With a glance at her chunky, natural stone encrusted jewels you'd never know that Mina Caragay is a newbie to jewelry design. Six months ago, Mina left her job as a visual merchandiser for Nordstrom to pursue her passion to craft wearable art.
|Dear Mina designs|
Her line of rocker-chic statement necklaces is called Dear Mina. For her "Castaway Collection 2011" the San Francisco resident used raw, organic materials like pyrite nuggets and quartz crystal to mimic metallic spikes and studs.
Dear Mina's initial collection, "Galactic Nomad," is fashioned from hand cut leather tassels on brass and bronze chains, and precious stones like agate, jade, and pink opal. Currently sold online, Dear Mina pieces are made with love and retail for $60 and up.
"I see potential in everything," says Amy Pfaffman. "When these common materials are worn as jewelry, they're reconsidered and valued in a new way."
The trained industrial designer sees beauty in functional objects and materials such as colored sewing thread and vintage thimbles, and has used recycled and repurposed materials to craft jewelry before it was en vogue. Based in Marin County, California, Amy often combs flea markets for inspiration.
|Amy Pfaffman New York City skyline, laser cut felt scarf.|
"I see potential in everything," she says. "When these common materials are worn as jewelry, they're reconsidered and valued in a new way."
Amy's designs retail from $25 - $150 ($234 for the laser cut felt scarves) and are sold online, in select boutiques, and museum stores.
Photo credit: Tracy E. Hopkins