23 In Style

My daughter’s friend Lucas creates adornment for Fitbit and Apple watch straps

Sofia Jewelry in Mill Valley

Visiting Sofia Jewelry in Mill Valley, Lucas and Erin grew up together and no, they’re not engaged!


This isn’t what it looks like. Erin is not newly engaged to this former principal dancer for the Texas Ballet Theater. No, they knew each other as kids. When Lucas left Fairfax at 17-years-old to dance for the Houston Ballet we stopped seeing him around town and read articles about him instead. He was our famous Fairfax phenom in the world of professional dance. He spent eight years as the principal dancer for Texas Ballet Theater after leaving the Houston Ballet. Marin County was awfully proud of him!

Here you’ll get an overview of his career and hear how he met his wife, a prima ballerina. They now have three little kids. It’s a busy family!

In 2014 Lucas was appreciative of his distinguished ballet career but ready to give it up and come back to Mill Valley to take over Sofia Jewelry, the business his parents started in 1994. His parents Carl and Susan Priolo turned over the reins to Lucas and his sister Sophia who ended her ballet career in 2012 to  join the family business as well.

Last summer Russ and I were in the audience in Marin of a concert with Lyle Lovett and Vince Gill. Lucas and Lyle know each other. Lucas collaborated with Lyle Lovett and danced in a special concert Lovett performed in Texas. Lovett was about to sing a song at the Marin Civic Center auditorium when he went into a chatter about raising kids these days and how his friends Carl and Susan Priolo (who were in the audience) had done a great job with Lucas.

If you walk into Sofia Jewelry in Mill Valley, you’ll know instantly how true that statement is. He’s bright, kind, enthusiastic, and provides excellent customer service like he went to school for it. You can feel right away that it’s a family-owned business. There’s nothing hoity-toity here!


Lucas Priolo designs jewelry

Love seeing these Fairfax friends meeting up in their adult lives


Last week Erin and I met in Mill Valley at Sofia’s Jewelry before our client appointment. We were scouting for wedding rings. Another client of ours is ready to replace hers.

There are plenty of beauties to choose from here. You can check out their website to see what we were looking at. Erin would demonstrate choices by slipping them on her finger. Every single one looked great on her. Poor darling. She needs a winning lottery ticket!


Lucas adorns Apple watch and Fitbit straps

Now this is a REALLY smart watch!


Notice you don’t see any pictures here of rings or bracelets, or necklaces. What I had my eye on was the adornment on Lucas’ Apple watch. “Tell me about that,” I said.

He’s created stackers that slide on your Apple watch or Fitbit. His is a prototype of a concept he’s been working on. He and a partner are behind the scenes getting ready to launch these. A website is coming and they’re planning to hit the stores with them in May. We’ve been stacking bracelets, layering necklaces and stacking rings. Now you can stack pieces of jewelry on that bland Apple watch strap.


Solving problems with stackable jewels

What I’ve really disliked about Apple watches or the Fitbit is that they look like an Apple watch or a Fitbit. I look at that real estate on the wrist and think of a hundred other things that would decorate it so much better. I wear a Fitbit most days and am always wanting to figure out a way to camouflage it, make it look pretty. Can’t we have function and fashion on the wrist?


Medical ID on the back of a stacker

In case of an emergency, medical ID is on the back side


That’s what Lucas thought and I think it’s brilliant. These stackers do double duty. On the back of them you can put your medical ID. Lucas has designed a variety of symbols to appeal to sports lovers and more. There’s a wave (think surfing), a cycle gear (think cycling all over beautiful Marin County), a footprint for the runners and an Om symbol with Lotus flowers around it for the meditators. Heaven forbid something happens to you while you’re surfing, running, or cycling but if it does, your medical information is right there.


Add ons to an Apple watch

A stack of five add-ons adorns this watch


Naturally the jewelry designer in Lucas has brought on the bling. Why not? Some pieces have rows of pave diamonds, others have scattered diamonds and still others have black diamonds. You’ll be able to purchase a gold vermeil stacker or one in solid gold. The financial difference is $95 dollars versus $3500.

I am so enthusiastic about his endeavor. Everything about it says YES to me.


Sofia Jewelry stacking ideas

Invention and ingenuity


Having a Zen moment

I remember walking past the ballet studio in Fairfax when Lucas was a kid. He was practicing, practicing, always practicing. I admired his discipline and commitment at such a young age.

Now I admire how he’s become the face of the family business. He’s rock solid all the while he’s bringing innovation to the business. To watch this generation build on the solid business and great reputation that was always attributed to Sofia Jewelry when his parents were running it is really cool.

So hey, I’m having a Zen moment thinking about our young people. What are some of the things your young people are up to? Let’s acknowledge them! I can’t wait to read your shares!



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  • Reply
    Anne Roberts
    April 2, 2018 at 10:48 pm

    Well Brenda I’ve just read your blog acknowledging young people’s achievements directly after reading my daughter and son-in-law’s first children’s novel. I’m not plugging the book at all, somehow it seems I am just meant to join you in applauding the young adults of today. My two have worked around some pretty challenging life events including the birth of their first beautiful baby, never losing sight of their dream. I would have given up! But they didn’t and their book is released here in Australia this month and the first copy is sitting here right next to me. Dream on youngsters and spend your wonderful energy on what really matters to you- hey maybe that applies to all of us?

    • Reply
      April 7, 2018 at 7:50 pm

      Anne, I think you’re right! I believe those dreams are for us to follow as well. But oh my, how very very proud you must be of them! And I for one really wish you would share the title. I’m a book person and many people here are book people. I bet they’d appreciate it too! AND, I really love the act of applauding. It’s all great. I love hearing these stories! I know I’m not the only one!

      • Reply
        Anne Roberts
        April 10, 2018 at 3:08 pm

        Ok thank you Brenda. The book title is a long one.
        Bab Sharkey and the Animal Mummies-The Weird Beard. Written by Andrew Hansen, written and illustrated by Jessica Roberts ( my girl!) The book is released in May through Walker Books, available internationally through Booktopia.

        • Reply
          April 17, 2018 at 10:47 am

          Yay!!!!!!!!! Thanks for sharing, Anne!!!

  • Reply
    April 3, 2018 at 6:58 am

    Please, please update us with purchase links once these stackers are available,

    • Reply
      April 7, 2018 at 7:47 pm

      I will! Stay tuned!

  • Reply
    April 3, 2018 at 8:31 am

    Went to the Sofia site to look at their offerings and golly, were they ever impressive. The designs are beautiful and innovative. The workmanship is fabulous–especially the various settings (prong, tube, flush) used for smaller stones that enhance the major stones of the pieces.
    There’s a pair of tourmaline earrings that have diamond-set prongs holding the tourmalines in place! Anyone who makes jewelry appreciates how difficult this is to do in such a creative and beautiful way.
    Lovely, lovely things!

    • Reply
      April 7, 2018 at 7:46 pm

      I love listening to you describe these pieces! Clearly, you know what you’re talking about! So glad you are appreciating their work too.

  • Reply
    Anne Stuart Hunter
    April 3, 2018 at 8:39 am

    They look beautiful . All I need is the watch though ❤️

  • Reply
    Lee Davisons
    April 3, 2018 at 9:56 am

    Asking what’s going on in our world. ,I cant help bit think How proud to be a witness to the young people in our country standing up for morals and ethics and bipartisan politics to solve many of our more serious problems that our elected officials can’t wont or whatever do. And a little child shall lead them. Who would have thought.

    • Reply
      April 7, 2018 at 7:45 pm

      Your words gave me chills. Yes, I’m most proud of them too!

  • Reply
    April 3, 2018 at 12:29 pm

    This is so smart of Lucas to come up with these. I have the same objection to Fitbits that you do — they look just like a damn Fitbit! 😉

    • Reply
      April 7, 2018 at 7:44 pm

      So well said!!!

  • Reply
    Kathleen O'Brien
    April 3, 2018 at 2:01 pm

    Wow! You gotta love these – please let us know when they launch, they will be indidated with customers! Such a great, great idea, especially the part about your information on the back. I’ve got wear information as well, so I have trouble wearing the fitbit as well as all the other stuff. This solves that issue and looks GREAT. Thank you!

    • Reply
      April 7, 2018 at 7:44 pm

      So glad you’re excited too, Kathleen! Yes, I’ll be sure to update you all when it launches.

  • Reply
    April 3, 2018 at 6:46 pm

    I went to THE MARIN CIVIC BALLET but it sounds like he was in FAIRFAX………..PLUS I’m MUCH OLDER!!!!!!
    I myself will NEVER have those APPLE WATCHES as THEY are not ME!I have a CARTIER which I NEVER WEAR Because it does not keep TIME!!!!!!CAN you BELIEVE THAT?WORST WATCH I ever owned!The FAKE ROLEX I bought my MOTHER in Hong Kong was THE BEST and I bought that in 1981!
    I Think his idea is GRAND and I hope he makes a BUNDLE!
    AS for my kids…….SONS.
    One makes WOODEN TABLES to see his work go to DOGANDPIGFURNITURE.COM
    I have the PIG NOW but the DOG and the PIG started out together…………I am very proud of him TOO.
    The other SON does MANY things……..one of which is FOOD TRUCKS back EAST at the beach in CAPE COD.ANother proud moment as he was THE FIRST TO BE THERE!!!!!
    I will visit this shop in MILL VALLEY since I grew up there……………
    Back now to read about his training!

    • Reply
      April 7, 2018 at 7:44 pm

      Your sons sound very ingenious and resourceful! Yes, Lucas grew up in Fairfax but was already professional and in Texas as a teen. I hope he makes a bundle too! Sometimes they have some unbelievable vintage pieces at Sofia. I’m thinking of something I saw there that was just incredible. You’d have loved it! Funny about your Cartier. That’s awful! It should tell time!

  • Reply
    Trinnie q
    April 4, 2018 at 2:15 am

    What beautiful young people, your daughter and Lucas seem to be! Great work people ! My hat goes off to all hard working young people, and those who are busting a gut, trying to find a job, in these difficult times. I am extremely proud of my own young 18year old son . Darcy finished school last year, and though not a natural academic, he secured a more than reasonable result in his final exams. Since then he has had a trial in a real estate, company in our closet regional town, and commenced a Cadetship! He loves it ! Given how hard jobs are to find, I am a very proud Mum. Good on all of you! Sending love from Oz

    • Reply
      April 7, 2018 at 7:41 pm

      I really think about our young people and the job markets. So happy to hear this about Dracy! I’m sure you’re very proud. Yay!!!
      Love from Sonoma!

  • Reply
    April 4, 2018 at 3:25 am

    Lovely additions to a watch and and very innovative. Your creation in this post is lovely as well..Erin is beautiful. My daughter is focusing on the art of Home making and her culinary skills. What a lost art in today’s very busy rush rush society.

    • Reply
      April 7, 2018 at 7:38 pm

      Oh gosh, Kathy, that’s great. Maybe all of that will swing ’round again! One of my daughters does a lot of baking and can whip a meal up that’s so tasty. She makes it seem easy. Good for your daughter!

  • Reply
    TJ Smith
    April 4, 2018 at 3:14 pm

    Wow Brenda, I just spent 15 minutes lost in the world of stunning jewellery on the Sofia website. Gorgeous story, inspirational. Have to gush about my son and soon to be daughter-in-law. They both study full time, finishing their degrees this year – Miriam in nursing, Liam in IT Software Security. They are only 21 years old, keep a lovely home that has been furnished mainly with hand-me-downs from both sides of the family, work part time jobs and have a dear little dog called Charlie who is doted over like a baby. These kids are fighting hard to get ahead in a tough world – much tougher in many ways than the one we grew up in. They are positive, grateful, hardworking and have goals. I applaud them. They are the light of my life.

    • Reply
      April 7, 2018 at 7:32 pm

      I applaud them too! Wow, they’re tackling a lot. But those are the good times, right? So happy for you!

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