fbpx vie magazine subscribe button

Dreams Come True: Claudia Lobão Jewelry

BY Jordan Staggs | PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF Claudia Lobão

On September 11, 2001, as buildings crumbled, the world watched—and Claudia Lobão made a choice. The native Brazilian came safely home to her husband in their New York City residence and declared that working in a Manhattan bank was not what she wanted to do with her life.

Lobão said she had been terrified by the events of that day, but they also gave her clarity. “I said to my husband, Paulo, ‘I don’t know how long I’m going to live, so why don’t I do what I love?’”

What Lobão loved was making jewelry. From an early age, she exhibited an inclination toward the creative process. Design seemed to come naturally to her, and she would make things out of the least likely objects, such as a necklace made from her father’s guitar strings. At the age of fourteen, she began working professionally as a model and later attended art school in Brazil. Passionate about fashion, she always dreamed of working in the industry. VIE Magazine Dreams Come True Claudia Lobao jewelry VIE Magazine Dreams Come True Claudia Lobao jewelry


After 9/11 happened, Lobão knew jewelry design was her true calling. “I was making jewelry for myself and my friends,” Lobão said. “I began making more jewelry to sell on a small basis, experimenting with designs on my friends and coworkers at the bank, until one of them suggested testing how other people liked my pieces.” Lobão and her husband were soon waking at 4:00 a.m. on weekends to journey to SoHo—the artistic Lower Manhattan neighborhood known for its variety of unique galleries, shops, and vendors. There they spent many early morning hours arranging jewelry displays at St. Anthony’s street market. Some of her peers thought Lobão was crazy trying to contend in such a competitive arena when she already had a steady job, but to Lobão’s delight, her designs received considerable positive feedback from market shoppers. “One lady came every Sunday,” Lobão said. “She loved the jewelry, and she told me, ‘You have to go out there. You can’t stay here; you have to go live your dreams.’”

In 2003, Lobão and her husband, along with their daughter, Valentina, packed up and moved to Texas. After relocating from St. Anthony’s to San Antonio, the jewelry line became the family’s passion, and both Lobão and her husband worked toward creating a successful retail business. They began with a mall kiosk before upgrading to their own store; later, retailers and museums across Texas began selling Lobão’s pieces. It was then that model and actress Eva Longoria discovered the brand. “Eva loved it and sent the stylist from Desperate Housewives to see our jewelry,” Lobão said. During the eight-season run of the ABC hit dramedy series, Claudia Lobão designs were featured more than any other line. As a result of this successful long-standing alliance, Lobão and Longoria became good friends.


The journey from St. Anthony’s market to international success might seem to most like an instantaneous whirlwind not unlike winning the lottery, but for Lobão, it was something she worked hard toward every day. “When you’re living it—getting to travel and meet all these people—it’s not like you have nothing and all of a sudden you’ve got a lot,” she said. “I lived all of it, so I don’t feel that way. I’m very grateful to every person I’ve met. To me it’s like a big puzzle, and every little thing and person is a part of it.”

Today, Lobão still wakes every morning at four. By 6:00 a.m., she has taken Valentina to school and is on Skype with her design team in Brazil. Lobão has about twenty people there who assist in the design and fabrication of the jewelry, most of them housewives who have become the primary breadwinners for their families. These women—and women in general—inspire Lobão’s designs more than anything. “I am inspired by things that are feminine and handmade, like a lot of our crochet pieces,” Lobão said. “It’s refreshing talking to customers at trunk shows, finding out what they like and why.”


I am inspired by things that are feminine and handmade, like a lot of our crochet pieces.

VIE Magazine Dreams Come True Claudia Lobao jewelry VIE Magazine Dreams Come True Claudia Lobao jewelry


One trunk show recently brought Lobão to Destin, Florida, where her jewelry has become a popular staple at the accessories and designer jewelry boutique, Sarah Carolyn.

“We love carrying Claudia Lobão’s collection at Sarah Carolyn,” said owner Carolyn Brigman. “Our guests love Claudia’s work because it’s a very diverse and unique collection. Her designs are always evolving. She’s continuously creating innovative, beautiful pieces in a wide spectrum, from feminine lace-like crochet pieces to statement chain necklaces.” Brigman said her customers often tell her they continually get compliments from others when wearing Claudia Lobão jewelry. The fun, feminine pieces are a direct reflection of the designer’s personality. “She has a lovely Brazilian vibe and is full of life. We adore Claudia!”

Desperate Housewives actress Eva Longoria and Claudia Lobão.
Desperate Housewives actress Eva Longoria and Claudia Lobão.
Claudia with Carolyn Brigman, owner of Sarah Carolyn jewelry boutique in Destin, Fla. 
Claudia with Carolyn Brigman, owner of Sarah Carolyn jewelry boutique in Destin, Fla.

Lobão said that every new collection she designs brings the challenge to do something she hasn’t done before. She garnered ideas for her latest collection during her trip to Destin for a trunk show at Sarah Carolyn. “I was very inspired by the water,” Lobão said. “The color is just beautiful and I said to my husband, ‘We have to move here!’” The new collection, which will preview at Sarah Carolyn before it shows at market in January, will be featuring a lot of turquoise, a stone Lobão had never used in previous designs. Other aspects of the collection include her signature crochet pieces and handmade chains.

She will be hosting a trunk show at Sarah Carolyn May 17 and 18, 2013, and has a whole new endeavor launching at the beginning of the year—a collection of designer dog collars, inspired by her adopted furry friends, Chloe and Maggie. The collars will feature jewels and metal details in titanium and gold.

Throughout the whole life-changing journey and the building of a luxury designer jewelry brand—all while being a loving wife and mother—Lobão’s philosophy on life and work has been based on what the woman in SoHo told her about following her dreams. “Do what makes you happy,” Lobão said. “Following your dreams is hard enough, so imagine how hard life will be if you don’t.”


— V —

Read Responsibly

VIE Magazine - The Art & Design Issue November 2021
VIE Magazine January 2021 Special Commemorative Edition
VIE Magazine September 2020 Wanderlust Issue, Fancy Camps, The Idea Boutique
VIE Magazine August 2020 Art & Culture Issue, Nathan Alan Yoakum Art
VIE Magazine - Architecture & Design Issue - July 2020
VIE Magazine - Decor and Home Issue - June 2020
VIE Magazine May 2020 Entertainment Issue, Leslie Odom Jr
VIE Magazine - April 2020 Culinary Issue
VIE Magazine March 2020 The Fashion Edit, VONDOM, Alys Beach Fl, Digital Graffiti, Tres Chic, isidro dunbar Modern Interiors, Digital Graffiti Festival
VIE Magazine February 2020 Health & Beauty Issue
VIE Magazine - Travel Issue - January 2020 - Tanzania Safari Cover
VIE Magazine - Women's Issue - December 2019 - Tina Brown Cover
VIE NOV19 Goodness Issue
VIE Magazine, September 2019 Art & Culture Issue, Paul Hanninen
VIE Magazine - August 2019 - The Architecture and Design Issue
VIE Magazine - July 2019 - The Artist Issue
VIE Magazine - June 2019 - Fashion Edit
VIE Magazine - May 2019 - Culinary Issue
VIE Magazine - April 2019 - The Health & Wellness Issue
VIE Magazine - Special Entertainment Edition - March 2019
VIE Magazine February 2019 Luxury Homes & Technology Issue with Robbie Antonio of Revolution Precrafted
VIE Magazine - January 2019 - Southern Sophisticate Issue Cover
VIE Magazine - Special Anniversary Travel Edition - December 2018
VIE Magazine - The Goodness Issue - November 2018
VIE Magazine - The Art & Culture Issue - October 2018
VIE Magazine - Home & Garden Issue - September 2018
VIE Magazine - August 2018 Animal Issue
VIE Magazine - July 2018 Architecture & Design Issue - Subscribe to the magazine!
VIE Magazine - June 2018 Travel & Tech Issue
VIE Magazine - May 2018 Couture Issue
VIE Magazine - The Culinary Issue - April 2018 Cover - Chef James Briscione and Brooke Parkhurst
VIE Magazine - The Entertainers Issue - March 2018
VIE Magazine - February 2018 Destination Travel Issue
VIE Magazine - January 2018 Health & Beauty Issue
VIE Magazine, The Sophisticate Issue, December 2017
VIE Magazine - November 2017 Art & Culture Issue
VIE Magazine - October 2017 Home & Garden Issue
VIE Magazine | September 2017 | The Stories and Storytellers Issue
VIE Magazine - The Adventure Issue - August 2017
VIE Magazine - July 2017 - Art & Artist Issue
VIE Magazine - The Voyager Issue - June 2017
VIE magazine 2017 March-April Cover South Walton Fashion Week
VIE Magazine - January/February 2017 - The Health & Beauty Issue
VIE Magazine - Nov/Dec 2016 The Sophisticate Issue
christian siriano vie magazine september october 2016 vie magazine
the modern minimalist issue
the culinary and couture issue march april 2016 vie magazine
the voyager issue alys beach vie magazine january february 2016
cultural issue vie magazine november december 2015
home and garden issue vie magazine september october 2015
the art and style issue vie magazine july august 2015
the wedding issue 2015 May June vie magazine
the food and fashion issue vie magazine march april 2015
the travel issue vie magazine january february 2015
the music issue vie magazine 2014 november december
The Animal Issue vie magazine september october 2014
the home and garden issue vie magazine july august 2014
the wedding issue vie magazine may june 2014
emeril lagasse food and fashion vie magazine
the men's issue january february 2014
the music issue november december 2013 vie magazine
the home and garden issue 2013 october september
the wedding issue vie magazine july august 2013
the artist issue may june 2013 vie magazine
the food and fashion issue march april 2013
the men's issue january february 2013 vie magazine
The Holiday Issue
the love issue july august 2012
the all american summer may june 2012
the entertainment issue march april 2012
the fashion issue vie magazine winter 2011
the home and garden issue vie magazine fall 2011
the anniversary edition vie magazine summer 2011
the wedding issue vie magazine spring 2011
vie magazine the holiday issue 2010 Dec
vintage swimsuits vie magazine 2010 Fall
judith march designer vie magazine summer 2010
wedding giveaway vie magazine spring 2010
holiday gift guide vie magazine winter 2009
emarketing explosion vie magazine fall 2009
tribute to mother's day vie magazine summer 2009
james and robert redford vie magazine spring 2009
zz top vie magazine fall winter 2008
project dreams vie magazine new york fashion week
Sign-up for VIEmail

Sign up for VIEmail