Introducing Vanessa Murnane, the brilliant mind behind Amorcito Jewellery. Vanessa’s journey is one of passion, creativity and unwavering dedication to her craft. As the sole designer of Amorcito, she brings to life a stunning array of demi-fine and fine jewellery that defies convention and celebrates individuality.

Since founding Amorcito over a decade ago, Vanessa has stayed true to her vision of creating pieces that are playful, exceptional in quality and distinctly unique. Her background as a certified gold and silversmith infuses her work with a level of craftsmanship that is unparalleled.

The name ‘Amorcito,’ translating to ‘little love,’ perfectly captures the essence of Vanessa’s creations, each piece a manifestation of her own ‘amorcitos.’ With inspiration drawn from the beauty of women, nature and diverse cultures worldwide, Amorcito jewellery reflects a profound appreciation for the world’s wonders.

Vanessa’s commitment to ethical sourcing and responsible practices further underscores the integrity of the brand. Through partnerships with organisations such as The Bee & Butterfly Habitat Fund and Greenspark, Amorcito is not only a purveyor of stunning jewellery but also a champion of environmental conservation and community empowerment.

In this chat, we celebrate Vanessa’s unwavering dedication to empowering women to embrace their beauty, share their essenc, and discover many little loves along their journey.

Join us in admiring the artistry and vision of Vanessa Murnane and the beautiful world of Amorcito Jewellery…

Reflecting on your journey with Amorcito over the past decade, can you share a pivotal moment that defined your approach to jewellery design and business philosophy?

Absolutely! Earlier on, I tried catering to every fleeting trend, shaping my jewellery to other people’s tastes. So my pieces were technically well-made but lacked soul. By doing this, I essentially robbed myself of my creative edge and authenticity, which ended up feeling quite sad and depressing.

I finally woke up and realised that if I did not love and believe in my designs, I couldn’t feel proud of my work and there was no point to any of it. So yeah, I went back to my truth and created only what spoke to me and brought a smile to my face. That was a turning point that gave my brand the identity it was in desperate need of and eventually aided in the business’s growth.

As a certified gold and silversmith, what draws you to the hands-on process of crafting each piece personally? How does this hands-on approach contribute to the uniqueness of Amorcito’s designs?

Well if you ever have the opportunity to melt metal with a torch, you will understand the obsession that comes along with jewellery making. It’s all fun when you’re beading and wire wrapping. The creativity is cute and safe. But then you start working with materials that are next to impossible to mould to your whims and that’s when the real fun starts.

It’s a powerful feeling in knowing that you can manipulate something so non-interesting into something really beautiful. Each creation is always going to be unique because the creator has their very own style and way of doing things. There is never just one way to get to that end design. I think that is what makes my pieces unique. Because I am always the first person to sketch, solder, polish, set the stones and make any necessary tweaks to the designs. They all contain 100% my personality on a good day or bad.

Amorcito is translated to ‘little love.’ How do you infuse love and happiness into each piece you design, and how does this philosophy resonate with your customers?

Every piece I create has such meticulous attention to detail because I personally would never wear uncomfortable accessories, so I wouldn’t design them either. If the design does not cater to all the little but important details, it just doesn’t make the cut. I find that all of the care put into my line speaks to the idea that with a little love, we can all be something truly incredible. It’s all love at Amorcito.

Nature plays a significant role in your designs. Could you share a specific instance where a natural landscape served as direct inspiration for a particular collection, and how you translated that inspiration into your designs?

Yes, of course! My favourite landscape inspiration has been my milkweed flowers in my backyard. I have become curiously obsessed with the raising of monarch butterflies. And because the butterflies lay their eggs onto this flower, I get to spend most of my spring in awe of them. They are everywhere around my shop. You can see throughout many of my designs, I incorporate this flower. It has even inspired all versions of the Amorcito logo. Butterflies mean a lot to me and I use them as inspiration in many aspects of my personal and business life. They are a symbol of change and resilience. That says it all.

Amorcito pays tribute to diverse places and cultures worldwide. How do you navigate the fine line between cultural appreciation and appropriation in your designs, and what steps do you take to ensure authenticity and respect?

I can only design what I understand and that means that everything tends to come from my own life experiences. Sometimes those experiences come through travel and seeing and experiencing other cultures which means the fine line between appreciation and appropriation is always lurking nearby. I just have to trust that my respect for people and places I don’t understand will keep me honest, aware, and far from that area of ignorance.

Amorcito Jewellery

Your commitment to ethically sourcing materials aligns with a growing trend in the industry. Can you elaborate on the challenges you’ve faced and the importance of maintaining this commitment in the competitive world of jewellery design?

Sometimes it feels like there are so many areas within my business that could use more improvement and attention especially when it comes to ethically sourcing materials. You have the actual product material and all of the components to create the finished piece. You have the tools to make the piece and the conditions under which it is made. You have the packaging and shipping efforts.

There is so much you can control and so much you cannot. For me, this process has been a huge learning opportunity. It takes a lot of thought and commitment but when you pay attention to the little details and areas of which you can implement ethical practices, it forces growth and that always equals success in the long run. The jewellery world is competitive but mostly in the department of honesty. There are so many corners that can be cut. If you don’t cut corners, it always pays off. You win that way.

The partnership with The Bee & Butterfly Habitat Fund and Greenspark reflects your dedication to environmental causes.

How do these partnerships align with Amorcito’s broader mission, and what impact do you hope to achieve through these collaborations?

Just the fact that every Amorcito purchase helps plant a tree and rescue plastic from the ocean is enough for me to feel as if I have already accomplished what my conscience required. I have always loved jewellery and making it is so fun and fulfilling but I wanted there to be a really good reason for it all.

Now I have that and working with these charities has given me that sense of accomplishment and I hope to continue to be impactful in positive ways for the environment and be an example and inspiration for my young daughter. I hope to establish my own charitable events when I gain a bit more free time. I have ideas like ocean cleanups, highway adoptions, fundraising, milkweed planting parties… the list goes on. It’s going to be fun.

In your opinion, how does jewellery empower women to move with confidence, own their beauty, and share their essence? Can you share a customer story that exemplifies the transformative power of Amorcito jewellery?

In my opinion, most times, it is not the actual design, style, brand, or overall look of the jewellery piece that inspires confidence. It’s the sentiment behind it. And if that jewellery has a purpose and that purpose is philanthropic, I think that can make any person feel confident in their beauty because it’s inside where their true beauty lies. And even if that belief lies deep below the surface, every woman recognises this to some extent.

The challenge is accepting this belief as truth. I also think that jewellery often represents a phase in someone’s life. Or it could be a memory or a person too. I think if you are treating your Amorcito jewellery the way it was made to be treated, (as if it will be passed down through generations), then the jewellery will always contain the capacity to make a woman feel confident and special because she knows she is wearing something that tells her she is seen and heard and loved. Those feelings can inspire confidence in anyone.

Your designs often incorporate indigenous stones and materials. How do you ensure fair and respectful collaboration with local suppliers, and how does this contribute to the authenticity of Amorcito’s creations?

I do have a lot of trust and comfort in knowing that the suppliers I work with are all part of the same family network. This family sometimes feels like my own when we check in with each other. There is a real sense of understanding and trust between us and there is never a hesitation when they are asked to provide any type of materials, namely certificates and test results pertaining to the integrity of their business practices.

I did work with another company for a moment while I needed a backup supplier and I quickly became aware of how desperate people can become when trying to make a living. It was sad and quite heartbreaking when I got down to the root of it all but even though I felt empathy towards the situation, I didn’t want to be a part of the perpetuation of the problem. I admire and appreciate the honesty and fairness my suppliers have always provided me with and my customers benefit in knowing that their purchase aids in creating change for the better. It’s small but it’s something.

Amorcito has been a woman and Latina-owned company since its launch in 2012. How has being a woman and Latina shaped your entrepreneurial journey, and what advice do you have for other aspiring women in the industry?

Well, it’s certainly inspired confidence in myself. My mother is very artistic as well and even though she does not own and admit her artistic talent, I know that it exists and I know that my own talent comes from and was inspired by her. She is from Panama. She moved to the states very young and between all the obstacles of raising a family and trying to learn another language, she did not take much time to teach us much about her life growing up and what being a Latina meant to her or even what it should mean to my siblings and me.

Her roots were all very ambiguous to me but somehow I felt this power from having a Latina background and being Latina myself. When I chose to name the business Amorcito, it opened me up to an entire network of Latina women and the feeling that came from this felt like finally coming home. The Latin culture has all of the really good stuff that speaks to my soul and there is this really intense dedication to cheering each other on when they find their path and feel a sense of success or accomplishment.

Not having much of a foundation and network of support built up for myself to grow a business was really scary but I found a lot of safety and security in all of the countless stories of Latina women working their way to the top and taking charge of their lives. I always say that everything is mental. You can’t control where and how your story begins but you can control where you story goes. So I would tell this to any aspiring woman in the industry. If you want it. Well…take it.

Looking back, is there a particular piece from your collections that holds a special place in your heart? What makes it so memorable for you?

Yes. The first ring I ever made was a simple wire letter ring that spelled the word “love”. I made 100’s of these while trying to perfect my skill and this ring was actually the catalyst that pushed me into starting this business. I made too many! I needed to get rid of them! So every time I see someone wearing that ring I get a little emo.

Amorcito’s tagline is “Find many little loves – your amorcitos along your journey.” Can you share a personal story of a ‘little love’ you’ve discovered along your own journey, either in business or in life?

Oh man, can I?! Don’t get me started. I mean from the friends that dedicated their time to helping me grow my business here in California to little old ladies across the ocean taking me on treks to discover the best materials, this business has taken me to places and placed me in front of people that I never knew would be such a big part of my journey.

They are all my Amorcitos. But my original Amorcito was found in the comfort of my home base, San Diego, California. That was my husband. He is and always will be the original Amorcito. I have to say, one of my favourite Amorcito discoveries was a little, not-so-little sweetheart named Amber. She was an elephant in Thailand. I still plan to go back and visit her at the rescue mission she resides in one day.

It may sound funny but connecting with all sentient beings in this human experience is what I define as the meaning of finding your many Amorcitos. There are so many places to see and feel love. It’s all love at Amorcito and there can be nothing else. That’s my motto.

As a founder, how do you balance staying true to your initial vision for Amorcito while also embracing evolution and growth?

Never questioning my intuition. I have begun to look at this type of questioning as almost something sinful and to be ashamed of. Your gift of intuition is always there and it can never be disregarded. That is the constitution I live by and that is how I stay true to my vision.

Your commitment to community is evident in encouraging customers to join the Fun-girl community. How has community engagement influenced the direction and evolution of Amorcito?

Well, this will definitely sound a bit inflated but I just follow my instincts. The voice in my head is always asking “Would I wear this?” If the answer is “no”, it’s probably not substantial, heavy, quality enough and the design is possibly too cheesy for me to get on board with. My style is really all about something very nice quality but not boring so the balance in my designs usually happens pretty effortlessly. I could be wrong but it’s all very subjective in the end, isn’t it?

How do you see the intersection of fashion and jewellery evolving in the coming years, and how does Amorcito plan to stay at the forefront of these changes?

Hmm. Well, I don’t really have a clue. Honestly. It seems to go so fast these days with social media. The lifetime of a trend or style direction is short so I just plan to ride whatever wave comes and be a little more flexible when doing so. Sometimes I don’t want to get on the ride and that’s okay but when it is something that speaks to me or it’s a direction I feel a need to influence or even possibly light the path for, I’ll be there for it.

Your designs are described as “boldly unique.” How do you encourage individuality and self-expression through your jewellery, and what role do customer stories play in shaping the brand narrative?

Listen, when I see a girl walking up to me with some big floral Amorcito earrings styled with a messy bun, no makeup and a bright lip shade or something else just as brave, you’d better believe that whole look will be influencing my choices and the direction of the next season’s creations, the look of our models, the entire brand’s aesthetic eventually.

I think it has always been and will be this way. Amorcito isn’t one type of woman. Our customer base varies so much that I am always surprised by what type of woman I see wearing Amorcito next and I am always very pleased and inspired. Even if I try to niche out the brand and just market to a very specific demographic, it does not work. Women of every age like to feel youthful and fun and full of life. Amorcito is just that.

Can you share a behind-the-scenes moment in the workshop that epitomises the creative process at Amorcito?

Of course. It’s always all about the friends and family in and out of the workshop. I remember when I had just begun working with a major retailer and had a lot of success on our new campaign. I had so many orders to fulfil. Our team pulled it all off and as we were getting ready to make our drops at the shipping office, my daughter (2.5 years old at the time), wandered in and started pulling packages out of their organised bins and ripping them open, putting them in the wrong bins and even taking a few pieces out of their packaging. She put one customer’s ring on and ran out the door laughing.

This is real life at Amorcito. It’s usually cute and calm with zen music playing in the background in the pink office but out of nowhere, a storm hits and everyone is clamouring to keep up. It’s always hilarious and we always pull off little miracles. I love it.

As a business owner and designer, what has been the most unexpected lesson you’ve learned along the way, and how did it shape your perspective on entrepreneurship?

That failures are constantly happening. They are never-ending and you are confronted with them on a daily basis. You have to get used to this and learn to never take anything personal. It’s usually a lot of small losses and really big wins that balance everything out. And you have to celebrate every win because if you don’t, you will always be working towards something nonexistent and that is the trap. There is never an end, there is only the present.

Looking ahead, what excites you the most about the future of Amorcito, and what goals do you hope to achieve in the next chapter of your journey?

Meeting people. Traveling. Learning new skills and insider trick and tips. It’s all such a fun and interesting journey. I hope to achieve contentment and full gratitude in my next chapter. For a long time, I put myself down because I didn’t believe that I was enough or my company was enough. That was all just a construct I made up to keep myself safe from judgment and negativity. My skin is so much thicker now and I welcome all of the support along with all of the criticism and disbelief in my work. I can’t wait to just keep rolling with the punches.

Our readers love to travel, what destination is at the top of your bucket list?

Hmm. Well, I guess that even on days where I do not feel like being the “fun girl”, I still pull it together and try to find the humour in most situations. I think it is this sense of “whateverness” that feels safe and helps to create a community bond. Especially between women. Women just love having fun. It’s undeniable. Sometimes you need a little push in that direction and that is what I have tried to influence with my platform.

When lacking motivation, what’s your go-to quote?

One thing at a time. Not everything needs attention.

Where can people follow you to find out more about Amorcito Jewellery?

You can always head to the site for extra information on our cause and to see the entire line – and of course, Instagram for all current happenings and sneak peeks of new releases – @amorcito_jewelry.

Vanessa’s story is just one of many inspiring journeys featured on House of Coco. Dive into our collection of interviews to uncover more captivating stories of creativity, passion, and empowerment. Visit our website today and discover the extraordinary individuals shaping the world around us.


Northern girl Laura is the epitome of a true entrepreneur. Laura’s spirit for adventure and passion for people blaze through House of Coco. She founded House of Coco in 2014 and has grown it in to an internationally recognised brand whilst having a lot of fun along the way. Travel is in her DNA and she is a true visionary and a global citizen.

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