This week is the anniversary of my 17th year since I left my full time job. The past few years I have headed to the Rocky Mountains for some downtime and inspiration this time of year. For me the mountains represent freedom, the same kind of freedom I’ve felt since I started the journey of Dana Blair Designs. There is a similarity to driving and skiing in the mountains as there is to running and growing a small business. Not every day is an easy one , but I am enjoying the adventure and look forward to the next challenge. There are curves and bumps (like I found out skiing down a freshly powdered mountain last week). The learning experiences are part of the journey and I thoroughly enjoy it!
The last FT job I had turned out to be a great blessing. I had 2 wonderful bosses who were extremely supportive of me starting my business. I worked those 2 years 7 days a week around the clock. I was already surrounded by an extremely supportive group of family and friends so the daily hours and trial and error of crafting and selling jewelry helped me grow and mature as a human and business owner.
When I started, I only designed one of a kind pieces. When I finally took the plunge I found a small shop in NoHo that housed independent designers with small businesses. Opening up a space at The Edge in 2007 and working with the merchandisers at Henri Bendel’s in 2008, I learned how to put together jewelry lines. Before I started my business I worked as a Publicist, Writer and Real Estate Manager. I learned how to create jewelry lines in Real Time as I learned the business.
.The support I received from the other jewelers and designers was amazing. The same held true when I moved to LA in 2013. The communities I am apart of on both coasts as well as around the US is so unique and special. We as a whole keep each other going. I have found some of the best friends on the planet from these communities and am humbled and grateful every day to work along side them.
I always loved working with gemstones so those were and always will be the center of my jewelry universe. While the gems always inspire me, I also draw much inspiration from nature, art, clients, fashion, shapes, color and countless experiences throughout my travels.
In 2007 I was invited to the Cannes Film Festival with my designs. On this trip I created my signature woven pieces sitting on the beach when one of my shows was cancelled. I always believe in timing and making the best use of the time I have. The cancelled show never really felt like an obstacle. I decided rather quickly to draw inspiration from it instead of insecurity. I still had an opportunity and made the best of it.
From this trip I created some of favorite pieces to make and wear. The Wire Wrap Bracelet is the the 1st piece I created from this collection and still my favorite piece to make. Over the years I have created it with different color and size gemstones and a variety of variations in the style.
Over the next week I will write and post about some of my other favorite pieces and the inspiration behind them.
Wire Wrap Bracelet- I created this 1st piece of the collection with woven wire to set the gemstones while sitting on the beach in Cannes one overcast afternoon. The first one I made with was with Iolite gemstones. I sat and watched the water and emulated it with the woven wire as it flowed back and forth. I perfected the piece with some large gems over the next few days there and was confident enough with how it came out to let some of the pieces be worn at festival premieres. ( I looked for photos I know I had and will post if I can find:)
Stay tuned for more posts on some of these favorites of mine and the inspiration behind them.
Dream Catcher Star
Long Gemstone Necklace