4 MOTHER’S DAY STORIES: MARIA DUEÑAS JACOBS
4 Mother's Day Stories:
Maria Dueñas Jacobs
Jewelry Editor and Founder of Super Smalls
April 30, 2020
Maria Dueñas Jacobs has a personal jewelry collection even the most seasoned collector would envy. After working as the Accessories Director at ELLE, and Glamour before that, it’s safe to say Maria has seen the best of the best when it comes to jewelry and accessories. It was ultimately her three daughters who inspired her to design Super Smalls, a playful jewelry line for minis, designed with the extravagance of fine jewelry in mind.
Hometown: New York, NY
The year you founded the company: November 11, 2019 - I tried to keep it lucky launching the company, and putting up our first Instagram post on 11/11.
How would you describe your jewelry style in three words?My personal armor.
What was your first piece of jewelry?It’s hard to say, but most likely a small gold cross I still have from my first communion.
What jewelry designer are you crushing on right now?Beth Bugdaycay from Foundrae. I adore everything she designs plus she is a unicorn of a woman- incredibly generous, kind, an amazing mom, friend, and entrepreneur!
As a mom of three different little personalities, how do you encourage them to express their individual style? Do you find that they all gravitate toward jewelry?They definitely gravitate towards jewelry and shiny things - but who doesn't? Something I really love about them is that they go between super feminine to major boy energy jumping off walls and wanting to dress up as Spiderman. I love it all and encourage it all! Luna, my oldest is definitely the leader of the pack, and Isa and Silvi are two years younger and mostly copy her like little adorable minions. They are funny, curious and a very entertaining little team that both inspire and drive me a bit crazy (especially during quarantine).
When you were designing the collection for Super Smalls, you had a built-in focus group - did your daughters give you any feedback that was surprising or unexpected?Absolutely! They have a lot of opinions and I have Luna, my 6-year-old wear-test samples to school, and give me feedback. She wore a best friend necklace sample for a day and came back and said it was too heavy - I made it half the size after her feedback and she was totally right! She also just asked to design a “mermaid necklace” for summer and we are working on it together. She gets paid in hugs! 😉
I love the name, Super Smalls! How did you come up with it?Initially, I loved the name Smalls because kids are small and accessories are small but it seemed unresolved so I brainstormed some ideas with Luna and she pushed to add Super. She was right again! Kids are small but they are Super! Now, of course, I love the name and it’s so perfect for the brand and everything we stand for- sparkle, play, and being super!
What do you hope to teach your daughters about fine jewelry?Super Smalls are for play and imagination. Pile them on! Collect them! But leave the real deal pieces to grown-ups.