Jenine Lepera Izzi
Founder & Creative Director
Jenine Lepera Izzi is the Founder & Creative Director of the New York Jewelry Design Institute, did not start her career imagining that she would one day operate a school for budding jewelry designers. Armed with a business degree, the Boston native spent the initial part of her career in lucrative corporate sales positions in the biotech and finance industries, building a loyal client base along the East Coast from Boston to Miami. However, she also maintained a passion for art, quality design, as well as living and working in New York City. After the September 11 terrorist attacks, Lepera Izzi decided to change the direction of her life. “Our firm lost many people as well as clients,” she says. “Things would never be the same. It was very a difficult decision to walk away from my career and go back to school. Yet, I felt it was something I needed to do – to explore my other passions for art and design.”
Lepera Izzi initially decided to study interior design in New York and Florence, Italy. In Florence, she learned to design in CAD, which was newly being used by architects and interior designers there. She soon realized that she actually had a greater passion for jewelry design – much on display in the ancient Italian city. Applying her acquired design skills anew, she studied jewelry design and trained as a bench jeweler.