You have not seen fine jewelry until you’ve seen Tiina Smith’s collection.
It takes no more than three minutes after meeting Tiina Smith to understand that she’s smart as heck; she excels at what she chooses to do; and she is truly, madly, deeply in love with jewelry. On the first point: She graduated from both Harvard College and Harvard Business School. On the second: She was a No. 1 tennis player at Harvard and nationally ranked in the top five years later. She worked as a star investment advisor for Lazare Frères, Morgan Stanley and Neuberger Berman for high net worth individuals. Finally: She’s collected fine jewelry most of her life and from all over the planet, and never goes a day without wearing a beloved, trac-stopping piece. Now, she’s sharing the wealth in her first start-up business, Tiina Smith Exceptional Fine Jewelry. “I’ve always loved jewels,” she says. “I pick out the jewelry, then find an outfit, rather than the other way around.” For her inaugural collection, Smith sourced Tiffany’s, Van Cleef, Boucheron and Bulgari as well as other elite jewelry designers, from Florence to the Middle East. That’s where her business background and her new degree from the Gemological Institute of America come in. “I approach jewelry acquisition the way I would buy a stock,” she says. “I want to know why the piece is special, the quality of materials and craftsmanship, and why I should buy this one versus that one.” By the time clients view Smith’s collection, they can simply fall in love—“The vetting process is done.” And trust us, getting accepted into her collection is harder than getting admitted to Harvard. “Each piece is there for a reason. It’s unusual in a different way—you can’t walk into Bulgari today and find it.” For Smith, the company is the perfect culmination of all of her passions. “I get up in the morning and can’t wait to see what the next day holds.” On Sept. 25, Smith will host an exclusive trunk show for up to 75 people at Boston Chops.
Photography by: Portrait by Ned Jackson