Meet Gail Kowalski
A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Gail vacationed on the Outer Banks of North Carolina throughout her childhood. "Ever since those vacations," she says, "I have felt a tremendous need to be near the ocean. The powerful energy of the sea provides me with the creative force for my jewelry design."
After obtaining an art scholarship to Sienna Heights College in Adrian, Michigan and graduating Magna Cum Laude with a BFA in 1977, Gail relocated to the Outer Banks and began her career as a jewelry designer with a one-room shop/studio at R&R Junction in Nags Head, North Carolina.
Two years later the awards began. In 1979 and in 1980 she won the Johnson Matthey Platinum Award for excellence in platinum design. In 1982 Gail opened her own design studio on Gallery Row in Nags Head, and in 1985 earned the prestigious DeBeers Diamonds Today award for excellence and originality in diamond jewelry design.
In the spring of 1987 Gail added a second showroom to a new expanded studio. That same year the World Gold Council selected several of Gail’s designs for an international fashion show held in Basel, Switzerland. In 1990 she received special honor as a finalist in the 1990 Diamonds International competition.
Jewelry by Gail originals are frequently showcased in Hollywood. Every year since 2004 Gail's designs have been featured in jewelry suites hosted by Platinum Guild International or by celebrity fashion stylist Michael O'Connor of Style Labs for the Hollywood fashion press and for celebrities and their stylists in conjunction with the Emmys, Golden Globes and/or Academy Awards celebrations.
At the PGI-USA Red Carpet Jewelry Preview for the 2006 Academy Awards Desperate Housewives star Nicollette Sheridan acquired Gail's signature Bow Pendant, hand-wrought in platinum and set with a fine Burmese ruby. The Bow Pendant design is one for which Gail was awarded a Johnson Matthey Platinum Award.
At the 2008 Emmy Awards, TV Guide Network's Nikki Boyer held up a multi-diamond ring and exclaimed "...and this (long sigh) is Jewelry by Gail. Gail, call me. We've got to talk!"
Celebrities who wore JBG originals at 2013 Academy Awards events included Julie Plec, co-creator of the TV series Vampire Diaries, Laura Ripley, TNT's on-air Oscar commentator, and the wife of Ethan Van der Ryn, who was nominated for Best Sound Editing.
Celebrities who own Gail designs, in addition to Nicollette Sheridan, include Minnie Driver, Vanessa Williams, and Angela Kinsey.