About Us | Kretchmers Fine Jewelry
Like her father, famed jewelry “alchemist” Steven Kretchmer, Claudia took a somewhat circuitous path to the helm of what has become the eponymous, internationally celebrated jewelry design firm.
Claudia was born and lived in Milan, Italy until her mother, Alma, met and married Steven while he was there studying with Faraone, a renowned master goldsmith. The trio moved to the U.S. when Claudia was thirteen.
Now a fourth-generation, award-winning jewelry designer in her own right, Claudia spent her teenage years attending jewelry trade shows and learning metalwork from Steven.
Although the craft was her heritage, Claudia decided to pursue a different science altogether when she enrolled as an undergraduate at The University of California, Berkeley to study Astrophysics. She would double major in Physics and Astrophysics, while also competing as an NCAA Rower, then go on to earn a Masters in Astrophysics from The Johns Hopkins University. During her graduate studies she gained a passion for exploring galaxy evolution and traveled to observatories in Tucson, Arizona and Chile to collect data for her Ph.D. work.
It was in 2006 while Claudia was nearing completion of her Ph.D. in Astrophysics from Johns Hopkins that her parents, Steven and Alma, each passed away unexpectedly within six months of one another.
Determined to carry on their legacy, Claudia took a leave of absence from school to lead Steven Kretchmer, Inc. Today, Claudia continues to expand on the beautiful foundation her parents built with uniquely imaginative designs that are imbued with Steven’s passion for precious metals and her own inspired style.
In 2007 Claudia’s first solo design, The Star Pendant, won the Town & Country Couture Design Awards. This recognition inspired her to build an entire collection, drawing from her love of astronomy. A female perspective brings the signature Kretchmer look a feminine touch that has since earned Claudia multiple design awards, including the much-coveted AGTA Spectrum Award and the WJA Excellence in Design Award in 2016.
When not designing award-winning jewelry, Claudia devotes her time to a charity close to her heart: Bad Girls Do Good Things, which raises money for cancer awareness and treatment. As a board member she is spearheading a new project in her mother's honor called Alma's Oasis. Claudia is also the chapter co-chair of the Arizona branch of The Johns Hopkins Alumni Association, a board member of the Arizona Guild of the American Gem Society and an ‘Angel’ for The Arizona Foundation for Women. Her other love is hiking with Riley, a pit bull she rescued years ago.