The Oprah effect is real.
On Nov. 2, O, the Oprah Magazine featured a set of earrings from Wallingford jewelry company Violet & Brooks as one of Oprah's favorite things.
Already, said company owner Robbin Cook, she's sold more than 1,000 sets at $48 apiece. Traffic to her website has more quadrupled, and she's heard from at least 30 potential retailers eager to stock the line.
"It's really incredible," said Cook, the 55-year-old designer whom fashion insiders know as the silent half of the quirky Maximal Art jewelry brand founded by John Wind. "What a way to launch a brand!"
Tell me about it.
The Violet & Brooks set featured in O is the Grace Earrings Gift Quint. It includes five pairs of gold-plated and crystal studs, some with sparkle and some with pearl, which can be worn as singles or stacked in lobes with multiple holes.
The Grace is one of six quint collections. A cornflower blue stone anchors the Skylar set; a moonstone does the same for the Luna grouping. Birds are the special detail in the Birdie quint; a pavé daisy is at the center of the Daisy earrings. The Opal set is heavy on the sparkle.
The Violet & Brooks line — named for Cook's children, Madison Violet, 21, and Spencer Brooks, 16 — also includes chokers, necklaces, monogrammed jewelry, ringed sets, brooches, and sterling silver charms, and is available online, in Anthropologie, and in the Barnes Foundation gift shop.
Cook brought Violet & Brooks to the Atlanta Spring Gift Show & Home Furnishings and Holiday Market in March. It was there that the magazine's creative director, Adam Glassman, took notice.
Cook officially left Maximal Art to launch Violet & Brooks on Aug. 15; by Aug. 30, she'd learned Oprah's team had picked the Grace Quint to feature.
"When I learned I was selected, everything changed about my original plans to launch my company," Cook said. Thanks to the Oprah nod, Cook said, she's been able to launch the brand on Amazon. She said it usually takes months for entrepreneurs to get products on the mega-retail site.
"For 32 years, I've been behind the scenes, planning the business and creating strategy," Cook said. "Now, I stand out in front and represent the brand."
And Oprah Winfrey has just made it that much easier.