Jen from Anueva Jewelry was my Instagram friend first. I loved her natural design aesthetic with a sprinkling of antique-inspired modern pieces that are truly unique. She is also a tireless supporter of the jewelry community and true collaborator that is open minded and warm.
I am delighted though to take our relationship to next level and she was one of the designers Dream Diam and I choose for our May pop-up event. Where we matched 10 special diamonds with 10 special designers to create a custom, completely unique ring. Jen is a perfect fit as she bubbles with creativity and love. I am delighted to interview her for the blog to give you the inside look at this fabulous woman.
What was your first piece of jewelry?
The first piece of jewelry I owned was a silver ring I purchased with my allowance from an artisan selling at the Pike Place Market in Seattle. I was 5 or 6! I still have a collection of silver rings from my childhood. I would save up and buy one when we traveled or went to craft fairs.
How did you come to start your current business?
I came to a “crossroads” after becoming a mother. I wanted to create a career for myself that was flexible enough for me to be home for my children when they needed me, but that also soothed my soul. I’ve always loved fine jewelry and would have a hard time finding pieces that really spoke to me in department stores. Once I came across Etsy and saw that there were artisans crafting unique designs from all over the world, I was hooked. Speaking to an Etsy jeweler actually gave me hope and the courage I needed to start taking classes and breathe to life the designs in my head. The first pieces I created were a funky diamond earring collection featuring recycled gold and reclaimed vintage diamonds.
What is your signature jewelry style?
I have a love affair with two styles. I love creating two styles of jewelry very much; Messy, organic hand sculpted “mermaid jewelry,” and more ornate, diamond-studded antique-inspired jewelry. I haven’t settled on designing in just one style yet, I’m having too much fun making both.
What’s it like when you see someone wearing your jewelry?
It makes me so happy when customers send me photos of themselves wearing my jewelry, or even when they introduce themselves to me on social media. For an artist, there is no greater gift than knowing that the idea you birthed and sent out into the world was well received by someone special.
Why do you love what you do?
As a longtime jewelry lover, I know first-hand the joy that owning a unique handcrafted piece of jewelry brings. I believe that jewelry is an expression of our personal style and creativity. Working with customers on custom designs is fulfilling to me because I get to help them showcase their unique style and personality traits. Jewelry can be a great conversation starter, too, and with the resources available to me I can make eco-conscious jewelry that customers can feel good about and be proud to share the message of eco-friendly living.
What sets your jewelry apart?
I want to create sustainable staples for your jewelry box. Like some others in the industry, I love working with recycled metals and reclaimed vintage and antique diamonds. Sometimes I do offer ethically sourced gemstones, but my heart and passion lies with the ability to repurpose used pieces of jewelry by sending old gold to my refinery and creating new settings for gems and diamonds that still have lots of life left in them. My hand-sculpted pieces are also just too much fun. They’re witty, nature-inspired and full of texture.
What excites you about this project with Shop Gem Hunt?
First, I am so honored to be one of the designers in this project. All of the designers are so talented, and I am truly very excited to see the finished product when all of our pieces come together. I am on-board with the alternative bridal movement because some of these salt and pepper or some of what we call “rustic” rose cut diamonds used to be considered toss-aways. Now, we get to celebrate the natural earthy tones and inclusions of these stones as one man’s trash becomes another man’s treasure. I am showcasing a mixture of my natural textured band with an antique style halo design using white rose cut diamonds. It’s a hybrid of the two styles I love to create.
Why do you like working with Dream Diam?
I found Dream Diamonds in my first year and they were actually my first white rose cut diamond transaction for a custom commission piece. I’ve told Ashkan before that working with him is a breath of fresh air because although he’s seasoned in the industry (he’s 3rd or 4th generation in the jewelry industry too), he isn’t condescending and is patient with new designers like myself. He’s helped me understand more about these diamonds as I’ve worked with him, and that education helps me communicate the unique traits of the stones to my customers. And when it comes to white rose cuts, they have the best selection.
Jennifer's piece for Shop Gem Hunt launches May 1st.