After a decade of DJing, jeweler Ben Baller put his career on ice. Now his pieces give your favorite entertainers chills
Celebrity jeweler Ben Baller countered the 2000s recession the only way he knew how: by putting on a front. “I had to maintain that ballin’ image, but I was spending my savings,” says the 40-year-old Los Angeles native, who’s cooled the necks of Mariah Carey, Floyd Mayweather and Michael Jackson. “People don’t realize if you kill yourself socially, survival is 10 times harder.”
Perception has outweighed reality in Ben’s world since striking gold in 2004, when the former DJ and Aftermath executive piggybacked on his cousin and uncle’s family business and founded jewelry company IF & Co. The reformed sneakerhead flipped his hip-hop rolodex into clientele thirsty for his loud and proud (and recession-enduring) craftwork.
With an budget-friendly Neff watch collaboration ($35!) and online reality show in tow, Ben Baller shares how he keeps his biz shining bright. —John Kennedy