Liza Urla launched her jewellery blog, originally known as Gem A Porter, in 2009. Now called Gemologue, her website has grown to become one of the biggest jewellery blogs in the UK. Readers trust Liza's jewellery picks and head to her site to discover the latest on-trend designs as well as in-depth articles on some of the world’s biggest jewellery houses. Here we chat exclusively to Liza about how she became a jewellery blogger, her future plans and her favourite designers.
Why did you start your blog?
Gemologue stemmed from my obsession with jewellery. It stands for a dialogue about gems, as discovering stunning jewels is its raison d’être! I started the site following my gemmology degree, which I took in New York back in 2009, and I am now known as the first jewellery influencer in the world. When I started Gemologue eight years ago, I could not photograph jewellery as designers were terrified that others would copy a design if it appeared on the internet. So instead, I focused on jewellery street style around me. As more and more fashion designers embraced the internet and blogging, to spread awareness about their brands, the jewellery world slowly followed suit. I became the face of a few American fine jewellery brands and that’s how my career in blogging began.
Why do you think your blog is so popular?
I have a very sharp eye for jewellery and I curate it within the context of fashion and travel. My objective is to educate and inspire women and men about jewellery in an entertaining and engaging way. I am also known to have a fresh, young approach. I love costume, fine and antique jewellery; it doesn’t matter if a piece costs £5 or £50m. I am a bit of a jewellery nomad in that I see and find jewellery absolutely everywhere – in a boutique, flea market, art museum, contemporary art gallery or at a friend’s house. To make a blog popular, you have to be truly passionate about what you are writing about – I breathe jewellery, and I am sure you can tell it from Gemologue.
What future plans do you have for you and your blog?
Last year I was lucky to discover jewellery designers and give jewellery talks around the world, from Europe to Asia, the Middle East and South, Central and North America. This year, I am planning to visit diamond and gemstone mines and am very excited about publishing my first jewellery book.
Why do you think people are so drawn to jewellery?
I feel that, nowadays, people are drawn more to fashion, and wearing jewellery is not as obligatory as it once was. Others, including me, are jewellery obsessed, I love having lunches and dinners with vibrant jewellery lovers. True jewellery lovers are drawn to jewellery because of its history and, in fact, jewellery was the first personal human adornment.
What is your favourite piece of jewellery?
My personal jewellery collection consists of sentimental pieces from my family and pieces I bought myself to celebrate achievements, as well as jewellery pieces acquired on my trips. The value of an item does not affect how much I love that particular piece. Every piece of jewellery you wear at any given moment should be meaningful to you.
Are there any other pieces of jewellery you would like to own?
I just tried on a blue heart-shaped diamond, worth £1.8m, at the Sotheby’s Diamonds boutique on Bond Street. I have this obsession with electric blue and not only in fine jewellery.
Where are your favourite jewellery boutiques?
On whichever street I am on right now – wherever you are, look around and you will find a true gem just next to you! There are more jewellery brands, designers and craftsmen than there are fashion brands. I personally love Nardi and Casa Codognato in Venice, where I just got engaged.
Do you have any tips for storing jewellery?
Storing jewellery is a nightmare and I have to admit it takes me more time to organise than my shoes. I do not like to display jewellery for everyone to see, so I keep acquiring jewellery boxes by Smythson and Jonathan Adler. I keep some precious jewels in a deposit box.
Where do you go to get your signature manicure?
I am very impatient and my nails have to be perfect, so I go to the Gloucester Road salon of a friend who is also a perfectionist and just as impatient as I am.
Do you have any dos and don’ts when it comes to wearing jewellery?
I love to see layers of jewellery. Don’t wear sets unless it is a bridal set and I suggest staying away from wearing a necklace and statement earrings together. Jewellery is something you have to be able to have fun with, however, to express your personality.