More American Made Jewelry Discoveries
Besides sharing more amazing jewelry designers with jewelry made in America, I thought I’d also take the time to catch up and share some shopping and sale opportunities, which I’ll share in a few minutes.
Summer is for fun and traveling, and we’ve been busy doing that!
In fact after I record this episode, I’ll be headed to DC to visit the Smithsonian museums with my family - and gems etc
For the month of July, I’ve been featuring jewelers and designers of America, and jewelry made in the U.S., starting with Hugo Kohl out of Harrisonburg, VA, who creates jewelry from original, antique tools and hubs used just like they were in the 1800’s.
A lot of his jewelry is accented with ornamentation that held secret messages for the recipients, from cigar band style rings, to signet styles, to the delicately engraved gold wedding bands.
If you missed that episode, it’s number 16 America’s Vintage Jewelry Legacy with Hugo Kohl of Hugo Kohl Jewelry
Then, in episode 17, I featured Kiara Boughner of Wade and Willow Hand Forged Jewelry.
The Eclectic Story and Designs of Wade and Willow Hand Forged Jewelry with Kiara Boughner
Kiara is a talented young woman, who sources many of the stones she sets in her jewelry with her husband, and often includes their young son on their gem hunt excursions in the California desert.
I was mesmerized by both their stories - if you still have summer travels, make sure you download the episodes yo’ve missed to catch up!
Wrapping up July’s podcasts, we continue with American made jewelry, I have some new designers to share with you I met at the Jewelers’ of America Jewelry Show in NY last week.
I was so excited to meet several people I follow on Instagram, most of whom are designers, and one very special gemologist, who I’ll tell you about in a few minutes!
I attended the show with one of my favorite people in the world, and best friend, Angelica.
We worked together in Virginia for a small indie store, and became close friends.
Angelica is passionate about serving shoppers and their jewelry vision by custom or ready made means.
She has excellent “jewelry intuition”, and can move a job along quickly by interpreting a client’s needs and design ideas to finished jewelry joy.
She’ll be taking over The Jewelers Bench in Hershey, PA at the beginning of next year.
It’s wonderful seeing the evolution of the jewelry trade changing over to the next generation with capable and enthusiastic direction.
I was excited to get be with her at the show as I was getting to meet the designers and see their jewelry.
Ok, so on to what I discovered at the show!
Last weekend, I attended the JA show for the first time, and LOVED it!
I especially enjoyed meeting the jewelers and designers in the New Designer Gallery, hearing their stories, and what inspires them to create their jewelry.
We’re navigating a unique business arena - one that can change in months rather than years.
What’s really exciting is seeing the opportunities evolving and growing from the mechanisms of online reach, not only forming friendships, but connections so we can champion for each other.
Most of the designers I met are women, yet many did not start as jewelry designers - which makes their jewelry and stories even more intriguing and endearing.
I’ll share a few of their stories today, and in the coming weeks, I hope to have more in depth features with them.
I flew to Harrisburg Saturday, so I could take the train to New York with Angelica on Sunday.
With filled travel mugs of coffee to go, and our latest trade magazines, we departed for New York.
Before we arrived in the city, we did our homework, and made notes who we wanted to find at the javits center.
We went straight to the New Designer Gallery, a special, but small selection of new designers.
I was excited to recognize the explosion-type designs of Emily Kuvin as I entered the section of the New Designer Gallery.
I’ve been following Emily for several months now, and always love seeing her joyful gem explosions suspended from necklaces, earrings, and as statement rings.
As I visited with her, she shared her formal education and former career was in marketing and journalism.
She picked up jewelry design in high school, and transitioned from her former career to pursue and grow her jewelry business full time.
Based in New Hampshire, All of her jewelry is made in the U.S.
Her signature star explosion motif is part of her Stella line, and almost looks like a comic book emotion explosion, but hers are either freeform shapes to create earrings and necklaces or engraved on cuff bracelets.
She also creates elegant but simple forms using three bezel-set stones to form a single triangle, or paired up with a trillion cut colored gemstone.
You can find her at emily kuvin dot com as emily kuvin jewelry design.
as well as in several specialty and jewelry boutiques in the Boston and New England area, which are listed on her website.
I really enjoyed hearing the designers tell their stories, and as we strolled down the aisle, we were drawn to the booth where Danielle of Merzatta warmly welcomed us to visit her and her jewelry.
Bold, but elegant, Merzatta jewelry is designed and inspired by textures and forms of nature.
Cast directly form organic and botanical originals,
Each piece I wore and examined was comfortable with its own unique features, and the price points are very wallet friendly.
Danielle and her husband, Chris met while on a construction project in the Grenadines.
While in the tropical location, they would collect trinkets of nature while on walks, like a piece of sea fan coral, shells, and random pinecones.
After returning to the States, their relationship continued, they married and had their first child.
In between starting their family, and their continued design work, they discovered means of jewelry fabrication to translate patterns of nature into jewelry, many taken from the items they originally found in Grenadine.
The couple creates and manufactures Merzatta jewelry from their home studio in New Jersey.
I love rings, and she and Chris have created a selection of beautiful designs, some with stones, like a trapiche emeralds and a star sapphires, others with open designs of the patterns and textures they were formed from.
One of my favorite rings is created from the small pinecones that interlock and spin together.
You can see a video in my Instagram feed of the pinecone ring.
Imperfect Grace is a line of colorful jewelry designed with a geometric flair with an endearing history, and is named for the confidence we grow into as we come into our own adulthood.
Krista Trpkovski, immigrated From the Ukraine at 12, and weaves small colorful gems into her designs as lively as the colorful Ukrainian cross stitch embroidery from her homeland.
The geometric designs and bright gemstones are set into innovative stacking designs that reflect creativity and versatility.
I loved watching her demonstrate how the rings stack together seamlessly.
She makes stackable bands that look like single or double sided crowns, so when they’re stacked together, they look like a solid band, with the gems alternating from either side.
I’ll put photos up and watch my instagram feed for photos as well.
you can fine her at imperfect grace dot co,
There were ten designers all together in the New Designer Gallery, but I’m saving a few of the others for another podcast, because I want to tell you about who else I met and saw at the show!
I also met both Gigi Ferranti and Lori Ann Friedman of Lori Ann Jewelry.
I’ve admired both Gigi’s and Lori Ann’s jewelry because their designs stand out as being unique and innovative , and I love how their combinations of colored stones and shapes.
Many of Gigi’s jewelry designs have what’s become her signature pattern from her Lucia collection - Lucia meaning graceful light reflects the elegance of her jewelry.
Because most of her designs are based on geometric patterns, the rings and bracelets are stackable, and can be worn together or separately.
Besides meeting Gigi in person (and she’s lovely, warm, and welcoming), I had the honor of visiting and wearing her mermaid ring!
If you don’t know what that is, you HAVE to see it!
Mermaid ring in 18K rose gold set with a rectangular 7.09 ct with Brazilian Indicolite Tourmaline, Pink Sapphires, Diamonds and Tsavorite Garnet.
Once in a while, you come across a spectacular gemstone, and the inspiration comes through that stone; this is one of those cases. We love when the stones speak to us and the creativity starts flowing. This is our interpretation of a Mermaid, beautifully crafted with quality gemstones. For gem lovers, a definite conversation piece.
Her jewelry is a show stopper, and every time we passed her booth, she had shoppers and visitors captivated by her and her jewelry.
Many of the jewelers and designers I feature came from former careers, and ultimately, their skills and past experience contribute to their jewelry in one way or another.
If you’ve ever played with water color painting, you know the color is added in layers.
Building on the concept and design of layers, Lori Ann Friedman of Lori Ann Jewelry, does just that.
It’s a technique that I wouldn’t have expected, but one an intuitive artist like Lori Ann came up with!
For her Mediterranean collection, she Uses high polished gem slices as a the sort of transparent canvas , she then adds layers of gems.
The stones added are mostly bezel-set, and often with a primary center focus stone, surrounded by accent diamonds or other gemstones.
With collections, like
she selects the gemstones while subtly capturing and pairing them with complementary metals and accent gemstones.
Unique combinations, like labradorite, opal and green sapphire create ethereal wearable art, like a ring from her Galaxy collection.
Lori Ann was awarded the Mort Abelson New Designer of the Year from last year’s New Designer Gallery.
Her first career as a graphic designer and art director for an engineering company serves her well as an innovative jewelry designer.
I met up with Lori on one of the semi circular couch alcoves set up throughout the showroom and was able to visit with her before heading to the airport for my return home.
Lori Ann’s jewelry can be found on her website, lori ann jewelry dot com, as well as in Mitchells stores, a luxury brand retail store, with locations in New York, CT, CA, and OR.
I had been trying to connect with a very busy gemologist while at the show the two days we were there.
You might know her from Instagram as Gemology Geek.
Erica was striding down the aisle of the New Designer Gallery when we found each other.
Smart, beautiful and a wealth of knowledge from all sides of the jewelry industry, Erica is a Graduate Gemologist who shares detailed and interesting gem and mineral facts on her instagram feed and stories.
She’s also worked in almost every arena of the jewelry trade, so she’s familiar with the inside, outside and sideways details of what designers and jewelers go through to produce, show and sell their lines.
The timing was perfect, because she joined me and Lori Ann on the semi circle couch, and we enjoyed an enlightening pow wow.
I didn’t realize how quickly the time would go at the show.
First of all, it’s a large space.
JA does a great job at organization and allowing for plenty of open space for overviews and visiting with new vendors and attendees.
I’ll definitely go again, and next time, schedule in more time to visit with designers and friends.
Wow! That was a lot!
I have been busy this summer, but because it’s the quiet before the holiday shopping storm for jewelers and manufacurures, it’s the perfect time to catch up with them for features and visits.
Speaking of the storm of holiday shopping…
I have some shopping news to share with you!
Get a jump start on holiday shopping in July - seriously - knock off that gift list early so you can enjoy making cookies and drinking cocktails, eggnog, whaterve - while everyone else frantically shops when the days get dark earlier.
Check out these two designers’ offers to take advantage of deals that will make holiday shopping so much easier!
There are certain people - especially men - I find are very hard to shop for.
Crash Jewelry makes is a whole lot easier.
Christi Schimpke makes jewelry for men and women from minor damaged parts of luxury and high performance sports cars, like Maserati, Lamborghini, Ferraris and more.
Right now, she’s running a 30% off sale on everything in her store!
Cufflinks (they’re not just for men anymore, either), cuff, bangle bracelets, necklaces and earring, all made from the painted doors, hoods and side panels of these luxury cars.
What’s really cool about this jewelry besides being made from these cars, is that it’s super light weight.
go to crash jewelry dot com
I’ve been a big fan of Cate Claus of Thesis Gems for sometime now.
She creates jewelry with an organic, and sometimes almost tribal, but feminine feel.
A lot of her metal accents are hammered, which allows for a complementary texture that makes the stones she uses stand out even more.
She only uses stones that have been ethically sourced, and verified to the ethical treatment of those who source and mine the stones as well as for the land it’s sourced from.
Here’s the mission statement from her
We believe that people and the environment are more valuable than any gem. That’s why Thesis seeks sources that are committed to ethical treatment of workers and the land. We are not afraid to ask important questions about labor practices and environmental impact and seek hard evidence. And we donate 1% of our profits to organizations fighting to conserve and defend our planet.
Our partnerships work to ensure that your jewelry is made with integrity, from the time your gem is liberated from the earth in Africa, Australia, Sri Lanka, or Canada, to the time it is crafted into a finished heirloom by master goldsmiths in the San Francisco Bay Area or London.
-Cate Claus, Thesis Gems
She has a super interesting story that I’m going to share in a future podcast!
Oh! And, her logo is super cool! A lion and a kangaroo as her coat of arms - but very friendly.
Tsavorite, Mozambique ruby, and Lightning Ridge opals are just few of the gemstones beautifully showcased and set within her 18kt yellow gold settings.
Right now, through August 31, 2018, she’s offering $500 off any of her pieces!
See her instagram feed story highlights for complete details and the coupon code @thesisgems.
There are so many wonderfully talented jewelers and designers, and I love sharing their jewelry and stories with you!
If you like learning about new jewelry you can feel good about wearing and sharing, please leave a review in iTunes or through the platform you listen to podcasts on - I’d SO appreciate it!
I’m so excited!!!! We’re almost to episode 20!!!!
Next week, I’ll be sharing the story of a jeweler who not only creates jewelry, but paints it!
AND…we’ll be doing a give away of a bag of gems together, so you’ll really want to listen in, and stay tuned!!
Until next time…cross check your asterism (that’s for gems that exhibit a star, like star sapphires!) and sparkle - talk to you next week!