Radiant Metamorphosis

A South Bay woman transitions from New York corporate life to following in her family’s footsteps as a fine-jewelry designer.

  • Category
    Fashion, People
  • Written by
    Crea McKeen
  • Photographed by
    Siri Berting

Jen Oliak is best known for her uniqueness. Truly an industry disrupter, she’s comfortable getting all the looks—for her sparkle and as a trailblazer. Her signature series is called The Butterfly Collection, which symbolizes her life’s journey—and every woman’s journey—of becoming the person they were truly meant to be.

Jen’s story is one of transformation. Descending from a family of jewelers, her childhood memories involved playing with her mother’s jewelry as a way to feel close to the father she lost too soon and the mother who was largely vacant in the years that followed.

While the first stretch of her career was spent deep in the world of corporate finance in New York City, her love and curiosity for jewelry remained a constant in her life. So when the opportunity arose, Jen returned to her roots and spread her wings.

By leveraging the analytical skills she gained in New York, this third-generation jeweler researched, shook hands and eventually formed a network that opened doors to the very best quality in workman-ship, diamonds and gemstone suppliers. She opened Ounce of Salt Jewelry, an online boutique where she creates original and custom designs from her heart.

Sophisticated Designs

Within minutes of meeting her, it’s clear that nothing about Jen signals “business as usual.” She is committed to removing intimidation from her customers’ experience by offering an elevated level of integrity and transparency.

She first launched Ounce of Salt to deliver the most sparkle possible in an eternity band. Her high-carat designs use settings that allow an abundance of light to pass through the diamonds, resulting in a remarkable amount of sparkle. Her customer promise supports this vision: “No Shade, Only Sparkle.”

Jen has been gaining a following among those who understand the value of her designs. Through Ounce of Salt Jewelry, clients can be confident in what they’re getting and enjoy the same peace of mind that previously drove them to elite jewelry retailers with higher markups.

Jewelry imbibes a powerful self-worth message that positively affects the wearer and becomes a part of a family’s legacy. Featuring clean lines and understated luxury, Jen’s designs are both sophisticated and accessible. She specializes in high-carat diamond eternity bands, signature designs and custom orders.

By working virtually, she designs dream jewelry for a global audience. Jen offers complimentary jewelry consultations by video, telephone or in person. Her online fine-jewelry store features an original collection of Ounce of Salt Jewelry designs as well as a curated collection of her favorite designs.

Building Trust

A Manhattan Beach resident for nearly two decades, Jen’s been sharing her unique point of view through her lifestyle blog, Ounce of Salt, since 2016. There she discusses topics relevant to inspired living by women over age 40—including her own metamorphosis as a woman, wife and mother.

“My clients love getting to know my values through my blog,” Jen says. “It’s the combination of knowing who I am and that they can trust me to exceed their expectations that keeps them coming back to Ounce of Salt Jewelry.”

During the coronavirus shutdown, jewelry customers became more comfortable learning about and browsing jewelry online. Jen’s website has in-depth information about each piece, including detailed photos and videos that give customers a sense of what the piece looks like when it’s being worn.

“The pandemic has helped people realize that our time is precious,” Jen says. “The way we all view the idea of ‘later’ has changed. Waiting for another day is not a guarantee, so why wait to do and be what you want?”

Spreading Her Wings

The Butterfly Collection was inspired by the transformation of a young caterpillar that matures into something graceful, elegant and beloved. The pieces are intricately designed to portray change, progression and radiance—a succinct expression of every woman’s story. Jen is also working to release a unique Ounce of Salt original engagement ring collection and continues to expand on her high-carat eternity band collection.

“People in the industry have told me that I’m too picky and that if I spend this much time on my clients, I’ll never be able to grow my business,” Jen shares. “On the contrary, my attention to detail and treating each client’s piece as if it were my own is why my business will continue to grow.”

Redefining the fine-jewelry industry by offering transparency, education and concierge services—that’s Jen Oliak and Ounce of Salt Jewelry. Clients can relax and enjoy the shopping experience, knowing they’re in good hands and getting the ultimate quality and value.

 Jen Oliak  |  Ounce of Salt Jewelry  |  By Appointment Only

516 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Manhattan Beach  |  310-970-4485  |  ounceofsaltjewelry.com