Today I want to introduce you to an amazing Metalsmith, Kendra Lawrence, of Kendra Renee Jewelry Design. Her studio is located in San Francisco, CA, and her jewelry can be found on her website and at 16 locations in 7 states. I met Kendra on a boat in the Caribbean (and that's a blog in itself) and to say I fell a little bit in love with her over the course of 6 days would be accurate. She is beautiful, charming, unpredictable and a whole lot of fun - just like her heirloom quality work. All of her work is stunning, but I think her bridal pieces are over-the-moon, I've got my eye on this beauty.
1) Tell me about Kendra Renee Jewelry Design, when and how you got your start?
The passion behind Kendra Renee Jewelry design comes from my deep need to express myself without raising my voice. I have always been a quiet person, definitely introverted, at times shy. I was never the girl to draw attention to herself in a group. I found the most pleasure and enjoyment from making things and being creative- activities that are strictly solo. Being quiet, though, I felt I was getting overlooked. People seemed to think I was fragile, maybe a little boring, sweet. They bought me a lot of pastel sweaters and told me I was a nice girl. And I felt that they weren't really seeing the whole picture. I really hate pastels.
I fell in love with metalsmithing in the summer of 2007. There is something deeply satisfying for me about crafting a permanent, wearable, metal object. Through jewelry making, I finally I had a way to communicate to the people around me that I have countless ideas, a bold sense of design, and just a little bit of attitude. And I could do it without having to stand up on a chair, wave my arms and shout. My designs are the outward reflection of my inner life that would otherwise remain hidden- textured, bold and a little wild.
I launched Kendra Renee Jewelry design in 2009 and I have never looked back.
2) What inspires you?
My inspiration (and aspiration!) for each design is that it might become someone's favorite piece of jewelry. Something they wear every single day. Something they feel comfortable in, something that they connect with, something they feel seen in. To that end, I design pieces that are comfortable, casual, and durable. They're meant to be worn often- not saved for a special occasion. When I get a photo of someone wearing and loving my jewelry, it completely makes my day. Every time.
3) What can customers expect when they work with you?
I want the entire experience of working with my company to make my clients feel special. If you order piece of jewelry from my website it arrives wrapped up like the treat it is- I use beautiful packaging (hellllllooooo gold wrapping paper!) that's designed to let you savor the experience of treating yourself. I work with a lot of clients right out of my studio on custom projects. It's very personal- I love to get to know the people I am designing jewelry for and put their personalities into my designs. My studio is small, but it's tidy and inviting, and my fridge is always full of beer. Stop on by any time!
4) Tell us where we can find your awesome jewelry?
Well, the best place is really my website (www.KendraReneeJewelry.com). From there you can make an appointment to come see me and all my tools at my studio or check out the list of stores across the country that carry my work. Or you can shop right then and there- my website is always the first place I put my new pieces.
5) If you could have any celebrity, alive or dead, as your company spokesperson, who would it be and why?
I think it would be Emma Watson. She is courageous, thoughtful and elegant, but still fun! I loved her recent speech to the UN on gender equality.
6) What is your favorite cocktail?
I am a Manhattan girl. Two or three cherries, please!
Thank you, Kendra! Dos cerveza por favor?