Christie Adams, the founder, president and buyer of Christie's Collection, Women's Designer Jewelry From
Around the World, is a fifth-generation, lifelong resident of Oahu, Hawaii, a seasoned world traveler, and
a lifelong lover of jewelry who first dabbled in making her own jewelry when she was just a child.
“I named my company ‘Christie’s Collection’ because I’ve always been a collector and because I enjoy
collecting one-of-a-kind items of jewelry,” Adams explained.
As a little girl she avidly collected rocks and minerals, seashells, dolls from around the world given to her by
relatives and family friends, stamps and coins from countries around the world, and used costume jewelry given to
her by teen-aged girls in her neighborhood.
She also picked up seashells and frosted beach glass on the seashore near her family’s home in Kailua in Windward Oahu, glued pieces of the gem-like glass to base metal jewelry findings and, using her family’s tweezers as her only tools, created pendants and charms for bracelets.
After modeling fashions and jewelry as a model on the 12-member Liberty House Hi-Board based at the former Liberty House department store at world-famous Ala Moana Center during her senior year at Roosevelt High School in Honolulu, Adams earned her B.A. degree in the history of art from Stanford University and later studied hand and wheel ceramics, textile design, serigraphy, and Asian art history at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
“While attending Stanford, on one of my visits to San Francisco I came across the first bead shop I ever saw,” said Adams. “There I discovered some beautiful bright blue polished glass beads and was inspired to make my first pair of earrings,” she explained, adding that the experience launched her interest in jewelry design.
Next on the jewelry agenda, Adams traveled coast-to-coast across the United States and Canada as the advance publicist for two major national touring arena extravaganzas, the “Peter Pan” show, starring former United States Olympic gymnast Cathy Rigby, and the world-famous Ice Capades figure skating show. While promoting these productions, Adams discovered more bead shops in the cities she toured and was inspired to design and fabricate necklace and earring sets for herself at night in her hotel rooms. During her travels across North America, a few metropolitan newspapers wrote and published feature articles about her jewelry making hobby.
Later, while working full-time in marketing, public relations, print and broadcast advertising, promotion, journalism and photojournalism back home in Honolulu, Adams was too busy to continue her jewelry making hobby. However, while managing her own marketing and public relations practice, the Trade Office of the Government of Indonesia and the United Nations Development Program based in Geneva, Switzerland, contracted her small business to produce and promote a fashion trade show in Honolulu on behalf of a group of Indonesia’s top fashion and jewelry designers and manufacturers based in Jakarta. Later Adams promoted an Oahu woman who marketed vintage American costume jewelry that had been purchased at estate sales on the mainland.
Finally, realizing she always has had a passion for women’s jewelry, Adams recently founded Christie’s Collection, Women’s Designer Jewelry From Around the World. While her small business does not have a retail store, she markets her hand-picked collection of jewelry through such special events as craft fairs, trunk shows at retail department stores and fashion boutiques, fundraisers for nonprofit organizations, and “by invitation-only” showings at private homes.
“I really love the colors and textures of gorgeous raw, polished or faceted colored gemstones creatively fashioned into beautiful, eye-catching, wearable art,” Adams exclaimed. “I am especially attracted to jewelry that’s a little different, a bit unusual or that makes a fashion statement. In addition, I really like matching necklace and earring sets that, like a picture frame, show off a woman’s face and add that special finishing touch to a fashion ensemble. When I wear some of my more special pieces, people I don’t even know frequently come up to me and compliment me on the jewelry I’m wearing and, at my showings, women I don’t even know tell me, ‘You really know how to pick the right stuff.’”
According to Adams, jewelry is a very personal thing. “As for myself,” she explained, “I like jewelry that speaks to me personally, makes me feel good, complements my clothing and is comfortable to wear,” she said.
In keeping with her international theme, in which she collects and sells jewelry made of stones mined in various countries around the world and designed and fabricated in a number of countries around the world, Adams is also a part-time professional accordionist who plays music from a number of countries around the world.