Linda Kha, Carats and Stones’ owner, curator, and designer, began her career as a jeweler when at 12 years old, her father brought her to work alongside him at KTD Fine Jewelers, then located in the iconic Phelan Building on Market Street in the financial district of San Francisco.
From repairs to design to procurement, Linda learned the jewelry business by her father’s side. “More than my formal education in jewelry and design,” she says, “I learned about jewelry as a kid in the back of our store.”
Linda was only 14 when she took the reins of KTD jewelry, and just after graduating from high school, she bought her first jewelry business of her own. During these years, due to her father’s network of jewelers in their home country, Linda had the privilege of being taught traditional goldsmithing theory and techniques from the many master jewelers who visited their San Francisco jewelry stores. Practicing one-on-one with these experts, Linda learned through direct, hands-on experience.
Knowing that her lifetime career would be in the jewelry business, Linda continued her education through classes at San Francisco State University, both in goldsmithing and business. Taking college classes while running jewelry stores she says, “was really hard work, but I loved every minute of it.” Now, many years later, Linda’s artistry, hard work, and expertise have led to the creation of Carats and Stones.
Finding her highest inspiration in nature, Linda’s designs reflect her passion for the natural beauty that surrounds her. Whether it’s the leaves of a tree, or a spring flower on a San Francisco sidewalk, Linda loves to translate nature’s beauty into fine jewelry. At times she says, the stone itself will guide her design, “Sometimes I’ll look at the stone, its color, structure, and cut, and that’s where I’ll find the design. I never really know what will inspire me.”
Above all else, Linda cherishes the deep connections she and her family have developed over their 40 years as a San Francisco jewelry business. Young couples who met Linda while shopping for an engagement ring now visit with their grandchildren to choose the perfect gift for the newest members of the family, while families worldwide who’ve come to trust Linda as their family jeweler will stop by to say hello whenever they’re in town. Linda’s loyal, long-term clients are the part of the jewelry business she’s most proud of.
“I don’t design for myself,” she says, “I design for the person who will be wearing it. I believe your jewelry should reflect who you are, your values, and your lifestyle.” Combining Linda’s expertise and your imagination, Linda will work with you to draft a design of your vision, source diamonds and gemstones, and create a piece of custom jewelry whose beauty will exceed your expectations.