It’s been 2 years now since I designed my first piece of fine jewelry…and it’s wild to me how quickly this side of my business has grown.
To be honest, 2021 was the year of reevaluating Dear Survivor. I wasn’t sure if I could/wanted to keep it going (for so many various reasons). If you’ve followed me for a long time, then you’ll know that I’ve drastically changed what I make over the years. Every 2 years I basically scrap everything and take the brand in a totally new direction. And that’s because I’ve always been searching for the ultimate product to design.
I’m incredibly self critical of everything I create, and constantly analyze how I can do better. Within the jewelry design space, the ultimate product is fine jewelry. Precious metals and gems that will literally last for hundreds of years. It’s the thing found at archaeological dig sites. I get chills thinking about the legacy of the products my hands create on a daily basis.
It’s taken a long time to get into this area of design because fine jewelry has a huge barrier to entry. Everything is very expensive. Gold is at an all time high. Ethically sourced gemstones and diamonds sell at a premium (as they should). And it takes years to master various skills, and a lot of trial and error and investment to develop working relationships with all the other professionals who bring my designs to life (casters, setters, engravers, etc.).
I wanted to share this because this is the 2 year mark for me making fine jewelry. The 2 year mark when in the past I’ve changed everything and pursued new areas of design…
But not this time.
For most of my career I’ve felt like there was a locked room in my brain that I couldn't open. Dreams and visions of what I wanted to make, but I didn’t have the key to get in the room. I’ve searched for it, trying out so many different design styles and materials - seeing if they would unlock the room...
It's taken forever, but I've finally found my key - it’s solid gold and has sapphires and opals inlaid into it ;) aka fine jewelry.
And now that the room is unlocked I feel like there's endless ideas for design. It's a room full of beauty, where I see visions of what I want to make. I get lost in this space as I daydream of special and sparkly things...then I’m back in my studio and sitting at my bench and bringing the vision to real life.
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I don't know if any of this will make sense to you. But I wanted to share in case you are still in the midst of finding your keys. My key was time and dedication to my craft. Tears. Hard pivots. Personal and financial investment. Honesty with myself. Bravery to try something new. Boldness to believe that my ideas are valuable and worth pursuing.
Keep seeking beauty.
Believe in the precious contents behind that locked door.