Before the bling, there’s the business. According to Mariana Chambers, the diamond industry is out of balance.

“Most women work in what they call the kitchen. Those are the minimum hourly paid jobs while the men that assemble and stone set they get paid by the piece,” said Chambers.

She’s the CEO of the fine jewelry brand, Cut & Clarity. The company crafts all of their pieces step by step in the city’s Diamond District. At every step, she says men are at the helm, which is why she wants to help women earn equal pay through her atelier program.

“How to make jewelry is a craft so you can’t say 'I’m going to learn to set a diamond and figure it out tomorrow,'” said Chambers. “Our master craftsman have dedicated their time to a program that will be six months long, and by month six the women will be ready to take on paid work."

Chambers believes more women in these roles would systematically change the business of jewelry making. She hopes her program will help achieve that.

“I think I thrive as a fish out of water,” Chambers said.

“I had to figure out how to find my way as a child being an immigrant — totally different culture in a very American world,” she continued.

Her passion for empowering women with signature pieces was ignited back in 2017 at the Women’s March here in the city.

“I felt the need to shout from the rooftop 'I’m Latina, I’m an immigrant' because the rhetoric around immigrants was really negative and hurtful to me,” Chambers expressed.

Her mission now is to spark change that even her young daughter could see.

“Bringing a child into this world, I want to make sure that I left a legacy that mattered,” said Chambers.