By Ashley Davis
Shelly Litvak began selling her new fine jewelry brand at Los Angeles boutique Roseark last October.
Los Angeles--A simple visual form--the stick figure--takes a clever and elegant turn in the hands of new fine jewelry line Mars + Love.

Mars + Love's stick figures are depicted in classic yoga poses like “tree” and “downward dog,” and rendered in 18-karat gold with diamond accents. Meant to be worn as everyday pieces, the collection comprises stud earrings, pendant necklaces and rings.  

Designer Shelly Litvak launched the brand without publicity in October last year, landing in West Hollywood boutique Roseark, which is known for championing up-and-coming designers alongside veteran talents.

While the brand is new, Litvak’s experience in the industry is not. She previously had a line of namesake fine jewelry that started out as re-worked antiques and evolved into her own designs, as well as a line of handbags.

After 12 years in business, Litvak disbanded the line due to the lack of a “business foundation” at her company.

“I had the vision for (Mars + Love) as soon as I closed my last company 10 years ago,” she said. “The name came to me then as well.”

For Litvak’s second venture into accessories (she produces a line of vegan handbags under the Mars + Love label as well), she decided not to rush the creative process.

“I’ve been developing it over the last few years,” Litvak said. “I kept tweaking the designs to get them just right. I wasn’t pushing a launch until I felt that they looked right and sat right on the body. My perfectionist side took over.”

Whereas the Shelly Litvak label featured lots of large stones like rutilated quartz and tourmaline, Mars + Love has taken the opposite design direction.

“It evolved to these really simple, clean pieces,” she explained. “I think it’s just about having a piece you want to wear every day. I don’t even take my earrings out; I sleep in them.” 

Litvak has had a yoga practice for about six years and designed her current collection with the idea of being able to incorporate positive yogi energy into an everyday look.

“It reminds me of that yoga connection. If I don’t get to my practice every day, I wear these pieces that connect me with that spirit and that light.”

But she’s also hoping to incorporate colored gemstone and diamond pave versions of her designs to “elevate” the current offerings and to create larger, one-of-a-kind pieces in the future.

“Right now the pieces are very delicate,” she said, “and I feel like it’s a very different customer than my last line, so I’d like to create a bridge in between (the lines) by bringing in big crystals and big pieces, implementing everything together.”

Regardless of what’s next for the fledgling brand, Litvak wants to take her business slow.

 “I’m happy with the pace because I don’t feel so rushed,” she said. “With my last line, I was so young and it all happened so fast and I felt so anxious. Now that I have the brand website, I’m making small adjustments as I go and trying to make the line more sustainable in terms of things like packaging.”

Mars + Love is currently available on its newly-launched website, as well as at Roseark

20180119 MarsandLove insertThese mixed metal 18-karat white and rose gold hoop earrings, sold as a pair, are the most expensive item in the current Mars + Love lineup, retailing for $4,500.

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