“Jewelry more than anything else tells a story,” muses part-time Palm Beacher Kara Ross. For years, Ross’ eponymous line of high-end jewelry has defined her story. Now, she’s turning a new page and forging a legacy as an advocate for women’s empowerment with Diamonds Unleashed.
Described as a brand with a social purpose, Diamonds Unleashed came about when Ross was resetting her engagement ring, a process that led her to question why women have to wait to be given a diamond. “It’s really the only commodity in today’s society that has a stigma attached to a woman buying it for herself,” she says. Ross decided then and there to rebrand diamonds into a symbol for female empowerment. “When you look at all these adjectives that describe a diamond—beautiful, strong, multifaceted, unbreakable, and brilliant—I think that so aptly describes women.”
In the almost two years since that idea took hold, Ross designed a logo (two diamonds laid upon each other to form a heart) that encapsulates the brand’s mission. “You know what the peace sign is. You also know what the pink ribbon stands for,” she says. “In the not too distant future, I want people to see this beautiful symbol and say, ‘I know what that’s about. That’s about women’s empowerment.’”
Diamonds Unleashed is partnering with CanadaMark diamonds, a leader in ethical diamond mining, to provide women with pieces that share their sense of social responsibility.
The logo was the jumping-off point for a Diamonds Unleashed jewelry collection, as well as a Stuart Weitzman shoe clip, unveiled in December. The pieces are available on HSN and at Neiman Marcus, and an engagement line is also in the works. The majority of the net profits from these pieces are being donated to two organizations dedicated to fostering the female leaders of tomorrow: She’s the First and Girls Who Code.
The products, however, are just one aspect of Diamonds Unleashed. Ross also enlisted the help of more than 200 women—including Serena Williams and Martha Stewart—to be her “stilettos on the ground” and spread the message that women can do and be whatever they want. “These women are the embodiment of the values this whole thing stands for,” she says. “I only have one voice, and in order for this be a movement—and that’s what this is, a modern-day women’s movement—you have to have a lot of women across all categories, across all fields, who have powerful voices.”
The final facet is the Women’s Empowerment Salon Series, panel events in major U.S. cities with world-renowned speakers who are causing significant change in their respective fields. On February 10, the series comes to Miami to discuss Hispanic women disrupting the status quo.
All of these elements combine to form one very different—and impactful—way to approach the business of jewelry design. Ross has redefined what it means to marry skill and passion to create a movement that can change the lives of many. “I completely transformed my business to be all about this,” she says. “It’s not only just about celebrating where women are and how far we’ve come. It’s also about paying it forward.”