Winterville jewelry designer headed to the Oscars

Winterville jewelry designer headed to the Oscars (Reporter: Amanda Brannon)

WINTERVILLE - Ileana Rojas-Bennett's handcrafted jewelry line was selected to be a part of The Oscar nominees swag bag.

"I would love to meet Daniel Day Lewis because I loved the movie 'Lincoln,'" Rojas-Bennett said.

The Maleku Studios owner said she was preparing for fashion week in New York City when she got the call about the Oscars.

"At first I was kinda nervous because of the quantity of pieces that we had to have made but it's a lifetime opportunity and I said I can do it even if I have to go to bed with almost no sleep," she said.

Originally from Costa Rica, Rojas-Bennett said her jewelry is a mix between delicate and rustic styles. She said she designed the necklace and bracelet using a drusy stone found in Brazil as the focal point.

"I thought about doing that with pearls, hang knotted with silk thread with a stone in the middle that would [make it] like something that is rustic [looking]," she said.

The designer said she has been working around the clock to get her pieces ready for the event.

She has to bring between 165-300 pieces to the party. However, she's not stopping there. She is also bringing other designs that celebrities can purchase.

When talking about her designs she said of her style, "I go from bold to very delicate to extravagant. So, just a combination of different techniques and different styles," she said.

"The [crystals in the jewelry] have like healing powers and at the same time they have things that will protect you or clean your aura," she said.

Rojas-Bennett plans to make up to twenty additional sets of the Oscars design for anyone who wants to purchase one.

"We want to make it a collectible item. I don't think [I'll make] more than 20 because I want people to feel like it's something special. I got something that you know is not gonna be everybody's going to run into each other and have it," Rojas-Bennett said.

The Oscars airs on NewsChannel 12 on Feb. 24.

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