By Ali Riske
My first entrepreneurial venture began when I was eight years old selling my handcrafted thread-braided bracelets at my lemonade stand. My parents didn’t have extra funds for kid’s jewelry obsession, so I took it upon myself to create something I wanted to wear. Since my assembly line of one could affordably churn out multiple bracelets, I had access to many different “pieces” of jewelry.
I took these pictures while at home for Thanksgiving—I still had some finished leftover pieces in there, too!
Around the same time, I played my first ever tennis tournament, which I won, but not without drama. I thought I lost the match—after winning the first set, I lost the second and immediately came off court to cry to my mom, only to be told I had to go back out and play a third set!
Upon winning, I received my first ever trophy, and I immediately wanted more, so I began immersing myself in the sport and watching tennis on TV. Monica Seles was—and remains, my all-time favorite tennis player and quite honestly, the only player I wanted to watch, because I loved everything about her from her warrior style of play to her minimal style. I studied her like a hawk and wanted to be just like her, even down to her classic pearl earrings, and I knew I wanted to be just like that one day, too.
Fast forward to the moment that I had more than just lemonade and bracelet-stand profits in my bank account, and I finally had the ability to afford some jewelry that I truly loved and had aspired to wear. I naturally gravitated towards stud earrings because they were something I could easily wear while playing tennis, and they allowed me to finally channel my inner Monica. As these things do, my jewelry ambitions quickly escalated to bracelets, then necklaces, and then basically anything that added a little sparkle to my outfit.
While my on-court style is very streamlined and simple, I love my jewelry even more when I can put it on for a special evening out, or for celebrations around the holidays. In that spirit, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite sparkly bracelet picks because Racquet asked me to and it’s the season!
I hope one catches your eye!
While I may be biased, few tennis bracelets excite me more than the ones at Kazanjian Beverly Hills. As a matter of fact, when I wanted my own tennis bracelet, I came to them and they made it come to life. I love the character that this Kazanjian bracelet brings to life. Non-traditional in design, but beaming with diamonds alongside nicely sized blue zircons. As shades of blue are my favorite color, this aquamarine piece definitely got my attention.
I am all about putting twists on timeless designs and I think this bracelet does it simply and perfectly. We are accustomed to seeing white diamonds in eternity tennis bracelets, but the black diamonds here add a different allure while remaining just as beautiful as the original we have all come to adore—especially stacked alongside a white diamond one. The 14k black gold is also a touch that truly sets this bracelet apart.
I of course had to include one of Chrissie Evert’s latest designs from her collaboration with Monica Rich Kosann. As the “mother of the tennis bracelet,” Chrissie knows best, so it was hard to choose just in her collection. The incorporation of different shaped diamonds and the hint of color in this strand make this particular design unique. The single emerald stone is to pay homage to the green tennis court that Chrissie was playing on when her bracelet famously flew off in competition at the ‘78 US Open, the first year the tournament was played on green hardcourts, and the beginning of the tennis bracelet legend.
Ring Concierge has made quite the name for itself. They have transformed the jewelry industry by being one of the first companies to have a mission to make diamonds more financially accessible to the masses. I love that they are constantly releasing new lines and keeping their product very fresh. Founder, Nicole Wegman, has built a brand looking to create “inspirational and attainable” pieces of jewelry. What I personally enjoy most about her collections are they are classic and generational, two things I always look for when investing in jewelry. This piece has a little bit of whimsy, while still remaining an iconic tennis bracelet.