Jewelry designer Georgina Herrera blends her heritage with her love of art and fashion in her new namesake brand.
Georgina Herrera has always loved fashion and has been surrounded by jewelry her whole life, but she never expected she’d have a career in the industry.
Her family began manufacturing gold baby earrings and traditional gold jewelry (think diamonds, emeralds, rubies, pearls) in their home country of Mexico when she was 4 years old. And after finding success in the industry, they later created high-fashion jewelry company Mackech Jewelry.
Though her siblings joined the family business, jewelry’s luster had not yet called to Herrera. In fact, she first set her sights elsewhere, earning a degree in psychology and later her master’s in industrial human resources and in international business relations. She was an international trade sales representative for a major denim company before being convinced by a friend to join Mackech. While there, she helped the brand’s secondary collection, Cuzán, expand to department stores in Europe and Mexico.
Herrera’s true immersion into the world of jewelry came when she moved to the U.S. with her husband and kids in 2006. The Mexico City native found that though she was established back home, she would have to start from scratch in Overland Park.
“It was difficult because when I moved from there I already had my market position in Mexico, but here I had to start from zero,” says Herrera, 51. “And it was very complicated because first I had to give people time to get to know me as a person.”
Using what she learned about fashion and the industry through her family and during her 10 years at the denim company, Herrera created brands MCK Brands, an umbrella company inside of Mackech and 381. She wanted to create something for every kind of buyer. MCK Brands touts casual, everyday jewelry that can be worn whether you’re grabbing groceries or opting for a night out. 381, which stands for “three words, eight letters, one meaning: I love you,” is a meaningful brand. It incorporates hearts and the brand’s logo and is geared toward mothers, daughters, kids and teens alike.
Although she was warned that the Kansas City market would be into more traditional, conservative and safe designs, she dared to give KC a chance and opened a Mackech Jewelry storefront in Park Place. She received a completely different message from the one predicted; Kansas City was ready for fashion after all. What started off as something just for fun grew and resulted in her being awarded Leawood’s Minority-Owned Business of the Year Award for retail.
“The community here is beautiful and deserves to have the biggest trends ever,” she beams. “…The only thing I think for designers like us is to be open, to bring new stuff to Kansas City. Kansas City is ready for the biggest fashion in the world.”
Herrera’s passion for fashion is best told through her newest project, Georgina Herrera, which is inspired by the character, strength and determination of the modern woman. The brand’s slogan, “passion, fashion, love and tradition,” encompasses not only the brand, but also Herrera’s life.
“What I wanted to create was a fusion between my traditions and the fashion world and create a brand that is my brand,” she explains. “You cannot forget who you are. My traditions with the love and passion that I have creates a fashion world completely different from the rest. It’s not unique, but it’s very different what I do.”
The namesake brand features eight collections — Essence, Les Racines, Luxe, Raffine, Revere, Religious, Sidereal, Signature and Releve.
Les Racines is rustic and reflects Herrera’s Mexican roots and the importance of holding tight to and returning to them. For Essence, things found in nature, such as seeds, leaves, butterflies and flowers, are mixed into the jewelry. Sidereal represents the universe, highlighting the moon as well as spirals and the spirit. And collections like Raffine and Luxe express the sophisticated woman and incorporate materials like diamonds, gold and gemstones.
Herrera describes the brand as being more complete than her others, with each style having earring, ring, bracelet and necklace sets. The brand features runway-ready, intricate bib statement necklaces, chokers, shoulder necklaces, big earrings and rings forged in gold, silver, rose gold, Swarovski crystals and black-finished silver. To date, Herrera has created more than 400 pieces for the brand.
Herrera is also looking to grow the number of stores that carry her brands. Currently her pieces can be found on Amazon, in Sam’s Club and local shops, but she dreams of something bigger.
“I am trying very hard to get in the big stores here,” she says. “I’m in small boutiques like Feng, but I would love to be in Halls or Nordstrom. I’m working on that.”
For more information, visit mckbrands.com.