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Hello Friends, 

This past week marked the end of my time as a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. Today would have been my graduation ceremony at Radio City Music Hall. My family and friends had planned on coming to the city for a graduation bash and I had dreamed of celebrating this milestone and showing my newest jewelry designs to so many I love. All of my plans, unsurprisingly, have been put on hold. Though I’m naturally sad at this strange (and too common) predicament, the lack of pomp and circumstance has given me more time to reflect.

These last two years and the completion of my FIT Jewelry Design degree represent so much for me. I think of the blood, sweat, and tears (literally) shed over a jeweler’s bench in the studio; late nights spent eating my dinner in front of a computer, cursing at the 3D CAD Rhino program and believing in my heart that I just might never get it; the dark mornings when I woke up early to finish finely detailed gouache-painted illustrations for a design portfolio, watching the sun slowly make it’s way over the tops of neighboring apartment buildings and feeling beyond tired. There were many mornings where I left the house shortly after 7am knowing I wouldn’t return until after my internship and 9pm gemology courses finished. On these days, Ryan had dinner waiting for us and patiently encouraged me that I would feel better the next day. Friendships gained - with my beloved classmates; through the most wonderful extended internship with the Anna Sheffield team; and with the talented expert craftspeople on 47th Street - are almost too precious to convey here. All of my feelings and energy and spirit, poured out and into such a meaningful learning experience, were worth it

The truth is, I’m just so grateful I got a second chance at art school - a second chance to fulfill my dreams. You see, even though I graduated from the University of Colorado with art history and studio art degrees in 2010, I wasn’t yet able to envision a life as a working artist. Back then, I didn’t even know that I was meant to be a professional creator. I hadn’t found my medium, and, though I’d studied art, I hadn’t truly found my creative self

It was only after years of traveling, and working unfulfilling jobs (and even working fulfilling jobs)  that I began to create again. In the winter of 2016, I began taking courses at a ceramics studio in Washington, DC. At the time, I was working for José Andrés, the brilliant Spanish chef and humanitarian, and while my job in marketing and events had some creative elements, I missed making things with my hands.

The ceramics classes reignited that fire, and I became consumed with the process of creating 3-dimensional objects that could have a functional life after they left the studio. I had discovered the applied arts! Several years later after more ceramics (and even a few metalsmithing) classes, I made the decision to apply to FIT’s jewelry program. 

Ryan and I left our jobs, our home, our wonderful friends in Washington and made our way to New York - a city where we fell in love, and a place we’d both dreamed of living for a long time. We found a great apartment and attempted to make this place our home by working, exploring, meeting, hosting, resting, and most of all, learning. 

This wild city and her people have given us so much; she’s knocked us down and also lifted us back up. I’m so grateful to have had my learning experience specifically happen here, in New York City. And, even in the midst of a pandemic, there’s nowhere I’d rather be. I’m so grateful for this magical place. 

So, as I consider how I got here, I want to look back and thank so many who have helped me on my jewelry journey: 

To the old and new friends: thank you for encouraging and re-encouraging me to take bold and fearless steps to redefine myself. All of you who told me “I can’t wait to wear your designs!”, or “Look how far you’ve come”, or just “I’m proud of you” - these words of affirmation continue to ring goodness into my ears and heart. Your love has allowed me to go the distance.

To the Fashion Institute of Technology: my professors, classmates and the friends who have been by my side through the battle. Thank you for teaching me, thank you for challenging me, thank you for showing me where I can go. I’ve learned so very much from you. 

To my family: thank you for reminding me where I come from and who I am. Home is so important - it's a theme that keeps reappearing in my work and you’re the reason why. 

To Ryan: thank you for loving and supporting and sacrificing for our little family. There’s nobody I’d rather adventure with. Wherever we are together feels like home. 

To everybody reading this: thank you for joining me on the journey. This is just the beginning.





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