Samantha Levine, a Westchester native, loves living in Chappaqua, NY. She moved back to Chappaqua after law school and started Auburn Jewelry, a successful jewelry line with distribution in Vineyard Vines and Macy’s. Samantha takes time off her busy schedule to talk to Suburbs 101 to tell us why she loves living in Chappaqua, NY.
Describe your journey to Chappaqua NY. What made you decide to move back to Chappaqua?
Both me and my fiancé Brandon grew up in Chappaqua. We love Chappaqua and didn’t even consider settling down anywhere else. Also, we have a lot of family in the Chappaqua area so it still feels like home.
When you moved back to Chappaqua, did you have a lot of friends who moved back to town?
I decided to move back to Chappaqua while attending law school. After graduating it seemed like the natural choice for a place to start my business. A lot of our friends who we grew up with have started moving back to Chappaqua as well. I would say the best way to meet new people is to get involved in the community, for example, I have made a lot of friends through my local gym.
Can you describe your social life?
I would describe myself as a workaholic which doesn’t leave much time for a social life. When I am not in my studio, I’m either relaxing with our families or hanging out with friends at some of the best local spots like my favorite, Le Jardin Du Roi. On Saturday mornings, if I’m not hosting a Pop-Up shop, you can find me at the Chappaqua farmers market. (Make sure to try to the pickles they are incredible!)
Do you have kids?
I do not have kids, I have two cats, Bug and Lucas they are 10 years old and I assume would be honor students if they attended Roaring Brook.
How would you describe Chappaqua residents?
Chappaqua moms are some of the most generous people I’ve ever encountered. They never hesitate to help someone in need. I feel proud to be a part of this community.
What are your go-to places in Chappaqua or in the area?
I love to shop local! Here are some of my favorite spots in the Chappaqua area;
ICD Contemporary Jewelry for all my jewelry needs
Breeze for adorable house warming gifts
Ivana Denniston for the best brow shaping in town
King’s Scribe for the most fun balloons you could ever imagine
Hip Kid for baby gifts and…
Local for the best tacos ever!
Where do you go to stay fit?
Modern Martial Arts Westchester in Mt Kisco. I highly recommend Julie and Kelly’s classes, they’ll kick your butt!
What are some things you don’t like about Chappaqua?
I absolutely hate the construction but I know it is coming to an end soon. Can’t wait for it to be completed!
Are you a member of a country club/beach club/yacht club? If so, which one?
My family has been a member of Chappaqua Swim and Tennis Club for over 20 years. We decided to join CST because it was the first club to call and tell us we were off the waitlist. However, at this point I wouldn’t have it any other way!
What has your experience been with schools in the area?
I attended Bell School and Greeley. I had a fantastic experience at both. My passion for metalwork emerged at Greeley through their jewelry and metals program. I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to work with the fantastic art department. They always supported me and let me stay after school until 5pm working on my jewelry projects.
Do you or Brandon commute to the city? What has your experience been with the commute?
Luckily, I work from my metals studio in Chappaqua so my commute is very reasonable. Brandon, on the other hand, commutes on the train to the financial district for work. We live on the Mt Kisco side of town so I drop Brandon off at the train in the mornings and pick him up after work. His commute is an hour and 40 minutes each way.
Any advice you can give to someone looking to move to Chappaqua?
Get involved in the community and take advantage of all the wonderful things this town has to offer. Make sure to join the Chappaqua Moms Facebook group to stay up to date. You can also sign up for the Chappaqua Chamber of Commerce weekly email to stay abreast of events in town.
Tell me more about Auburn Jewelry
Auburn Jewelry creates high-quality necklaces, rings, bracelets, cufflinks, and keychains in a variety of colored enamels, metal finishes, and designs. This assortment yields infinite combinations so that the customer can create a piece of jewelry that resonates with their personality and unique style. The pieces are handmade in the U.S., and we have recently put products into production to keep up with demand. In addition to our ready wear line, all of our custom pieces are handcrafted, by me, in the Auburn Jewelry studios in Chappaqua, New York.
Auburn Jewelry is also the official jeweler of BluePath Service Dogs and the National Tay-Sachs & Allied Diseases Associations. We have designed pendants with each organization’s logo, and a portion of the proceeds from the sale of each piece is donated to its respective charity. We have also made pendants that are specifically tailored to philanthropic organizations such as The Trevor Project and F*CKCANCER. Charms such as the rainbow flag and middle fingers help support these two organizations’ individual causes. We are humbled to know that Auburn Jewelry is using its brand identity to advance the greater good of local and global communities.
Additionally, only months after introducing Auburn Jewelry’s production line, we established our first national partnership. Working with an innovative, like-minded company such as Vineyard Vines led us to create a custom collection of five designs ranging from state flags to their signature whale. Having Auburn Jewelry featured in eleven of their storefronts truly elevated the company through experience, credibility, and recognition. To date, Auburn Jewelry has most recently secured a partnership with Macy’s.
Auburn Jewelry can be purchased locally at ICD Contemporary Jewelry. They carry most of the collection. If they don’t have what you are looking for they can always order it for you.
Have you read any good books lately? Any recommendations?
About Samantha Levine
Samantha Levine is the Creative Director and President of Auburn Jewelry, a Westchester-based small business, that creates custom sterling silver and enamel pieces. Sam’s interest in handcrafting jewelry sparked at age 13 when she toured Horace Greeley High School and saw students crafting jewelry with a blowtorch. Simultaneously, Sam joined Mock Trial, participating in both activities for the duration of high school as she further solidified her passion for both fields.
Later on, Samantha received her minor in Jewelry and Metals from Skidmore College – thus expanding her breadth and depth of metalsmithing techniques. Majoring in American Studies, Sam became further torn between the two careers. She was heavily encouraged to choose the more practical path until ultimately deciding to attend law school. From there, Sam continued to pursue both her passions as she launched Auburn Jewelry in 2013 while still in school. Since graduating, Samantha has taken the risk of choosing the more unconventional route and has been designing and handcrafting her signature style of sterling silver and enamel pieces full-time at Auburn Jewelry. In May of 2018, after two years of sourcing companies, Sam sent her designs into production, taking a big step for Auburn Jewelry.
In addition to making jewelry, Levine uses her company as a platform to mentor students. Alongside her interns, Sam has spoken on multiple occasions to the Smart Girls Group at the Boys & Girls Club of Northern Westchester to help inspire them. She has shared the joy and fulfillment that comes from turning your favorite hobby into a successful business. From the very beginning, Sam has utilized her business as a means of helping the people around her. Auburn Jewelry includes “Gifts That Give Back,” for which a portion of proceeds are donated to both local and national non-profits.
Website: Auburn Jewelry
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