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Catching Rae

Meet Eliana Ghantous of Modjewel

Eliana Ghantous, Founder of Modjewel - Styled and Photographed by Rachel Klewicki

Eliana Ghantous, Founder of Modjewel - Styled and Photographed by Rachel Klewicki

Welcome to Women's History Month! Today I am kicking off a series I have been wanting to do for a while, celebrating stylish women that are doing really fun things to make their own marks on history. I have so many cool ladies to introduce, so please stay tuned.

Last month, I had the great pleasure of meeting fabulous handbag designer Eliana Ghantous, Founder of Modjewel, which will be launching very soon. In the mean time, I couldn't wait to dress Eliana for women's history month and share a bit on her business and approach to fashion. 

Modjewel, much as the clever name suggests, creates handbags that have modular components and are gorgeous enough to be considered jewelry. "A lot of women like to add a sparkle with jewelry, but I've never liked wearing jewelry because it just doesn't feel comfortable," Eliana tells me. "This is one of the reasons I decided to start Modjewel, to have that extra fun element that is not necessarily a piece of jewelry." As someone that struggles with metal allergies that are extra sensitive in the summer, I'm supremely attracted to the idea of a bag that can stand in for (and be changed up as easily as) my jewelry. 

But to be honest, the thing that gets me most excited about Modjewel is Eliana herself - she's not just gorgeous in her own right, but also a sweet and down-to-earth entrepreneur in a field with a reputation for cutthroat cattiness. When I first encountered her at a networking event, I was drawn to her simple and elegant style. When I asked her about the attributes she considers most important to her look, she says:

Playfulness, sophistication, and comfort. When starting a company, you want people to take you seriously but at the same time I feel that life is too short to take ourselves so seriously. I think it's important to find a balance when finding looks that work for our personalities and for how we want others to perceive us. When people first meet me they usually perceive me as being more of a reserved and quiet person but when they get to know me at a deeper level they realize I have an artsy side that is playful. I like this trait of my personality to reflect in my look. I also don't like to compromise comfort for a certain look because I think we should be able to have it all... The dichotomy between minimal and playful is what I think makes my style unique.

For this photo shoot, I pulled items from Eliana's own personal closet in order to truly represent her personal style. Inspired by her combination of ease, composure, grace, and verve, I chose soothing tone-on-tone greens with some playfully urban elements like distressed jeans and studded shoes. I love the way the soft colors flatter her fair complexion while the subtly edgy elements speak to her creative side. 

We were also quite enamored with Modjewel's geometric designs, so we chose this gorgeous wall off Abbot Kinney as one of our shooting locations. For this outfit, I selected from Eliana's wardrobe a blush pink menswear top to act as the sleek, practical counterpoint to the jewel-like facets in the background. The result is a wonderful balance between bold and soft components that can't help but make me smile. 

Sign up over at mymodjewel.com and on Instagram @ElianaGhantous to stay up to date on the Modjewel launch and be the first to get your hands on a truly beautiful product made by a beautiful woman (inside and out)! You can also stay tuned here, as I will definitely be writing more about these little gems when the time is right.