Wellendorff Opens First U.S. Jewelry Boutique in San Francisco

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Luisa Boger, Christoph Wellendorff, Roslyn McIntyre, and Markus Pickartz.
Luisa Boger, Christoph Wellendorff, Roslyn McIntyre, and Markus Pickartz.

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

While the design and value of a beautiful piece of jewelry is incredibly important, for a ring or necklace to be truly beloved, it has to mean something to the wearer. It has to make the women feel a certain way and it also has to feel a certain way against the skin. No jewelry manufacturer understands this concept more than the German family-run company, Wellendorff. Hold a Wellendorff ring, necklace, bracelet, or earring in your hands and you’ll instantly note the unique silken way it feels. “Why do people collect Wellendorff?” Christoph Wellendorff, the fourth-generation managing director of the brand, asked this question earlier this week at the opening of the first United States boutique in San Francisco. “We have established a third dimension in the making of jewelry,” he explained. “The first two dimensions are design and value, and the third is feel. It’s all about the feel. Wellendorff jewelry is the only jewelry in the world you can recognize with your eyes closed.”

German master goldsmith Sabrina Michel demonstrates how to melt gold.
German master goldsmith Sabrina Michel demonstrates how to melt gold.

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

Wellendorff is known for its signature rope-like pieces (that are handmade with wafer-thin filaments of gold) and its colorful enamel and diamond spinning rings. The company was founded over 120 years ago by Ernst Alexander Wellendorff, Christoph’s great-great grandfather, but wasn’t ready to take on the American market until now. San Francisco, the Ritz-Carlton to be exact, is the only city in the U.S. that feels like home to Christoph, which is why he decided to open the boutique here. “Which city in the U.S. makes me feel good? My love affair with San Francisco started 23 years ago when I came here on my honeymoon,” Christoph said. “I came back for business reasons 45 times in my life and my love for SF grew even more as I began to appreciate and understand American wine and the American kitchen. We’ve created a Wellendorff family here in San Francisco.”

Christoph Wellendorff, and David Nash with the golden belt.
Christoph Wellendorff and David Nash with the golden belt.

Photo Credit: Drew Altizer

To commemorate the new boutique, Wellendorff unveiled a limited edition San Francisco ring that has a white floral print and engraving of the Golden Gate Bridge inside. SF’s societal swans sipped champagne and nibbled Asian beef buns and smoked salmon puff pastry bites, while mingling with the shop staff and trying on the jewels. German master goldsmith Sabrina Michel was flown in for the event. Her gold-melting demonstration and vast knowledge on the art of jewelry-making impressed the crowd. Guests included Joy Venturini Bianchi, Princess Fati Farmanfarmaian, Stacy Horne, and Giselle Farris. Party-goers were allowed to snap photos with the Wellendorff golden belt, a gorgeous 33-inch belt made with four miles of 18-karat gold filament. At the end of the night, each guest was presented with a Wellendorff frame with their belt photos inside. In closing Christophe said, “this store is not only a jewelry boutique—it’s a family with genuine values and genuine manufacturing. No other jeweler is run by a fourth-generation family member using 400 of the world’s best goldsmiths. When you feel the silk rope on your skin, when you wear one of our necklaces, it makes you feel as if you’re part of the Wellendorff family. For the connoisseurs of this country, this shop in San Francisco is their home.”

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