Kara Ross is becoming a household name, in fashionable households that is. Owner and designer of the eponymous company, Kara has taken her company from designing custom pieces for private clients to an internationally recognized brand. The bold jewelry and handbag designs are replete with color: gemstones, original design skins and resins. The pieces are designed to be layered, to mix and match, so customers become collectors.
Trained as a Gemologist, Kara’s initial pieces were based on her skills for selecting the finest colored stones and diamonds. This skill transitioned flawlessly in 2007 to a new fashion jewelry line. Kara by Kara Ross was born from a collection made for a fashion show during the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. The gold plated brass jewelry made for the runway was an unexpected smash hit. In the years that followed, Kara’s new line proved to be ahead of its time, economically speaking. Kara is quick to point out that she really enjoys designing this line. The pieces are big, bold and simply fun to wear. Many of the skins she designs for her exclusive handbag collection are also incorporated into her fashion jewelry line.
Kara Ross’s award winning designs can be seen on the red carpet and on elegant women everywhere, including the White House. Last year Kara receive a very special commission to design bangle bracelets using wood from the White House lawn, which served as gifts to visiting heads of state. Kara’s vision and passion are a great combination for any entrepreneur, and are sure produce many fantastic lines to come.
JB: What is the main source of your design inspiration?
KR: I get ideas just by keeping my eyes open. I’m lucky in that I get to travel with work and with my family I am always inspired by the new places, people, customs, clothing, architecture that I see. I feel if you keep your eyes and heart open-there is always something that you are going to take notice of. It could even be a beautiful flower and the unexpected colors that live in it.
JB: You have three spectacular jewelry lines, at three separate price points. Do you create for different customers or do you have a fan base that stretches across all of your lines?
KR: I have three separate lines of jewelry: The Fine Jewelry, the Gemstone Collection and the Kara by Kara Ross “Boutique” line. The scale and production of each line is very different. The Kara by Kara Ross line is much more widely distributed. Retail prices range from $100-300.00. The Gemstone Collection is from $300-$5,000. The Fine Jewelry is too hard to price out with each piece being unique. The lower priced KARA collection is very fashionable and trendy. The Gemstone Collection is designed for those who want something to cherish for years to come.
JB: There is a great emphasis on color in all of your pieces. Explain how color fits into your creative process.
KR: Color is important because it makes a statement, it elevates your mood. I believe there is no wrong color – any color is right in right circumstances. It really is a joy to mix and experiment with different palettes.
JB: Who has had the greatest influence on your life/career?
KR: My parents and family have obviously had the most important impact. My mother used to take us to look at antiques and vintage pieces when I was younger. That started my love of vintage clothing. I actually wore beautiful vintage dress for prom in high school. My father is a surgeon but also a very talented painter. My brothers/sisters and I all have pieces he has done in our homes
In addition, I love architecture and art. I am a fan of Sir Norman Foster, Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas, David Childs, Frank Gehry and Santiago Calatrava as well as Francis Bacon and Louise Bourgeois. My favorite jewelry designer is Suzanne Belperron. She was a great Parisian jeweler born in 1900s. She was known for her bold use of stones. I love the fact that she was a strong successful woman during a time when women were not a big part of the work force, private business owners or designers. She was a strong, creative, independent thinker.
JB: Your hand bag line is stunning. Do you have plans to expand into other areas of fashion?
KR: I love accessories and designing jewelry and handbags keeps me busy. I am always open to new ideas and collaborations.
JB: What are you working on right now?
KR: We just launched our Bridal Collection and Bespoke Collection Program when you can design your own version of Kara Ross signature handbags. I am very excited about these new developments!
Bold, elegant and timeless designs with an emphasis on color and texture grab your attention whenever you see a PONO piece. Derived from the Hawaiian word for “goodness”, PONO is a fashion jewelry line launched by sisters Joan Goodman and Barbara Barnett in 2003. I was first introduced to the brand on Twitter. Their charismatic tweets enticed me to a tradeshow booth, where I was blow away by the impact of the collection.
The PONO line is composed of stunning statement necklaces, cuff bracelets and bangle bracelets. All of the jewelry is rendered in diverse materials such as horn, wood, metal, shell and beautiful Italian resins. These pieces are definite style setters, seen regularly on the pages of glossy magazines including Vogue and Ladies’ Home Journal. The PONO collection is beautiful but it is also lightweight and really fun to wear. The designs fit well, and they come in a variety of colors to express any mood. You can also feel good about wearing PONO because the company is committed to responsible manufacturing and business practices.
PONO jewelry is decidedly collectable, as demonstrated on television by their growing fan base like Christine Baranski, Erica Hill and Jessica Shaw. I was actually stopped recently, and asked if my necklace was PONO! Visibility and big names are not new to Joan and Barbara. They also own and operate a parent company, Bobbi Trim Ltd., one of Manhattan’s leading button companies, with a reputation for luxury, durability and originality. Some of their clients include Marc Jacobs and Nanette Lepore. Gorgeous designs that are colorful, wearable and collectible are everywhere!
JB: What is the main source of your design inspiration for PONO jewelry?
JG: The weather: the light, the clouds, the textures, the colors. Each day brings me new inspiration.
JB: There is a great emphasis on color in your pieces. Explain how color fits into your creative process.
JG: Color is the most important part of the creative process….it brings depth, dimension, richness and sophistication to the pieces.
Color is what attracts you to the jewelry. Nature plays a huge role in my color inspiration.
My brain is good a fine-tuning color and color combinations.
JB: Is there a secret to your contemporary yet timeless design style?
JG: No secret…it is just how I see things. I am basically classic in design and then I push the limits a little bit to make things more special.
JB: Buttons have always fascinated me; some of them are miniature works of art in their own right. Are you also involved in the button design? Do you tap different aspects of your creative spirit for the button company?
JG: I used to be very involved in button design. These days, so much of the button production is copied/produced in Asia that I don’t do too much of this kind of designing any more.
I try to keep the buttons new, interesting and fresh even though I am not designing them myself.
JB: What are you working on right now?
JG: I just finished up Fall/Winter ’12 and cannot wait to see the collection all together.
I am now working on Resort 2013.
Find a great selection of PONO fashion jewelry at April M.
This year at The Jewelry Brief I was lucky enough to interview five inspirational jewelry designers that are true gems in their own right. They are from far reaching corners of the globe and at different stages in their careers, but they all share the same passion for art, design and adornment.
I was delighted when Emily Wheat Maynard agreed to talk to us about her breathtaking jewelry brand, Elva Fields. As all her pieces are comprised of vintage components, each one is truly unique. Emily told us that she takes inspiration from the materials themselves and creates her collection using all the beautiful objects she finds. The stunning results are perfect jewelry for the environmentally conscious.
Jeweler, Paolo Costagli told us of the fusion between the traditional and contemporary aspects of his work and the emphasis he places on quality craftsmanship. We were also interested to learn that his knowledge of gemstones and eye for exquisite color combinations form the basis of his creative process. This combined with his upbringing in culturally rich Florence and his love of French jewelers, have inspired him to create classic jewelry that will stand the test of time.
Designer Tiffany Chou fascinated us with her ocean influenced jewelry. She told us of how important the ocean was to her, growing up on the island of Maui, and this influence is apparent through her work. Tiffany also told us that she was committed to making her jewelry affordable, so that everyone could enjoy wearing something beautiful. An unusual concern for a jeweler, but one which her fans greatly appreciate.
Shlomit Ofir answered questions from her studio in Tel Aviv. A brilliant young designer, who sees design as a way of living. She is inspired by “snap shots” from every day life so her pieces reflect a wide range of themes from beautiful birds to mid-century modern formica furniture. Shlomit also has a commitment to affordability, which allows her customer to take a chance on a unique piece.
The final interview was with Gerard Yosca, who has been making women glamorous for 25 years. Season after season, he has been creating bold, colorful statement pieces that are hand crafted in his New York studio. He said that he designs for the woman who, “gets excited about her jewelry and wears it because she likes it, regardless of whether it is on trend or appropriate”. I think he was talking about me!
The Jewelry Brief would like to thank Emily Wheat Maynard, Paolo Costagli, Tiffany Chou, Shlomit Ofir and Gerard Yosca once again for their time and wish them every success and a very prosperous 2012.
Happy New Year,
Gerard Yosca’s work speaks for itself. One look at his bold, colorful designs and you will understand that his vision is about playful, unique statement pieces. Throughout his 25 years in business, Yosca has stayed true to his vision and consistently creates bold, beautiful jewelry adorning some of the world’s most glamorous women and prestigious catwalks. Yosca has collaborated with many clothing designers including Ralph Lauren, Oscar De La Renta, Nicole Miller, and Nanette Lepore. He is an Emeritus Board Member of the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America).
His colorful, playful attitude is reminiscent of a kid in a candy shop, and in some ways he is one. Born and raised in Queens, New York, Yosca’s career truly began when he was a child. He made craft objects and sold them on the counter of his father’s butcher shop for 10 cents a piece. His first creation was a pom pom critter with two plastic, beady eyes. The bright colors he chose for his creations call to mind the unflinching use of color in his hand-painted jewelry pieces. At Parsons School of Design he studied graphic design and advertising, but soon after returned to his love of the handmade arts. All of the his jewelry is still handcrafted in his New York Studio. Yosca prefers the title Fashion Designer; each season he creates a new, unique and inspired collection. He never follows trends, sees elements of design inspiration all around him and at the end of the day does what he has always loved to do. Women across the globe are lucky for that!
What is the most distinguishing characteristic in your design portfolio?
What seems so obvious is the way I work with color… painterly and the way I mix different “attitudes” in my work. You will see rough organic mixed with very refined.
What do you enjoy most doing?
I love building a collection. The color, scale, what motif to weave into it. When it all starts to make sense is still so exciting.
What are you favorite qualities in a woman to design jewelry for?
Guts. I design for a woman who gets excited by her jewelry and wears it because she likes it regardless of whether it is on trend or appropriate.
What is your favorite color?
Green-all the way from acid to brown/grey.
Who are your favorite artists?
Peter Doig for color, line, content. I never get tired of his work. Calder, for wit. Louis Comfort Tiffany, I’ve been obsessed with his glass works since I was a child.
What is your idea of happiness?
Being with someone to share all of the amazing things (and some bad!) that I get to see and do in this crazy lifetime.
Shlomit Ofir is a young Israeli designer with an amazing amount of talent and seemingly endless energy! She blogs; designs jewelry, clothing and accessories; and recently opened her second shop. I discovered her jewelry in an organic google search on vermeil. I was drawn to the simplicity and creativity of her designs. Shlomit’s pieces are beautiful, easy to wear and there is a piece for every mood or destination.
The jewelry is carefully crafted and each piece is a delicate work of art. Shlomit’s formal education was in industrial design, so she has an eye for picking out the most beautiful design elements in everyday objects. These “snap shots”, as she calls them, serve as her inspiration. The result is a fashion-forward/urban meets antique as well as 21st century meets mid-century group of wonderful collections. With her commitment to producing affordable jewelry, I am looking forward to collecting Shlomit Ofir’s pieces for a long time.
What is the main source of your design inspiration?
I am inspired mostly by everyday things around me and try to capture the beauty in them. Leaves on a tree, flowers and birds or even the urban scenery of the city I live in are reflected in my creations.
Your formal training is in industrial design. How do you incorporate those design principles into your jewelry?
During my industrial design studies I had the chance to experience using different technologies which are used in various industries. In my jewelry, I try to incorporate these technologies, such as chemical etching and laser cutting, into my jewelry to create unique pieces and to widen my options for designing and manufacturing.
Who, past or present, has had the greatest influence on your career?
The designers which I most admire and see as a great influence are Charles and Ray Eams. Besides their great contribution to design history, they had a great approach to their role as designers: they saw themselves not as industrial or graphic designers, but as total designers, which also plan houses, design toys and even make movies. I try to follow this approach and not to limit myself to one field of design, but to see design as a way of living.
The high quality product and the affordable price point of your collections are very enticing. Do you have a commitment to producing attainable art?
I see my jewelry as fashion. Therefore, it changes and evolves constantly. I would like to have my customers come back and enjoy buying new pieces often, the same as they would stock up on a new wardrobe for the season. The affordable price range enables that. Keeping my prices affordable also enables me to be creative with my design, since it’s easier for customers to take a chance with a unique piece without having to think how functional it would be for them.
What are you working on right now?
These days I’m working on the new jewelry collection for this upcoming winter. The main theme in the collection will be stones and crystals and I hope it will be well received as previous collections.
For years I have coveted the jewels of Paolo Costagli. The unique and enticing color combinations and crisp designs are absolutely eye-catching.
Born and raised in Florence, Italy, Paolo credits his childhood surroundings for much of his creative inspiration. Indeed, the beauty of the countryside, the history, art and architecture, found only in Italy, are evident in his designs. There is also an “old school” element to his production in which he carefully selects all of the gemstones used in his designs. Paolo speaks proudly of how the stones are set and each mounting is finished for comfort and beauty, not just on the front of the piece, but on the back as well. Each piece is a contemporary heirloom.
Paolo Costagli transitions flawlessly between the world of a Renaissance craftsman and the one that moves at the speed of Twitter. That too is perhaps a credit to his Florentine up bringing, in a place where people daily walk past works by Brunelleschi and Ghiberti talking on iPhones. Paolo has a wonderful website and an informative blog where he writes about his life and craft, but also imparts his knowledge on buying a gemstone, cleaning jewelry or what to do if you are just a guy trying to buy a special gift. Paolo now lives and works in New York City where he has a Fifth Avenue salon.
Your native city of Florence is a main source of your inspiration, as it has been for artists for centuries. What is it about Florence that nurtures such creativity?
PC: Florence has inspired many artists including myself because of the wealth of history, culture, architecture and design. The city gave birth to the Renaissance and revolutionized Western culture. It is a place that provides endless inspiration to create works of art. Personally, Florence means a lot to me because it’s my home. I find inspiration for shapes and color combinations, like those found in the Giardini Dell’Iris (Iris Garden in Florence) that my mother and I used to visit, which I’ve used in my Florentine Collection.
Who has had the greatest influence in your career?
PC: The French jewelers from the Art Deco to the 1950′s periods, which epitomizes the highest standard of quality, innovation and design.
There is a great emphasis on color in your pieces. Explain how color fits into your creative process.
PC: As a certified gemologist, I take the entire process from sourcing the gemstones to production seriously. I believe everyone can design with only diamonds, but what I like to create are jewels that are unique through the careful selection of sophisticated color combinations.
The color of gemstones and precious metals are both the base and foundation of creating my collections and jewels. I first choose the colored stones and metal, then examine various color combinations to create a timeless and classic jewel. My jewels are supposed to be worn by many ages for different occasions with the goal of having the jewels stay in a family for generations.
The Organics Collection is stunning and somewhat different than your other work. Is this a new direction? Do you have a green philosophy?
PC: I would not necessarily say I’m going in a new direction with the Organics Collection, but rather, I am always striving to creatively expand with new materials and designs.
Your attention to every detail from design and craftsmanship to packaging is very old school, I love it, yet your website and blog are very hip, fast and modern. How do you combine the two worlds so seamlessly?
PC: The heart of my brand is based on high quality, true craftsmanship, innovation and timeless design. We are very traditional in our communication to clients, but I believe in the importance of also communicating through the web, new technologies and social media. Our clients want to be kept informed; and the web and blog is the immediate method to do so.
For more information or to purchase jewelry by Paolo Costagli please visit www.paolocostagli.com or 711 Fifth Avenue in New York City.
Emily Wheat Maynard is the owner and designer behind the amazing one-of-a-kind jewelry produced by Elva Fields. Emily reached her artistic pinnacle just as all the true masters do: through years of study and dedication. Emily was an Art History and French major in college, and did graduate work in ancient jewelry comparisons at Bard. But it was not until she took a course at the famed Jewelry Arts Institute in Manhattan, that she had her a-ha! Moment, and decided that creating jewelry was her calling. Lucky for us!
Each piece designed by Emily is truly unique and eco-friendly. Emily finds inspiration from beautiful objects she finds: a Victorian brass buckle, a vintage gold tone fish brooch, an enamel and pearl cherry pin that you might see at a flea market or vintage clothing store. The necklaces are designed around those focal points with complimentary beads and coordinating clasps. The result is amazing! Seasonal collections are available at www.ElvaFields.com, where you can also discover fun fact about the company including the meaning behind its name.
The website is beautiful, easy to navigate and fun to read. Every piece comes replete with prose worthy of the finest gemstones! A portion of each sale on the Elva Fields website goes to support a charitable program in their local community in Kentucky. Back Pack Buddies of Spencer County provides healthy meals and snacks each weekend of the school year for over 185 children to take home. Emily Wheat Maynard is making a difference in her own back yard, and we love that, too.
Every piece in your collections is unique. How can you keep such high levels of creativity? Do you have sources of inspiration that you keep going back to?
Staying fresh and inspired is definitely a challenge when it comes to creating so many one-of-a-kind designs each season – but the materials are truly what renews our passion and creativity each day. Each vintage brooch or antique buckle seems eager to tell its own story, and that engages our love of design and gives us the opportunity to arrange the right composition for each. (And if all else fails, a trip to the flea market or a walk down our country road breathes new life into a stagnant state of mind!)
You have been and academician and jewelry historian and now are a designer. Tell us about your journey.
Very roundabout! I’ve always loved to create, but my love of research and documentation is equally strong, so I suppose it was no surprise that I ended up mixing it all together to fashion a business that draws from both aspects and interests. I studied Art History in college at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia – all while taking studio art classes – and initially thought I’d be a curator or an auction house specialist. Objects have always held a distinct fascination for me, so pursuing studies in the Decorative Arts, learning about the history of furniture, silverware, Oriental carpets, or jewelry was a natural next step upon graduation. I have a Masters in Decorative Art History, with a focus on the history of jewelry, from The Bard Graduate Center in New York. My graduate school studies were all-consuming, leaving little time for creating art; but when an advisor recommended a course at Manhattan’s Jewelry Arts Institute to better understand ancient metalsmithing techniques for my thesis studies, my love of working with my hands immediately returned, and as much as I loved library research and writing about art, I realized how much I missed making art. Elva Fields seemed a perfect opportunity to allow both my academic and creative sides to flourish simultaneously.
As a jewelry historian, you were exposed to the styles of different periods. Do you have a favorite era?
Ancient Roman jewelry will always be special to me – and it all started with a childhood project on Pompeii and grew from there. Something about ancient gold (especially tiny amphorae earrings!) with its beautiful detail and roughly carved and polished stones is so stunning.
I love the idea of custom designs for brides. What inspired you to bring originality to a space where tradition and classic styles have always reigned?
I started the business just after my own wedding, and I had created necklaces for each of my bridesmaids and my mother and grandmother–each of them unique. I remember thinking it was such a fun and special element of the celebration, and I felt sure that other brides would enjoy a similar opportunity for giving (and wearing)! I love working with such adventurous, stylish, and sentimental brides–it’s a joy to be part of the occasion.
What are you working on right now?
Our Holiday Collection is nearly finished, so I’m putting the finishing touches on those designs, giving them names, and preparing to pack them for press opportunities after our fun photo shoot with them! Next up, a second Holiday Collection…but more on that another time!
Finally, as a writer about jewelry, I must ask: Do you write the descriptions of the pieces for your website? They are so witty and, like your jewelry, very original.
Thank you! I did write all of the descriptions myself for these past seven years and only very recently enlisted help with copywriting – not because I don’t love to tell each design’s story, but our production has increased just enough that crafting so many narratives for each web update was a bit overwhelming. The thesaurus had served me well, but it was time to divide and conquer with another author!
It has been said that if you are lucky enough to live by the ocean you are lucky enough. Or perhaps you could own a piece of jewelry designed by Tiffany Chou. Being a lover of the water myself, I was immediately taken by Tiffany’s designs. Her jewelry captures the essence and uniqueness of the ocean’s splendors and varied life forms in an artistic and thoughtful manner.
Tiffany grew up on the island of Maui, where the ocean was a part of every day life. She attended college at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. After a brief Hollywood internship with famed photographer David LaChapelle, Tiffany moved east again. In early 2010, in New York City, Tiffany Chou Jewelry was launched to rave reviews.
I first wrote about Tiffany Chou to cover her eBay necklace auction to benefit earthquake and tsunami victims in Japan. Today, Earth Day, Tiffany has created a challenge called “Bling to be Green” to encourage recycling. Her enthusiastic approach to life and giving back is refreshing and I encourage all of my readers to check out her contest..the prize is this shell link bracelet!
How does the ocean fit into your creative process?
I think growing up on an island made the ocean a pretty big influence, not only for my creative process but for my everyday life. I am constantly inspired by the ocean and it also brings me comfort. It is amazing to think that the ocean covers more than half of the world’s surface and yet we have only explored a tiny percentage of it. New plants and animal life are always being discovered so there is no shortage of things to learn about and go to for inspiration. When I need inspiration, underwater images and documentaries are always the first things I go to.
Who, past or present, has had the greatest influence on your life?
I would say my dad has been the greatest influence on my life. My parents adopted me when I was 3 months old and gave me a chance at a great life, which is something I will be forever grateful for. I can always count on my dad for an honest opinion and sound advice, even though I’m not always willing to listen. I am constantly learning new things from him— from business to how to lead a fulfilled life. He taught me that it really isn’t important what other people think of your profession, as long as you enjoy what you do and are happy in life.
The price point combined with the high quality of design of your collections are very enticing. Do you have a commitment to producing attainable art?
When I first decided to start a jewelry line, I knew that one of the most important things was to be able to provide beautiful jewelry that people can actually afford. I want people to feel good about buying one of my pieces, not go home and worry about being able to eat for a week.
What are you working on right now?
I’m working on my Fall/Winter 2011 line. The biggest challenge I faced was coming up with ideas outside of my beach-inspired comfort zone. I think the best designs are the ones that come naturally. With the new collection, I really tried not to force it. Eventually I came up with some new pieces that I am really excited about, which are different from my beach aesthetic but still have the unique but elegant look I strive to achieve.
With the ocean and environment being such a major source of inspiration, I’m also doing a Facebook challenge called “Bling to be Green” to celebrate Earth Day on Friday, April 22. I’m giving away a gorgeous silver bracelet made of large cowrie shell links with 625 hand set Pacific Opal Swarovski crystals which retails for $280. To enter, you have to click “Like” on my Facebook Fan page and email me a photo of the most innovative way you’ve reused something that would have otherwise been thrown in the garbage or recycling bin. e.g. Those empty tequila bottles sure make great bookends!
Photo entries will be accepted until Friday, April 29th. All photos will then be posted on my Facebook page, the photo with the most “likes” will win the bracelet. Voting period will last from Saturday, April 30-Tuesday, May 3. The winner will be announced on Facebook Wednesday, May 4th. I’m looking forward to seeing innovative ways to help the environment!
For all the contest details:
A big thank you to the Style Setters, who took time out of busy schedules to share their creative inspirations and insights.
Thank you to Jen Cullen, Joseph DePalma & Michael Perret for always thinking of me.
And a special thank you to Gail Brett Levine, Executive Director of the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers, for her constant encouragement.
And finally, to my biggest fan, my sister, Merry Christmas.
To all of my readers, I wish you the happiest of holidays & all the best for 2011.
It is the “Wow” factor that initially draws your eye to the jewelry of Melissa Joy Manning. Her agates, quartz, druzy, and diamond slices are true products of the force of nature. Each stone is highlighted in a carefully hand-crafted mounting that enhances its beauty. The designs are organic, stunning and eminently wearable.
Based in Oakland, California, Melissa has been designing and producing American-made jewelry since 1997. Her commitment to environmental and social sustainability, as well to serve her local community, is an inspiration to us all. Melissa graciously agreed to answer a few questions for the Jewelry Brief, but I encourage you to visit her website for a more in-depth look into her work and philosophy.
What is the main source of your design inspiration?
I draw my inspiration from multiple sources. Primarily I find myself influenced by nature and its confluence with modern society and industry. Right now I think I’m attracted to simplicity of metal work and raw, natural stones because of my reactions to technology and globalization.
How would you describe your personal (jewelry) style?
I’m pretty simple personally. I wear the same jewelry every day; stacking rings, mixed gold bangles and hoops. However, I always add some twist depending on my mood- a great, organic middle or first finger ring; a statement, long necklace or a pair of my diamond and agate slice earrings. I’m usually in jeans, so I use my jewelry to add the style and mood to my outfit.
What are the most important elements of sustainable design?
Being truly sustainable! Sustainability is a lot more than calling yourself “green”. We are a certified “green” company by the County Of Alameda in California. We went through rigorous testing to receive our accreditation for our manufacturing processes; from energy use and waste treatments to work environments of our staff. We also only purchase our metal from another certified company who deals in recycled metals. Aside form being environmentally sustainable, I think it’s incredibly important to be socially sustainable. Not only do we hand make our jewelry onshore in the United States, we offer living working wages and great benefit packages that include 100% of health insurance benefits and matching investment opportunities so that our employees can plan for their futures. I’m proud to say that this isn’t a trend for us; we’ve been supporting on shore labor and sustainable manufacturing since our inception in 1997.
What can we look for in up and coming trends in materials, colors, etc of responsible design and manufacture?
I hope that we can see a return of micro manufacturing in the US. I’d like to see more consumer products made in the US under controlled, sustainable environments. I also hope that we will see consumers realize that they have the ultimate control of industry and make choices that will create positive change. As to color and materials, I’ve learned never to guess where the industry is going. For me, I’m beginning to think about an idealized union of nature and technology and how that may look…. here’s hoping it’s pretty!