Orion Jewelry owner Robin Hepburn poses by one of her intricate pieces. (Photo by Stacey Pastorella.)
Orion Jewelry owner Robin Hepburn poses by one of her intricate pieces. (Photo by Stacey Pastorella.)

Long before Pennington native Robin Hepburn started her own jewelry business, she was inspired by the local art gallery that her parents owned.

She developed a love of art by spending time at the gallery and by attending art shows in New York.

So, it seems fitting that Hepburn, a jewelry designer and the owner of Orion Jewelry, said the atmosphere of her new boutique reminds her of a gallery.

“A lot of people love to come in and just browse around and hang out for a while and talk,” Hepburn said.

Some customers collect her jewelry and visit the store periodically to see what new pieces Hepburn has created.

This year, three of Hepburn’s pieces were accepted into an international competition sponsored by Ganoksin.

Orion Jewelry celebrated its move to the new, larger location with a well attended event on May 18.

Hepburn established Orion Jewelry in St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands in 1986. In 1998, she moved the business more than 1,500 miles, to Pennington.

However, the most recent move could be measured in feet rather than miles. The space the boutique now occupies is just steps away from its previous location at the other end of the same shopping center.

As a teenager, Hepburn moved from New Jersey to Maine, where she attended the Maine College of Art. Her work, however, is inspired by people and places that she’s encountered throughout the world.

Some of her work was influenced by a summer that she spent in Japan when she was younger. Other pieces portray her emotions about people or events. Hepburn also draws from a deep appreciation of Greek mythology and the celestial landscape. The name Orion, also the name of her oldest son, reflects that interest.

“When I was in school, I was really into Greek mythology and constellations and stars and things like that,” she said.

It has also become a theme in some of the pieces she has designed, a collection that she calls “orbital bliss.”

Sometimes, Hepburn’s designs are inspired by the appearance of the materials. Although she works with traditional stones, such as diamonds, rubies and sapphires, she also uses those such as mohawkite, amazonite and apatite, which are considered to be more rare.

Pieces available at Orion Jewelry range from traditional hoop earrings to the unique items that Hepburn creates. Some things, such as pearl necklaces, can be worn as they are, or customized with the addition of stones.

Hepburn’s customers are also able to express their creativity. Orion Jewelry has a collection of unique stones that clients can use in their own designs. Hepburn works with clients to envision and create pieces that are truly one of a kind.

“That’s definitely my favorite thing,” Hepburn said. “Working with customers and creating something special for them.”

In the same way that Hepburn collaborates with her clients, she shared ideas with Sean Mannix of Highland Design Farm, a company based in Hopewell, to design her new boutique. The artisan work was done locally, she said.

“I always kind of draw a parallel to my working with Sean to create this store, because it’s kind of the same with what I do with my customers with a piece of jewelry,” she said.

The jewelry cases in the boutique are accented by designs cut into steel by water jets. The store’s interior has a natural, earthy vibe, something that Hepburn says reflects themes in her work.

“My inspiration comes in a lot of different ways. So, I really feel like this new space is much more conducive to displaying the creative pieces that I build,” she said.

Orion Jewelry is located at 7 Route 31 North, Suite E, in Pennington. Store hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. For more information, call 609-737-7235 or go online to orionjewelrystudio.com.