today or in the past. I love that as a vintage dealer and stylist I am using existing pieces and not having to use new findings, stones, etc to produce art. I love that I am helping the planet and minimalizing my personal carbon footprint.

I hope to see the city continue to support small business that have the same values as I do with the mindset of reuse and repurpose.

Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
My work can be seen here.


Styling Work: @vjlcollection

Vintage Jewelry Collection


You can support my work by following
Alta DeKoven-Skratulia -Makeup artist

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Nicola Wilson
Bob Kozma
Helen Merwin
Vincent Gotti

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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