Ellie Rocks NYC (formerly Diamond Dog New York), has just been re-launched, and TfS had the chance to chat with designer Suzanne Mates, whose own pet dachshund ‘Ellie’ inspired the collection. Mates’ collection is handcrafted in New York City, comes in both 18k white or 18k matte yellow gold, is hand-set with micro-pavé white, brown, and black diamonds, onyx, sparkling pink, blue, and yellow sapphires.
The multi-talented designer was a major taste-maker in the music world, ran some of the most legendary recording studios in New York City, and has worked with a number of world-famous artists including Joss Stone, Wyclef, Busta Rhymes, and 50 Cent. Read below to find out about the designer’s canine affinity, her dream client, and more…
Q: Where did the name of your line stem from?
A: I was running Platinum Sound Studios in New York, and at the time they told me I was able to bring a dog to the studio. I was working with everyone from 50 cent to Busta Rhymes, and constantly seeing bling and crazy jewelry on a regular basis. I was so moved and touched by my new dog “Ellie” (which originated from my mother’s name ELEANOR) that I conceived the line from the combination of the two.
Q: Were you always a canine lover?
A: Yes. However, I’ve always had cats because, with running studios, I was in and out about 16-18 hours a day, and a dog is a full time responsibility. I finally had the chance at Platinum and the flexibility to have a dog, so I took it. A dog is a child to me. I love dogs, so this was a great opportunity!
Q: Do you find that most of your clients are avid dog lovers?
A: Absolutely. People don’t like the jewelry just for the love of the dogs, but because dogs touch people’s hearts, I want to be a part of saving these poor innocent animals that are being hurt and abandoned. I’ve always had a special place in my hearts for dogs, so this was my way to give back.
Q: If you could pick any celebrity to wear one of your pieces, who would it be?
A: Jennifer Aniston. She is a very unpretentious woman, who underneath it all, loves dogs. Having her own longtime best friend Norman, a Corgi Terrier, she knows how much dogs can affect a person’s life, not to mention the fact that the jewelry matches perfectly with her style.
Q: How do you go about choosing what materials you work with?
A: We only work with the best materials possible. Except for the chains which are made in Italy (they don’t make 18K White or Yellow Gold chains in the U.S.). Each piece is made of 18K Yellow or White Gold, and I design every piece, every clasp and every mold by hand. All of our diamonds are non conflict, and each stone is hand cut in NY.
Q: Do you think you’ll ever branch-out beyond jewelry?
A: Yes, I think so. If it could still help the dogs or animals in some way I would love to expand ELLIE ROCKS NYC. I don’t design the jewelry for the dogs – it’s to show the world what I stand behind.