Donna Chambers, fine jewelry goldsmith, designer, and entrepreneur, has achieved an enviable level of success that began with a gifted past and ambitious goal.
Born and raised in Ossining, New York, Donna was recognized at an early age by Vera Linens and later by Oleg Cassini for her talent in artistic design. Vera hired Donna as a teenager to create textile designs for her multi-million dollar design operation that was located in Ossining. Vera established a fund and scholarship in honor of her late husband, and Donna became the first recipient of the George Neuman Scholarship. In the fall of 1968, Donna went on to study at Pratt Institute from which she graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts.
In 1976, Donna became part owner of a jewelry repair shop that serviced fifteen neighborhood jewelry concerns in the downtown Brooklyn area, as well as A&S Department Store. Three years later, after having refined her skills, Donna expanded and created the Donna Chambers Collection© of 14kt gold and pearl earrings and pins. Donna’s fine jewelry collection has been carried by major department stores such as Bloomingdale’s, Fortunoff’s and Saks Fifth Avenue, as well as at jewelry chains from coast to coast. A Collection Donna’s jewelry is now available in the gift store of the New National Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC .
While always striving to promote design excellence in the world of jewelry, Donna has become an award-winning designer. She has been a winner of The International Pearl Design Contest, a recipient of the 1992 Women’s Jewelry Association’s Annual Award for Excellence in Manufacturing, and also received the 1995 Blenheim Award for Design Excellence.
True to her entrepreneurial spirit and artistic roots, Donna is also the owner of a successful ethnic gift and book gallery that was established in 1990. The gift gallery is a retail store that occupies and shares the manufacturing facility of Donna Chambers Designs. That Old Black Magic Gift Gallery carries a full range of gifts, collectibles, limited edition prints, greeting cards, books, games and dolls all relating to the “black experience.” Since 1990 That Old Black Magic has broadened its horizons by listening to the needs of its customers. On a monthly basis That Old Black Magic tries to enrich the community by bringing in a popular author or artist, a storyteller for children, women’s health and fitness experts, inspirational gurus and many other exciting personalities. That Old Black Magic also has a monthly reading group that reads and discusses many of today’s best-selling African American titles in addition to classic works. That Old Black Magic and Donna Chambers have been award recipients, in 1994 The Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs Business Award, in 1995 The Women of the Year Award Gamma XI Zeta Chapter Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., in 1998 Donna was honored by the YWCA’s Salute to Women, in 1999 the Westchester African American Chamber of Commerce paid tribute to the spirit of That Old Black Magic, and again in 1999 Donna was awarded The Phenomenal Woman Award for commitment and service in the community by The Westchester Alumnae Chapter of Bennett College.
Over the past 8 years Donna has once again discovered her love for sewing. Creating art quilts is her newest passion. Entering quilts in art shows, quilt shows and winning occasional ribbons, Donna’s success story continues.