Harrell explains his custom jewelry collection to NBCSW which originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
WASHINGTON – Regarding the clientele of Houston-based jeweler Zo Frost, a better question than “who does he work with?” would be “who doesn’t he work with?” His Instagram page is testament to a long list of celebrities who have used his unique and personalized services, from rappers like Drake and Young Thug to athletes like Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson and Washington football catcher. Terry McLaurin.
But of all the clients he does business with, some are much more loyal and active than others. Wizards center Montrezl Harrell definitely falls into this category.
“With Montrezl it’s a little different,” Frost told NBC Sports Washington. “In the last three or four years, I don’t think there was a time that I wasn’t working on a project with Trezz. It’s back to back to back.”
Harrell picked up his most recent channel in person on the Wizards road trip to Houston during the preseason. Once he entered Frost’s office on Boulevard Bellaire, he gave him an idea for another. This is how the model unfolds. Each custom chain can take over a month to design, create and deliver, and each time, Harrell has new inspiration.
Harrell says he now has too many to count.
“I don’t know, man. That’s a lot,” Harrell told NBC Sports Washington. “All of them are personalized. I never buy them from a jewelry store. Each of my pieces is custom made and has a story behind it.”
Harrell designs each piece himself. The process begins with a phone call to Frost. Harrell will describe his vision, which Frost then conceptualizes using a computer program. From there, he sends a plaster back to Harrell.
“Now is the time to make changes,” Frost said.
Harrell will review the project, sometimes suggesting adjustments, and then give the go-ahead.
“Just to get everything detailed exactly the way I want it,” Harrell said. “The longest process is just getting the details exactly the way we want them to. Then, once he gets them into the [program], they’re just running with it, man. “
Frost first prints a final cast which is then coated with gold. Then it is time to set the diamonds and other stones. Some, like the ones Harrell has from anime characters, require enamel to “bring out the originality of the piece,” according to Frost.
After all this, there is a polishing phase to add the finishing touches. Once everything is done, it’s time for delivery. Frost will often travel directly to Harrell to deliver his new coin.
The recent Harrell picked up in Houston was called the “Sauce Sampler”. It was one of the most complex chains Frost produced for him.
“It basically represents how it has different flavors of drips that it carries. It’s four different sauces and there’s a ‘sauce’ at the top and a ‘swatch’ at the bottom,” Frost said.
Since all of Harrell’s chains and pendants are personalized, they each have their own meaning to him. He’s a sentimental person when it comes to his hometown – he grew up in Tarboro, NC – and his family.
Some pieces make more sense than others and Harrell brought a collection of them to the Wizards’ training facility in Southeast DC last week to share their stories with NBC Sports Washington.
Harrell: “I’m a huge fan of animation. This one is one of the cartoons that I grew up watching a lot, [Gerald from ‘Hey Arnold’]. It’s been my jersey number for a while. I wore # 5 for a good little minute before the last couple of years, so that’s what it is.
Harrell: “This one’s my grandmother, [Mamie], died not so long ago, about a year. I wear it almost every day just usually because it’s my # 1 wife. “
Harrell: “This piece is really for me and my brothers. NLB stands for ‘No Lost Bonds’.’ Then I have a smaller one that looks exactly the same underneath. It also says NLB. “
Harrell: “So I have a smaller one under my shirt and it has my child’s initials; [Amari and Alyeshia]. “
Harrell says he’s loved personalized jewelry since he was a kid, and once he started collecting NBA paychecks he could afford to make it a hobby. He also collects art and views his jewelry in the same way.
Her jewelry collection, however, goes much further than an appreciation for craftsmanship.
“The area I’m from, I’m from the south, and having this chain was kind of like this centerpiece, man,” Harrell said. “It is this stage of realization that consolidates you to start doing what you want to do with your life. It has certainly always been a staple in my area that kind of symbolizes your group.”
Harrell’s best friends back home also have “NLB” strings to represent their roots. He says he works with other jewelers and mentioned AJ’s Jewelry in Miami and Icebox in Atlanta. He might even immerse himself in the business one day.
But he works very frequently with Frost, who is in Houston where Harrell began his NBA career. Frost says other pieces he made for Harrell include a full set of characters from the Yu-Gi-Oh animated series as well as an Energizer bunny because “he represents him as a player.”
Harrell wears many other pieces of jewelry every day, some that are much less complex but still hold significance to him. On his left wrist he has a collection of beaded bracelets, some to represent energy, peace and calm.
“I’m really big on energy, man,” Harrell said.
There are others with the names of family members like his late grandmother and two children. He also has one inscribed with “Underdawg,” which represents his clothing line. He even wears one from a fan with a phrase that can’t be printed in that space.
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Those with diamonds, however, are much more expensive. While they probably all fall under the “if you have to ask, you can’t afford it” category, Frost shed light on the kind of money he needs to be a personalized jewelry collector. Harrell’s chains can cost between $ 8,500 and $ 60,000. Most average around $ 10,000 to $ 20,000. You can see why Frost enjoys delivering them in person.
Once the new coin is given to Harrell, Frost knows it’s inevitable that he will move on to the next one. Even with a who’s who of famous clients, his business relationship with Harrell is on a different level.
“It’s not often that you get a guy like Trezz coming in one after another, one after another. To be honest with you, there’s no one like that,” said Frost. “It just shows that he really loves jewelry and fashion.”