For Stephanie Simon, not wearing jewellery is like leaving the house naked.

Fascinated by jewels since she was a little girl growing up in Trinidad, rings, necklaces, beads and bracelets were more important to her than her dolls or toys. Even at that young age she knew jewels were exotic, valuable and magical and was never daunted by them. For Simon, they were simply a way of life.

Moving to New York as a teenager and coming of age immersed in the downtown scene of the early 80s, equally as influenced by the Talking Heads as Public Enemy and her Crown Heights neighborhood as well as the downtown nightlife of clubs like Area, Nell’s and Save The Robots, she worked as a personal assistant to the maverick restaurateur Brian McNally, where she met an eclectic group of artists, musicians, designers and slumming socialites who valued individuality above all, and for whom style was a given.

Romance took her to London in the 1990s and the city further fuelled her enthusiasm. After a considered break to start a family, Stephanie finally began to realize the dream that had remained from those formative years.

In 2003 with stones she purchased on a trip to the Middle East, she designed her first piece inspired by her son’s toy puzzle; a gold, ruby and pearl “maze” ring that appears to be carved out of a block of gold, where the pearls roll between the rows of rubies. Initially made for herself, it didn’t go unnoticed, and then like all good whims - and with the wind and the whim behind her - she slowly started to make a series of individual and personal pieces, including delicate and inventive works from diamonds like her Sunflower Ring with 22ct gold petals dangling from a 1.51ct solitaire, and the Globe Ring – a 16mm South Sea pearl planet set in a revolving halo of diamonds and sapphires – a kind of Harry Potter “timeturner” meets “2001-A Space Odyssey”.

Creating jewellery subverting traditional ways in which precious gems are used, combining sophistication with playfulness and a sense of lasting style with the joy of the everyday, Stephanie Simon hasn't looked back.

Interestingly, her first customers were artists, gallerists and collectors, people who spend their lives creating, buying and curating one-off works of art; which is why Simon’s jewels are so perfect for them. In addition to growing private commissions, her unconventional inclusion in Frieze Art Fair 2007 as part of artist Rob Pruitt’s meta fleamarket, where a group of artists and artworld players sold a range of goods from vintage clothes to second hand books and bootleg artworks, brought her work to a wider public.

Every piece is individual, every piece is idiosyncratic; her work is extravagant and playful, like the woman herself.