Now is the time to be thinking about how you shop for jewelry (including fine jewelry), as the power of the purchase can positively impact the lives and livelihoods of artisans and makers. Here are three minority-owned and woman-owned jewelry designers worth a follow on Instagram.
1. Amaree + Reese
Amaree + Reese is a small-batch, minority-owned jewelry design company in the Pacific Northwest. Working out of her home in the North Portland area, Risa Gregory, the shop’s owner, designs handcrafted jewelry that ranges from bold bohemian to modern minimalist. Her affordable designs range from Long Brass Shield Earrings (hand-pounded, rustic metal earrings made of brass, silver and stainless steel) to Amazi Hoops (31⁄2 inch hoop earrings made of lapis lazuli and muted gold).
Added bonus: The shop is woman-owned. Risa Gregory, the shop’s owner, not only gives back to her community (recently donating to a local Portland food bank), but also cares about your safety. During the time of COVID, Amaree + Reese is actively working to keep all of its customers safe: All orders are “made and packaged in a sanitized workspace. Gloves are worn and jewelry is sanitized right before packaging.”
2. Wild Moon Jewelry
This jewelry designer was recently featured in Essence as an up-and-coming brand to watch. In her own words, owner Asia Clarke explains the heart behind her work:
“My mission is to create eco-conscious designs that incorporate materials such as 100% recycled fine silver, recycled glass and repurposed brass and semi- precious stones. In addition to selling of fine jewelry through an online store and in select boutiques, I also offer jewelry making workshops for youth focusing on sustainability and curbing consumer waste through non-profit organizations.”
Just launched about a decade ago, this woman- and minority-owned business has a unique lookbook you should check out. Wild Moon’s jewelry designs of course include earrings and necklaces, but also a piece of jewelry you may have yet to discover: the earring-necklace. This unique type of jewelry features a chain that drops from both earrings; one of Wild Moon’s earring-necklaces (for example, “Atlanta”) features “clay, metal and plastic beads, and nickel free aluminum chain hung on nickel free silver plated earring clasps.”
3. Valerie Madison Fine Jewelry
And last, but not least, is Valerie Madison, a Black Latina woman making it happen in the fine jewelry industry — a woman who says she’s “proud to be changing the scene.” In 2014, she founded her company, Valerie Madison Fine Jewelry, and she’s been thriving as the company’s sole founding designer ever since. In her own words, Valerie describes her work that is in part a wonderful source of “alternative engagement rings”:
“Our vision is to create beautiful jewelry that quietly listens to modern trends but more importantly, feels classic and is well-made to become future heirlooms.”
If you have jewelry in need of repair or a piece that you’d like to reimagine, contact My Jewelry Repair today.