Jewelry royalty in Vail |

Jewelry royalty in Vail

Sarah Mausolf
Vail CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily

VAIL, Colorado ” Inspiration struck Mish Tworkowski three years ago while he was vacationing in Wakaya, a private island in Figi.

He felt the need to sketch everything he saw ” the turquoise water, the reefs, the fish.

The result is a 70-piece jewelry collection with a nautical theme. Gold cuffs encrusted with seashell designs and rings studded with palm-leaf-green peridot will be on display in Vail this week as part of a 200-piece jewelry show from the Manhattan designer.

Tworkowski has an almost underground appeal in his home town. Instead of flaunting his wares in a Madison Avenue storefront, he caters to customers in a 1890s townhouse on the Upper East Side.

Society’s elite regularly swing by the shop. Everyone from Brooke Shields, who wore Mish pearl earrings for the launch of her TV show “Lipstick Jungle” to singer Macy Gray, who cruised the townhouse during a shopping special on VH1.

“In terms of business philosophy, we have a really loyal, very dedicated following,” Tworkowski said. “We really prefer sort of being discrete and special and we don’t really need to have the sort of constant foot traffic that you would need on Madison Avenue.”

Despite his discretion, the jeweler has found himself at the center of a media frenzy. The Robb Report profiled him while Vanity Fair penciled him into its International Best Dressed list.

That’s right: Best dressed. With his bowties, sport coats and gold-rimmed spectacles, he looks like he stepped out of an episode of Masterpiece Theatere.

In his spare time, Tworkowski, 46, cultivates sprawling gardens at his home in Upstate New York, which helps to explain his Jeweled Bark Collection. An 18-karat gold cuff bracelet combines 52 different precious and semiprecious stones that resemble tiny leaves.

Price tags on the collection in Vail range from $2,500 to $200,000. Fifteen percent of the proceeds will flow to the OK Corral Camp, a group raising money to build a camp in Gypsum for sick children.

“Children with serious illness don’t have the opportunities most kids have to just do normal childhood activities because they need constant medical support around them,” Corral Executive Director Ruth Johnson said. “The camp will be staffed with doctors and nurses who, behind the scenes, will work to ensure the campers are always safe.”

High Life Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 748-2938 or

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