Three words: elegant, chic and sustainable. That is how I would describe the eco-friendly artisan brand Valerie Madison which I found in my brand research. I was immediately drawn to the brand’s personality and to the designers passion for creating jewelry that is pristine and elegant but also staunchly ethical.
With a unique approach to color pairing and juxtaposition, her designs are classic crowd pleasers but with a slight spin. A bright gold bar next to an ethically sourced colored gemstone. My personal favorite is the wandering diamond band that is a simple gold ring with imbedded diamonds like an x- ray view of stars on a night sky.
Valerie is apart of a new generation of environmentally and socially conscious jewelers springing up in alcoves on the west coast and throughout the U.S. She has been featured as a designer to watch out for in numerous outlets such as Essence and The Seattle Times.
“We all have ways we can help the planet by reducing our footprints and I knew I could make an impact by choosing to work with recycled metals and avoiding refineries that did not share my values. The same goes for the necessity of sourcing conflict-free diamonds. I enjoy the sourcing process because I get to learn more about the fascinating diamond industry.”
Valerie is a great example of how following your passion and your values can lead to a successful business. I was lucky enough to talk directly with the designer to get to know her personally and also how she found her niche as a successful ethical jewelry in Seattle.
Favorite Jewelry Trend?
I love geometry in design. I’m seeing it in many places and I like using geometric-shaped diamonds in my rings.
How did you get into the jewelry industry and what made you want to design jewelry?
I never understood that I was a creative person until my twenties. I didn’t plan to become a designer but I fell into this industry first as a hobby, then as a side business, and then I made the leap to become a full time designer. After my first few attempts at making jewelry I saw that I had a knack for it and I knew that my passion could take me far. I knew I wanted this career because I wanted to be my own boss and be able to do something really well.
What would you say is your design and style inspiration?
I’m very inspired by clean, minimalist lines and design that has structure, balance, and elegance. I’ve not yet been able to pinpoint a single source that I draw inspiration from specifically because so far, it has all come from within.
What are your thoughts on sustainability and the sustainable sourcing in the jewelry industry?
I was a college student studying Environmental Science when I started making jewelry. I was hungry for information about the jewelry industry, always daydreaming about possibly pursuing it one day. In my research I learned about the gold mining industry in particular and it’s terrible effects on the earth and its habitats and communities.
We all have ways we can help the planet by reducing our footprints and I knew I could make an impact by choosing to work with recycled metals and avoiding refineries that did not share my values. The same goes for the necessity of sourcing conflict-free diamonds. I enjoy the sourcing process because I get to learn more about the fascinating diamond industry.
While we still have far to go, transparency in the diamond sourcing process is being requested more and more by jewelry designers and customers so I hope the diamond industry is listening.
In the meantime, I love sourcing Canadian and recycled diamonds for my customers as sustainable and conflict-free options. Rose cut diamonds are a wonderful trend in the jewelry industry because these diamonds, formally considered by-products for traditional brilliant white diamonds, are unique, interesting, hardy, and beautiful.
What is your favorite piece of jewelry that you design/ sell and why?
My favorite piece of jewelry that I make has to be my rose cut diamond engagement rings. I really love making these rings because each diamond shape poses it’s own unique design challenges and I have different ring styles based on what characters each diamond possesses.
Many considerations have to be made for a rose cut diamond’s unique shape, cut, color, and weight.
Good design is important in order to highlight the gem’s best features. I am thrilled and honored to be selected by my clients to create a ring to symbolize their union so I work hard to procure the very best diamonds to offer to my clients in really minimalist but beautiful settings so that the diamond can be the center attraction. I want my customers to be happy not only when they open that ring box for the first time but also every time they look down at their hands years and years to come.
Valerie Madison is great for the holiday season – find links to her website and IG below.