Designer: Sarah Swell
Location: Sausalito, CA
Describe your brand for us.
Handcrafted precious metal treasures inspired by nature and ancient jewelry.
How did you get started making jewelry?
While I was in art school studying painting I also worked at a jewelry store/studio in sales. One day, while their jeweler was out sick, I got to hammer a pair of silver earrings into shape and everything just clicked. That was what I wanted to do. I dropped out of art school to pursue a more trade-focused jewelry education.
Did you always know you wanted to be a designer, or did you fall into the profession?
I always knew I wanted to be both an artist and entrepreneur, but it took a little time to settle on jewelry.
How long have you been in the trade?
15 years --- eek!
What does your business look like now, versus when you started?
I started with barely enough money to buy silver, never mind gold. So, in that sense my business has grown substantially. I'm thankful to be in a place where I can create pretty much whatever my heart desires, which feels like freedom. When I started my business, I was so hungry to grow that I made the business my entire life. Currently, I'm focusing more on growing in a sustainable way, working with people that are amazing, and only saying "yes" to things that feel right.
What’s the most challenging part about being a jewelry designer?
At this point, finding time to design jewelry! There are so many other, less fun things that need my attention (like emails, payroll, accounting, etc).
What’s your favorite part about being a jewelry designer?
Seeing something that was in my imagination come to life as a real, tangible piece of jewelry.
Who is another jewelry designer that you admire/do you have a mentor in the jewelry industry?
I'm lucky to say that the answer to both questions is many! I've found the jewelry industry overall to be welcoming and most people are willing to share information as long as you're a kind person and don't exploit their generosity. Many of my friends are amazing designers and people, there are too many to name. I did recently meet Anthony Lent for the first time and geeked out over that for sure. I've always adored his work.
Name your favorite piece you’ve ever made.
Engagement rings for friends are always extra special
What’s your favorite piece of jewelry from your own personal collection?
I have a gold ring that my hubby secretly carved in wax and cast in gold for me. It makes me smile every time I wear it.