We fell in love with Debbie Merle Designs the first time we saw the jewelry line fashioned with chunky precious stones, crystals, Buddha charms and positive messages like "Love." Merle started making jewelry about 25 years ago as a hobby, but when she was diagnosed with cancer she used it as therapy and a positive tool in her recovery.
|Debbie Merle Designs|
"I see my jewelry as a rebirth of myself. It [marks] a new chapter in my life where I can express myself and also create something beautiful and meaningful in other people's lives," the jewelry designer said via email.
Read more of Everything She Wants' interview with Debbie Merle:
ESW: What inspires your jewelry?
DM: Many things inspire my jewelry. One [thing] is nature. There is nothing as beautiful as what this planet provides [in terms of] different colors, shapes and textures. I am also very inspired by the healing powers and energies of certain gemstones and symbols. I feel a connection to the pieces I work with and that is the driving force that inspires my designs. Whenever someone wears a piece of my jewelry I want them to feel the meaning behind it.
ESW: How did your bout with cancer change your outlook on life?
DM: I realized how precious every day is and that every breath you take is truly a gift. It also totally changed the way I view life, with the respect to having much more of a purpose and to help bring happiness, hope and a positive outlook to others. [I want to] help people going through what I did in the best way that I can. I believe that you can definitely turn adversity into triumph.
ESW: How long does it take you to make each piece and is each piece unique?
DM: Sometimes I get an immediate idea in my head and can do [a piece] fairly quickly. But at other times, it evolves because I am inspired by different components that I find, and it takes time to build upon my unfolding idea. Each piece is not only special in its design, but the color schemes I create and the components I choose to work with are all unique. No two pieces are exactly identical.
|Photos courtesy of Debbie Merle Designs|
ESW: You use a lot of Buddha charms in your jewelry. Are you a Buddhist or is it merely a symbol of good luck?
DM: I am not a Buddhist, however I have studied the healing and peacefulness principals of the Buddhist lifestyle and it helped me while I was ill. It gave me a certain calmness. I was excited to be able to incorporate [Buddhist symbolism] into the jewelry that I design. It has deep spiritual meaning to me and I feel the protection, energy, luck and healing that these symbols provide.
ESW: What is your favorite precious stone to work with?
DM: My two favorite gemstones to work with are agate and labradorite, I love the beauty of their colors and shapes, and the way they feel in my hands. While working with these gemstones, I can feel the positive energy. They have great healing properties and offer protection to all who wear them.
ESW: Why do you think gemstone jewelry is so important to women?
DM: I believe that gemstone jewelry accentuates a woman's natural beauty and individual identity, and it makes her feel incredibly special.