The Saratoga Six: Virginia Fretto
Six inquisitive questions with Saratoga’s most interesting people.
By Alyssa McClenning
She’s a sweet soul who hand-crafts eye-catching arm candy. Virginia Fretto, designer and owner of Razimus Jewelry known for her unique pieces and collaborations, also happens to be a force behind diabetes awareness and education. We recently caught up with Virginia at Saratoga Tea & Honey.
1. Tell us about your earliest Saratoga memory.
My husband, Rob, who grew up in this area, met while attending college in Boston about 15 years ago. We used to escape city life by weekending here - the track in the summer, Saratoga Apple orchard in the fall, and Ellms tree farm in the winter. We would often meet up with Rob’s childhood friends during those weekend visits and check out the downtown Saratoga bar scene.
2. The Saratoga Social was created to highlight the work of our local nonprofits. Which organization is most important to you?
About three years ago, I began participating in the Saratoga Tour de Cure for the American Diabetes Association. Being a Type 1 (juvenile onset) diabetic, at first I signed up just because the cause helped support research and advocacy for those with diabetes. But after the first “Red Rider” (those who ride with diabetes) & Champions (those who raised over $1000) Dinner on team Davidson Brothers Drafters, I was instantly inspired to share my story about being a wife, mom, and business owner living with diabetes. The Saratoga Tour de Cure is ranked SECOND in the entire nation for funds raised to help stop diabetes – second out of 85 Tour de Cures in 43 states, raising over $1.3 million dollars - that is incredible! Go Saratoga! I really feel like it is a celebration of support diabetics and their families who manage this disease 24/7 + 365, and it inspires me to do more and more each year.
3. Which spot in town serves your favorite drink or dish?
My favorite subject! I like to try new things and love to cook, so usually my rule is if it is something I can make at home, I don’t order it. For a healthy lunch, Four Season’s Cafe is my favorite - they are so creative and delicious with their hot food selections, and one thing I do always get is their black seaweed salad. And on days for a treat, I will share a slice of their vegan carrot cake or fruit tarts with my daughter.
My current obsession is just 10 minutes south in Malta: Campagna. The food is divine and Chef Lauren (who I hear once worked with THE Mario Batali) hand-makes all of their pastas and regularly chances the menu to reflect what’s in season. Be sure to save room for dessert, especially if they have the dark chocolate and tart cherry bread pudding.
4. Which piece is your collection screams “Saratoga Summer”?
Definitely our new organic cotton LARIAT necklace, which is a collaborative design with Troy-designer Nadine Medina Designs. It’s sleek, sophisticated and can be worn as a statement piece with a great dress, or casually with a tank and cropped boyfriend jeans. I wear it with a stack of at least three bracelets; my favorites summer stack is the organic linen JONI bracelet, with our COLBIE bracelet in organic cotton in watercolors, and LUCI bracelet in organic cotton in mustard. But I would be remiss if I didn’t mention one fabric in the new MAZZY bracelet that is made from a deconstructed vintage men’s blazer from the 1970s, we call it the jazz jacket, and to me that belongs on your wrist at the track with a glass of wine.
5. What's the first app/website you open in the morning?
Instantly Instagram! I post each morning before my daughter wakes up and check out what other style inspiration is on my feed that could spark some new design ideas. Then if I have time before our morning “get out the door” routine begins, I try to squeeze in a little lesson from an online course I am taking to grow my jewelry business. I like learning something new.
6. "I consider Saratoga's greatest hidden gem to be..."
All of the awesome bike and multi-use trails in Saratoga County. As well as the luxury of having some of the best (and most beautiful) farms and produce growers in our backyard. Our dedicated farmers really are something special, and allow us to eat so well year-round.