Drawn to the historic charm and coastal ambiance of Wilmington, NC, Star Sosa opened the original Spectrum Gallery in 1997 in a 100 year old warehouse along the Cape Fear River. Drawing from an extensive background in jewelry design and American craft, Star attracted a dynamic roster of talented artists to join her venture. As Spectrum grew and evolved it was relocated to an upscale boutique shopping center, The Forum, not far from Wrightsville Beach.
Celebrating 20 years in business in 2017, Spectrum Fine Jewelry is renowned throughout the southeast as a premier source for exceptional and unusual jewelry. Much of this is created on-site in their own designer studio. This distinctive salon style jewelry store is home to an award-winning team of designers, Star Sosa and Susan Drake, and a master goldsmith, Mike Schmalzreidt. Spectrum’s creativity has been recognized with national design awards from such prestigious organizations at the American Gem Trade Association, Jewelers of America and the Palladium Alliance just to name a few.
With an emphasis on fine colored gems, Spectrum hosts regular events from private round tables to weekend gem shows. Other events include designer trunk shows, diamond sales, custom restyle events, appraisal clinics, and more.
Star Sosa - Owner
Spectrum owner and jewelry designer, Star Sosa, has been in the jewelry business for 30+ years. It is a journey that has taken her from Southern California, to Santa Fe, to Wilmington, NC. Star chose Wilmington because of its thriving arts community, while recognizing the need for creative and unique fine jewelry design.
“I started out as a jewelry designer starting back in the late 80’s selling my work at craft shows around the US and loved it from the very beginning. I started out as an exhibitor and in 1997 made the switch to attending as a buyer and gallery owner which has shown me all sides of the art, craft and jewelry business. In my years as a wholesale jewelry designer I did trunk shows in galleries all over the country in such wonderful places as Carmel, Vail, Aspen, Scottsdale, Santa Fe and more. It showed me how many other people approach the business. I have taken this knowledge and distilled it into Spectrum Fine Jewelry. I’d like to think that Spectrum represents the best of my experiences as an artist, a collector, and a business owner. I have always striven to create a place where I would like to go and spend time and I think it shows.
My staff, my artists, and the artworks have all been carefully selected to come together and form a unique dynamic of beauty, craftsmanship and service. Recently a customer told me that Spectrum was her “favorite place to be” and then she hugged me. What better testimonial can anyone receive?”
- Star Sosa
Susan Drake - Jewelry Designer
Joining Spectrum from Florida, Susan Drake has been a welcomed addition to our team. She received a jewelry manufacturing degree from the Gemological Institute of America. Her bold and inventive designs have earned multiple awards from the American Gem Trade Association and the Manufacturing Jewelers’ and Silversmiths’ Association. Susan won two awards for Spectrum Art & Jewelry in her first year here as one of our jewelry designers!
Susan is an award winning jewelry designer that just added her 12th national jewelry design award to her impressive resume this year!
Gaby Von Kampen
Gaby was born and raised in Germany. She is Bi-lingual in German & English, as well as conversational in French. She has traveled extensively in Europe to places like Italy, Spain, France, Switzerland, Holland, Belgium, Denmark, and Austria. Her Interests include Art History, Western Civilization, and Sociology. Gaby worked in residential real estate while living in the greater Washington D.C. area from 1982-2007. After moving to Wilmington she found another passion, jewelry! She has enjoyed working in the industry for almost 5 years. Her latest hobby is her 10 month old granddaughter Olivia.
June has a long history in the jewelry world and we are excited to welcome her to our team! June moved to Wilmington from Baltimore, MD about 10 years ago. She brings with her over thirty years of experience in Jewelry Sales and Services. Her expertise in the field includes Diamond Council of America, Certified Diamontologist, Guild Gemologist and Jewelers of America Certified Senior Management Professional certifications.
Kayla is a Wilmington native who received her Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a concentration in Graphic Design. While at UNC-Charlotte, she developed a love and respect for all artistic mediums. Kayla has worked in the jewelry industry since graduating college in 2011 and loves learning about different gemstones and the jewelry making process.
Mike began his jewelry career in 1989 as a jewelers apprentice in Boca Raton, FL. In 1993 he and his wife of 27 years moved to eastern Pennsylvania to raise their two sons. Mike continued work as a traveling jeweler, fulfilling the repair and design needs of over a dozen family owned jewelers. In 2006 he opened a retail store, which he ran until August 2015 when he moved his family to Wilmington and joined the Spectrum team