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Debra Navarro, a native Texan, currently based in Wichita, Kansas, infuses her fine jewelry with polish and grit. Debra pushed aside her love of art, received a B.A. in Speech Communication from Texas A&M, and settled in Houston, to pursue a career at Houston’s leading country music radio station.
She found her natural fit was in the marketing department, growing into the position of Promotion and Marketing Director for the number one country radio station in the nation according to Billboard Magazine and the Country Music Association. When the love of her life crossed her path during a radio function, she packed her bags and redirected her life to settle in Wichita, Kansas.
While doing commercial voice-over work for a new jewelry store in Wichita, she accepted an invitation to do part time sales through the holiday season. This is where her love affair with jewelry began. From 2000-2015 she learned the jewelry industry from a retailer’s point of view, working at one of Wichita’s finest independent jewelry stores.
In jewelry, she saw exquisite art. In diamonds and gemstones, she saw science and nature. She earned her Graduate Gemologist degree from the Gemological Institute of America and then became a Certified Gemologist Appraiser through the American Gem Society. Debra enjoyed these aspects of the jewelry business, but all along, her true desire was to design and create.
In 2015, she attended a private screening of a documentary, Sharing the Rough, about the journey of a gemstone from East Africa artisanal mining communities to the modern jewelry market. The documentary exposed a side of the industry unfamiliar to Debra, and it lit a fire within her. She felt compelled to go to Africa and visit the mining communities firsthand. She is now traveling annually to purchase ethically sourced colored gemstones as close to their source as possible in their most natural state. It has changed her view of jewelry, from the beautiful, but inanimate, pieces in a jewelry case, into individual works of art infused with a powerful human connection.
Debra launched NAV Jewelry Works, LLC in November of 2015 and began to develop the Debra Navarro line of fine, one-of-a-kind, designer jewelry. Her eponymous line debuts with the Barefoot Collection which features her unique stylings of colored diamonds in 18 karat recycled yellow gold. Debra is a board member of the Dallas Chapter Women’s Jewelry Association and an American Gem Society Affiliate. She participates in the Jewelry Industry Summit and Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference to improve responsibility and ethics in the creation of jewelry. Through her collections, Debra plans to share the stories of the people and mining communities from which she procures her gemstones, and contribute to causes that touch her heart.