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Jewelry You Wear All the Time

 Jennifer Meyer’s jewelry collection is among the top-selling brands at Barneys New York, cynics might be tempted to dismiss the designer as an “It girl” who benefits from the regular appearance of celebrity friends like Kate Hudson and Gwyneth Paltrow on her Instagram feed.

Then there’s the fact that her father is Ron Meyer, vice chairman of NBCUniversal, and her husband, from whom she separated last year, is Tobey Maguire (“Spider-Man”).” But Ms. Meyer, 40, has built her business since 2005 by focusing on something that’s resonated with customers: delicate jewelry that is feminine and casual enough to wear every day.

“This is not a spoiled Hollywood child,” said Ms. Paltrow, who has been friends with Ms. Meyer for a decade. “This is a completely industrious, hardworking woman who’s not leveraging anything that she was born with, other than her talent.”

Ms. Meyer’s simple 18-karat gold pieces often use motifs that are whimsical or talisman-like. Charms in the shape of wishbones and four-leaf clovers that dangle from a slender chain are best sellers, as are a variety of items adorned with a large heart.

Many items seem destined to be gifts, such as necklaces with white gold discs that are inlaid with diamond pavé initials and mismatched stud earrings with the words “love” and “you.”

Ms. Paltrow, for example, said that she always wears a stack of six of Ms. Meyer’s thin gold bands, a present from her boyfriend, on her pinkie.

“I wanted to design pieces that you wore all the time,” Ms. Meyer explained over coffee at a downtown Manhattan hotel during a recent visit. “I knew what I wanted to wear and I couldn’t find it: I wanted that delicate jewelry that you never took off, that you showered in, that you slept in.”

On this particular sunny Saturday morning, she wore nearly a dozen pieces of her own design — a couple of gold pendants, a ring accented with a small pavé diamond disc, a handful of slim bracelets and oversize hoop earrings. Although the items varied in thickness and size, there was a coherence to the style, a casual sensibility that suggested the laid-back lifestyle of Ms. Meyer’s hometown, Los Angeles.

Jewelry-making was not a lifelong goal for Ms. Meyer, although as a child she did spend afternoons making rings and medallions with her paternal grandmother, Edith Meyer, who designed enamel pieces in a tiny Santa Monica apartment, its kitchen crowded with a kiln. She studied child and family psychology at Syracuse University; when she returned to Los Angeles in 1999, she went straight into the work force, although not exactly by her own choice.

Rebekah McCabe was Ms. Meyer’s boss at Ralph Lauren and now is senior vice president of artistic direction, store design, events and public relations at Chanel. “She doesn’t rest on her laurels,” Ms. McCabe said. “There’s an innate sense of wanting to do well, wanting to work hard, not take anything for granted and always improving. She doesn’t call in any favors.”

Ms. Meyer began dabbling in jewelry design while working at Ralph Lauren, making pieces in her bedroom and taking Saturday morning classes at a local bead store. By then she was dating Mr. Maguire; they married in 2007 and have two children: Ruby, now 10, and Otis, 8.

When they moved in together, the money she saved on rent was earmarked to create the core of what became her collection. “I felt like, ‘This is a dream of mine — what better thing to blow your money on?’ ” she recalled. “It works or it doesn’t work — I tried.”

With a handful of pieces completed, she quickly saw signs of success: a dainty leaf pendant she showed to the stylists Nina and Clare Hallworth ended up on Jennifer Aniston in the 2006 film “The Break-Up.” A friend’s introduction to a buyer at Barneys led to the store carrying the line; it’s now also sold on several websites, including Net-a-Porter, and next summer Ms. Meyer intends to open a shop in the Los Angeles area. (The company, which is privately owned, does not disclose sales or revenue figures.)

Production is handled by artisans in downtown Los Angeles, and Ms. Meyer and her 10 business and marketing staff members are based in a bright office in West Los Angeles.

Ms. Meyer’s collection has always had many pieces that cost less than $1,000, including a selection of thin bracelets and stud earrings. She gradually has added higher-priced pieces to the mix, such as a long necklace of prong-set diamonds that retails for slightly more than $25,000 and a heart-shaped pendant encrusted with pavé diamonds at $6,000.