Per Diem is a series that profiles interesting people's everyday jewelry and the stories behind it. Katherine Lewin is the founder of Big Night, a one-stop shop for hosting in our neighborhood of Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
"I'm originally from Los Angeles, but grew up in Austin, Texas, and then returned to LA for college, so I tend to claim both cities as my home! I moved to NYC for my first job out of school almost a decade ago, and have lived in Brooklyn ever since. I'm based in Greenpoint, and while I'm obviously biased, I think it's one of the greatest neighborhoods in the city/country/world."
"My first job out of college was in merchandising at J.Crew. I learned so much in that position -- skills I utilize every day now, at Big Night -- although at the time, it really didn't feel like the right fit for me (merchandising is incredibly math and excel-heavy, which is not my strongest suit). After that, I transitioned into a copywriting role at the company, where I got to help tell the brand and product stories. Meanwhile, I was exploring NYC through its restaurants, spending most of my paycheck trying to eat my way around the city. I jumped at the chance to turn that passion into a job and joined The Infatuation, a restaurant review and discovery platform, where I stayed for six years, building and growing our editorial strategy and team."
"The idea for Big Night occurred to me mid-lockdown in the pandemic. I had a feeling that I wasn't the only one who missed gathering at home, around food, with friends, and I wanted to create a place that inspired and empowered people to do that again. I wanted to create a one-stop shop for hosting at home. Once I had the idea in my head, I couldn't let it go. In the spring of 2021, I stumbled across the perfect available storefront in my neighborhood, and I knew I had to go for it. I opened Big Night that August!"
"One of my first memories with jewelry is most definitely the game Pretty Pretty Princess. I was obsessed! I don't really remember if or how you were supposed to "win" at the game, but I'm pretty sure the point was to put on as much jewelry as possible in an effort to resemble, you guessed it, a pretty pretty princess. I was hooked. My grandma is also a constant source of jewelry inspiration. My grandfather was in the Air Force, and the two of them traveled all around the world as a result. She picked up jewelry everywhere she traveled, so each of her pieces has a story, and she loves to tell them. My grandmother’s cocktail rings might be my favorite part of her collection. She gifted me one, with opals and garnets, which feels like a party the second I put it on. "
"I have my staple jewelry pieces that I feel pretty naked without, that feel like an extension of me at this point. Then I like to layer on top of those depending on how I feel, how I want to feel, or what I'm doing. I love a big earring for a big night. I love to dress up an oversized button-down with a pair of gold necklaces. My husband, Alex, and I designed my engagement ring from Mociun together. The center stone is a vintage diamond, with bi-color sapphires on either side. One of the first questions the team at Mociun asked was whether I was looking for a sparkly ring. I remember thinking, who doesn’t?! (It turns out, plenty of people, and I love that for them.) But for me: sparkles forever. I wear my engagement ring, which has a fairly classic feel, between two bands that give the stack more of a deco look, which I love. For my 30th birthday, Alex gave me a stunning pair of emerald and diamond earrings from Mociun. Each earring has similarly sized stones, but the shapes are ever so slightly different. I love an unexpected detail like that."
"I love buying jewelry for myself! I'm drawn to colorful pieces and conversation starters. But, I am also called to more delicate pieces I know I'll want to wear every single day. The Fewer Finer pieces on my wishlist are incredibly special — but also versatile enough that I’d want to wear them daily. I’m all about wearing my most favorite jewelry as much as possible, rather than saving it for a “special occasion."