Gemstones speak to me!
Okay, not really, but it truly is all about the gems for me. I select a stone and let it guide me through a creative journey, each one has a unique personality that I must unlock through the design process. Maybe it is the shape, the color, or the unique pattern of a stone that serves as the inspiration catalyst and takes me on a ride from concept to completion.
I work only with genuine gemstones and prefer natural, un-treated stones for my designs. With a background in gemology I select the stones in my pieces not only for quality and value but for their uniqueness and beauty. The value of a stone is not always in its price tag! Some of my favorite gems to work with don’t fall into the traditionally so-called “precious” categories, but their intrigue and distinctiveness create their desire and worth.
How it all began…
Jewelry wasn’t a big deal in my family and I have really no memories of playing in my mother’s jewelry box or wearing my grandmother’s pearls, but I clearly remember the first time I purchased a piece of fine jewelry for myself. I had a part time job as a teenager and I selected a simple 14kt yellow gold ring with a prong set, oval garnet from a chain-type jewelry retailer. It is absolutely nothing I would ever wear today, but I picked it out, put it on layaway and paid on it diligently until the day I could take it home. It felt SO GOOD to have made such an important purchase for myself, paid for with money I earned. That feeling of power and style it what led me into a career as a jeweler.
When the gems started talking…
My second part time job in my late teens was at a jewelry store. I was so excited to have been hired! I loved working with jewelry and asked a lot of questions of my boss, the jewelers and the other retail associates. The store sold a lot of loose gemstones and specialized in custom jewelry design. I spent so much time reading the descriptions on the little gem boxes and learning about different minerals and gemstones. It was all so exciting! I felt a connection to the stones, it just made sense, it all “clicked”. I felt that I understood this magical world of natural beauty and that I spoke the language of the stones. My boss suggested GIA Education (The Gemological Institute of America) and I was off!
Through GIA, I completed their coveted Diamonds Diploma program and Colored Stones and Colored Stone Grading classes, as well as their Accredited Jewelry Professional Diploma (which I took one summer because I was bored). For years I worked in the jewelry businesses as a buyer/ merchandiser and jewelry store manager and eventually found that I needed more. I decided to learn metal-smithing and jewelry design as well! Armed with education, skills and a huge desire to do amazing things, I went into business for myself in 2002 with a small retail space. My cases were filled with unique designs in silver, gold, gemstones and diamonds and I did a lot of commissions and custom work. For seven years I was blessed with great business and wonderful customers, but I decided in 2009 that it was time to move onto something else.
The Jeweler’s Nest came about after much contemplation, as I had taken another jewelry retail job in 2010 and stayed there for 5 years. The “Nest” is a homecoming for me, getting comfortable again in my business but in a whole new and more authentic way. I needed to get back to what I loved doing and rediscover the source of my passion in my work.
With experience in jewelry retail management, jewelry repair, appraising, custom design and diamond and gemstone grading, the jewelry business is not only a career but a passion and labor of love. I can’t imagine my life without creating beautiful things. I left a retail management job in the beginning of 2016 to pursue my passion for creating unique, fine quality jewelry full time. I am so blessed now to be able to wake up everyday and create beautiful things and follow my inspiration. I have never been happier and my life has never been better. What better way to spend my day than bringing beauty into the world.
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”