Jewelry designer Michelle Pajak-Reynolds is a woman hours away from having her dream become reality.
Fifteen models, dressed in little black dresses, will showcase Reynolds' latest and greatest designs at 8 p.m. on Saturday in a New York Fashion Week runway show. But, the Stow entrepreneur and former teacher is thinking about her own walk down that runway after debuting her fall collection, Opulence, on one of the biggest stages of fashion in the world.
“It’s very hard to describe what it’s going to be like,” Reynolds said. “There is nothing that is going to prepare you when you take that final walk down the runway. I am going to have to get water proof mascara.”
Reynolds was offered the opportunity to take her jewelry line to Fashion Week in May. Since then she has been working 12 to 16 hour days in her home studio all summer to put this show together.
“It was like working in solitary confinement,” Reynolds said. “It was nose to the grindstone to the extreme.”
After 800 hours of work, the new line Opulence was complete. The collection contains 4,000 carats of gemstones through all the pieces.
Reynolds said her inspiration for her designs came from her travels throughout the U.S. and Brazil.
She likes to incorporate chunky stones in her work.
“As soon as I pick it up it tells me what I wants to be,” Reynolds said.
Reynolds said that another huge inspiration for her work is strong women.
Throughout all her travels, Reynolds said that she has met many amazing women. She said the Opulence collection is inspired by the strength and beauty of women who are moving mountains and changing the world.
“I am taking that metaphysical mountain and turning it into jewelry,” she said. “It can still be beautiful and strong.”
Reynolds will also be showing works from previous lines that have never been seen before.
“I’m just so excited and nervous,” Reynolds said. “I would compare this to someone sending their baby to their day of school, except my baby is premiering on an international runway.
“When you are offered an opportunity like this you have to run with it,” Reynolds added. “My philosophy is there may be other designers out there with more money but the one thing they won’t be able to do is out work me.”
Reynolds said she’s prepared to face the critics of the fashion world.