Today our guest blog features a local Portland designer with an unique approach to designing jewelry. Founded by Arwa Jumkawala in 2009, GemKitty allows customers to digitally design their own natural gemstone jewelry and bring a design idea effortlessly to life.

A lifelong jewelry designer, Arwa has always been moved by the infectious delight that giving and receiving shiny things can evoke. She brings a spare and playful aesthetic to her work, one in which the natural beauty of the gemstones and materials speaks for itself.

As time went on, Arwa’s desire to share this joy more fully led her to teach numerous friends and colleagues how to create that truly unique and “purr-fect” piece.


1. How would you describe your personal fashion?

I prefer to update classics with a dash of fun. I especially adore black as base. It’s a great canvas for colorful jewelry (I mostly wear my own designs). I also like to mix dressy and casual. For example, a tuxedo blazer with a whimsical t-shirt or sneakers with a LBD.

Sometimes, however, comforts trumps fashion; I’ve been known to wander out for a lazy Sunday brunch in my comfy garden-gnome-print pajama pants

2. Who are your biggest style influencers and why?

I love following celebrity fashion especially as covered by snarky blogs such as Go Fug Yourself! I’m fond of Olivia Palermo and Blake Lively’s style, but my outfits are more influenced by my fellow Portlanders and stylish friends.

My favorite designers: Kate Spade, Thakoon, Elie Saab, Victoria Beckham, and Kara Ross, but almost entirely from afar… I’m a bargain huntress.

3. What is your go-to piece of clothing and why?

I’m addicted to black cardigans and own about 20 different ones. I can’t seem to stop buying them; it befuddles my husband.

4. Where do you turn for fashion inspiration?

I peruse UrbanWeeds, What I Wore, and Shopping’s My Cardio for ideas on new ways to layer or remix items in my closet.

5. What’s the one item you’ll splurge on and why?

A sturdy tote. I’m in the market for a new one. Any suggestions?

6. How would you describe Portland Fashion?

Whatever goes! Which unfortunately seems to sometimes get us in trouble. See: Exhibit A.