Here's a fine dilemma to have: you have so many fun hometowns that you can't pick just one. That's the case of FINN Jewelry's Creative Director Candice Pool – she was born in South Africa, raised in Texas and now lives in NYC. Lucky for us (and you), we get to hear about her favorite places in each. Oh, and, you know, see some jewelry while we're at it. Whimsical, playful and yet still precious, FINN (and its little sister line, Minor Obsessions) never takes itself too seriously. Between pistol studs and an arrowhead bolo tie (our personal fave), you can see the brand's sense of humor and indulge in an ultra-feminine collection of rose cut diamonds as well. In addition to building a collection full of pieces you didn't even know you wanted yet, having a really adorable brand new baby doesn't hurt. You'll see.
How long have you been designing and what did you do prior?
Well, technically since I was 8 and sold Friendly Plastic and rhinestone earrings door to door in my neighborhood. But for Finn, since 2011.
Congrats on COUTURE! Tell us about your inspiration for the current collection.
Finn was always on it’s own schedule. New pieces came when they came. After my first COUTURE, I learned it had to be new, new, new. And complete stories. This time it was well thought out, each collection was cohesive. I was really pleased and glad COUTURE lit a fire under my ass.
Name another fine jewelry designer that you are a fan of and tell us why.
That is really hard. I love so many for so many different reasons. I would get into trouble if I started naming. I like collections that are truly unique. Unique doesn’t mean weird, or reinventing jewelry design. To me it means that you can identify by sight. Whether it’s the craftsmanship, or theme, or stones they use. Spotting it right away: “Is that a so and so ring? It is? I thought so!” What an awesome mark of success. Having universal materials come together in such a way that people recognize your work. Those are the designers I am a fan of.
Gemstone you can’t get enough of?
Rose Cut Diamond. I just can’t. A perfect rose cut is so special.
What’s your favorite piece that you’ve recently purchased?
Does the Apple Watch count as jewelry? Because I love that. My favorite new piece is a Boucheron faceted rose gold ring with three little diamonds. I’ve always wanted it and finally got it when I had my baby girl 6 months ago.
What is the most sentimental piece of jewelry that you own and what's the backstory?
Well, that’s the thing with fine jewelry. It’s inherently sentimental. If something is valuable, it’s treated differently. So there is a stamp of time on any piece of jewelry I own. I remember who gave it to me, why, when, where. And that story is stuck to that piece of jewelry. I’m not a spiritual person, but there is something powerful about it.
To actually answer your question (ha). Right now it’s a pair of Victorian Engagement Bracelets that I bought in New Orleans a few years ago. A suitor would give one of the bangles to his fiancé upon engagement, and the other at the marriage. So the set wasn’t complete until the couple was. It’s the most expensive thing I’ve bought myself but I absolutely couldn’t leave the store without them. I wore them at my wedding. Gosh, the sentiment is so great. And they’re super cute and fit my bird wrists.
Why do you think people are becoming so comfortable purchasing fine jewelry online?
I think people are more comfortable with jewelry as a purchase, which lends itself to more confident online shopping. Even just a decade or two ago, fine jewelry was intimidating. Jewelry was bought in a jewelry store, and it was a timepiece, a tennis bracelet, or an engagement ring. Jewelry was what was passed down to you. It’s totally different now. Fashion fine jewelry is really accessible and wearable now. The client is more savvy.
Next time FFR is visiting your home base, where do we eat?
Cape Town: The Grand Beach Café. The first time I went there I said, “This is where I’ll have my wedding.” And I did.
Best cocktail bar? (For a sophisticated sip AND ponying up to a pub – we are Geminis, so we need both options.)
In NYC for a cocktail: Jack’s Wife Freda. It’s a restaurant but I love their cocktails. The owner has known me since I was a wild little New York newbie. Now I’m a lame New York oldie. As for a pub: Fanelli. One of the last bars in NYC that doesn’t play music.
And I’m a Libra, so you’ll have to decide which one.
What’s your preferred mode of transportation day-to-day?
My feet. Which is why it’s difficult to ever spot me in heels. Or Uber, if I’m in heels.
Top 5 bands in your playlist?
This is a long running joke with my friends. I’m stuck in high school. I still have all my CDs in my car. My car is new and doesn’t even have a CD player.
Dave Matthews Band
I can’t get into the rest, it’s too embarrassing.
Tom Hardy. Oh my gosh. I can’t take it. Do you know him? Can you introduce us?
If you could only carry one handbag for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I don’t really care about handbags. My dear husband did all this research to find me a rare vintage Chanel and it sits in its box in my closet. I’m still carrying my Goyard tote with holes in the bottom. I’d rather spend my money on jewelry. Seriously.
(However; I did partner with him and his brother Van to make a Klein Tools tote with vegetable dyed Italian leather, solid 18k gold hardware – buckles, rivets, feet – and a red suede interior with a gun holster. That is pretty cool.)
Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter?
Instagram, for sure. @finnjewelry
What’s your signature scent and what three words would you use to describe it?
love affair (That’s 2 words. Sorry.)
If you could do anything else for a living, what would it be and why?
I think I could be a sleep trainer for newborn babies. It took just 48 hours for this amazing woman to get my baby to sleep for 12 hours straight. But I think I could do it for other new mothers. That would be nice. To save them.
Where’s the last destination you visited that inspired your work?
The last place I went to was St. Barths. But I’m inspired anywhere. Trite but true.
Flats or heels? (And what’s your current favorite pair?)
Flats (see above). Ferragamo brown sandals with gold hardware. Gold, yay!
You’re on a shopping mission in your hometown. Where is your go-to for the perfect party outfit? Housewarming gift?
In Texas it’s Neiman Marcus. It’s always Neiman Marcus. The same saleslady has been helping the women in my family for 30 years. You can shop on an account there which came in handy in high school…sorry Mom.
For housewarming no question: It’s Kuhl-Linscomb. You need a day there.
If we were filming the reality show of your life, what would your tagline be? (Think Real Housewives!)
If I was on the Real Housewives, my tagline would be “Like I diamond I’m tough, I’m pretty, and I sparkle.” But I’m not. So my tagline is more like “Don’t think too hard. Better to just do.”
Shop the collection at Barneys and Ylang23