Tell us more about your brand and what inspired you to start it?
My eponymous brand is a couture jewelry company that specializes in extraordinary jewelry for extraordinary women. In addition to designing my signature collections, I work one on one with clients to create breathtaking one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces.
I began designing jewelry at five years old after being inspired by the power bracelets worn by actress Lynda Carter in the Wonder Woman television series.
I’ve built my life around being an artist and creating jewelry, so taking a leap and building a brand around my passion just felt right.
“Sustainability in jewelry design and manufacturing wasn’t on consumers’ minds when I started making jewelry decades ago.”
What makes your brand a sustainable one?
All of my designs are handcrafted in recycled precious metals and a carefully curated selection of gemstones and pearls in my studio in the Akron suburb of Stow, Ohio.
I also use sustainable products in my production practices and studio and office supplies.
Was sustainability always a factor from the start or something that you have veered toward?
Sustainability in jewelry design and manufacturing wasn’t on consumers’ minds when I started making jewelry decades ago.
My first in-depth research in responsible sourcing and sustainability occurred while pursuing my M.B.A. in Entrepreneurship at Baldwin Wallace University.
Baldwin Wallace is one of the first schools in the United States to offer degrees in sustainability, so to learn from professors who are at the forefront of this subject was a wonderful asset as I was reworking my business plan.
With the birth of my daughter last year, I’ve become more interested in sustainability and more committed to incorporating sustainable practices at my company and at home.
What challenges have you encountered with your brand, in terms of keeping it green or otherwise?
I use only recycled precious metals in my designs, and I’m working on developing relationships with suppliers who offer certified ethically sourced gemstones.
These certifications are expensive and not every vendor can afford to be certified. So the compromise is to work with a very select group of vetted U.S.-based vendors—certified and not—who publicly promote their sustainable practices.
What inspired your latest collection?
My latest collection, “Undina,” is inspired by water-goddess mythology and mermaids transforming into foam on the ocean in Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid.
The “Undina” collection is handcrafted with thousands of recycled sterling silver elements and pin-set gemstones and pearls that move independently to playfully capture the light and shimmer with every step.
“The women I design for are confident, charismatic women who pursue their own joy wherever it may lead.”
I hand-selected gemstones such as labradorite, kyanite, crystal quartz, moonstone, and emeralds and combined them with pearls and oxidized recycled sterling silver to convey a watery ethereal mood.
Describe the person you envision wearing—and embodying—your brand.
The women I design for are confident, charismatic women who pursue their own joy wherever it may lead. They balance many roles but are always true to themselves: independent spirits who forge their own path and inspire others to do the same.
Where do you see your brand in five years?
I see my brand carried in a select group of upscale retailers and having a larger studio space and showroom.
What advice do you have for aspiring designers; particularly those who want to keep sustainability at the core of their business?
Join and be active in the professional organizations for your industry. They will help you stay current with the latest in government regulations and sustainable best practices and products.