ELISE BENKARD - FOUNDER
Elise has always been inspired by beautiful jewelry and by the people who make it. She believes that jewelry carries and creates emotional connections of incredible power, and that the stories associated with beautiful pieces of jewelry serve to enhance that power.
Elise’s career as a merchandiser of shoes and accessories for major fashion houses such as Barneys, J Crew, and Anthropologie helped hone an innate appreciation for beautiful things. But over the years she felt that something was missing: the pieces were beautiful and the buyers were happy, but part of the magic was absent. So many of the designers that she worked with had their own fascinating stories to tell, stories that she knew were an important part of the jewelry, but which were lost in the merchandising channel.
This was the inspiration behind Penelope’s Stories, a collection of jewelry that is as much about the creators and the wearers as it is about the product. Elise believes that we see jewelry differently when we know about the designers and their backgrounds, the inspirations for their collections, and the various challenges they face in realizing them.
The signature collection is an edit of some of Elise’s favorite pieces: a bold, fun, yet classic take on some of the jewelry that has stood out to her over the years. It is a collection that reflects the diversity of its creators, and offers something for everyone, for all occasions.
Elise lives in New York City with her family and loves to host Penelope’s Stories parties. They provide an opportunity for women to come together to share not just in the stories of her designers, but in the broader spirit of community that defines Penelope’s Stories.