Entrepreneur Heidi Zak, founder of ThirdLove (an innovative lingerie e-tailer that lets women shop for perfectly-fitted bras in the comfort of their homes) tells us all about these diamond classics, which she plans to pass on to her daughter someday.
How did these diamond studs come into your life? "My parents gave them to me for my 30th birthday, and it was a very special gift, obviously. Besides my engagement ring, they're probably the thing I value the most. In some ways, it was my first piece of really nice adult jewelry. So every time I wear them I think of my parents, so in some ways it ties me to them even though I'm always really far away. I've never lived close to them, but every time I put them on I think of them."
You live in different cities? "They live in Niagara Falls, where I grew up. I lived in New York City for a long time and now I'm out in San Francisco. So even though we're thousands of miles apart, it's definitely something that makes me think of them almost every morning because I wear them almost every single day."
Do you remember the moment when they gave you the earrings? "They had come into New York City for my birthday. I was living in New York at the time, and we were at dinner, and my dad handed me a box. When you get a box that you know is jewelry, you're always excited. I remember opening it and being blown away by their brilliance because diamonds are just so gorgeous, and just touched because it's an investment. At the same time, you think about that kind of piece where it is expensive—whether you buy it for yourself or it's a gift—when you think of spreading it out over how much you wear them, those are the pieces that are worth the most. Whether it's a bag or a great piece of jewelry, those classic pieces are what make your wardrobe."
Seeing how stunning they are, no wonder you wear them so often. How do you feel these earrings manage to make any outfit look better? "I think what makes them so special is that they're a classic and a staple and they look great with everything, from very, very casual to dressy. I wore them on my wedding day, and lots of black tie-type events. And I also wear them on the weekends, when I'm being a mom. I have a one year old, and the great thing about those earrings—as anyone with a kid knows—is that you can't wear hoop earrings or anything dangly when you're with them, cause they try to rip them out. So they're really great in that they work with everything."
Would you describe your overall style as classic? "I would say it's more on the classic side. I do like to dress up. I wear jeans, but I tend to wear a good amount of skirts and dresses, and these little earrings are perfect to add a little shine to any outfit."
You mentioned you wore them on your wedding day. What other memories to you associate with these special earrings? "In terms of work, I definitely have worn them to some of the broadcast interviews that have been high-profile...I think it signifies the outfit completion, something that's really comfortable but adds to the outfit. And honestly, they're a piece that I always bring with me if I'm going away on vacation and reach for when I'm traveling, because I can wear them day or night."
All while thinking of your parents, too. "I think those kinds of pieces you get from your family are things you think about passing on. That's the great thing. These earrings aren't going to go in and out of style; it's something that in 20 or 30 years I can pass on to my daughter, and she can probably wear them in the same way that I have. And knowing that makes that piece so special."
When you see them in your jewelry box, what's the first word or feeling that comes to mind? "They make me smile! There's obviously something about diamonds that make women feel special and happy. Something about the way it sparkles that just...it's an immediate reaction. Also, when I put them on, they are sparkly and that adds a bounce to your step and starts your day off on the right foot, in a way."