September 23, 2014 2 min read
For a lot of years, jewelry was categorized in four ways. Fashion
jewelry, which tended to be mass-produced stuff that was sold in
a department store. Fine jewelry, which was, of course, sold in
fine jewelry stores. And then there’s another category called art
jewelry, which is hand-crafted and artisan-made jewelry. Also,
for a long time, there was bridge jewelry. Bridge jewelry tended
to be sterling silver, because it was the bridge between fine and
As metals prices have gone up, silver has moved up into the fine jewelry category. There was a book written about American jewelry. I was interviewed for it and the publishers ended up throwing out my interview. They said that the fashion jewelers thought I was too artsy, the art jewelers thought I was too fashion, and the fine jewelers could never figure out how I was always pushing it forward and still doing well. Initially, I was crushed because I was rejected. Then I decided it was kind of good, because I’m left of center. I don’t fit any one category. I believe that’s what’s enabled me and my small core of assistants to make it through a funky economy and actually grow.
Our business has grown steadily, sometimes in big chunks and sometimes in smaller percentages, but we’ve grown steadily for the last six years. I think that right now I’m just finding my own place within the jewelry industry. A friend of mine, Marlene Ritchie, who has a great book about marketing jewelry, said that it was interesting to watch me in the last five years. She called it, “I Found My Own Voice,” and I think there’s some truth to that. I am left of center, but I’ve created my own spot within the industry and I like that. It’s hard to be unique. We all had access to the same materials but if you work from a place of loving what you do, working with good people, and finding a good sense of creativity, you really find your flow. That’s where I am now, and it’s really enjoyable.
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