Jennifer Dawes

Jennifer Dawes launched her collection Dawes Design in 2000 and has since evolved to become one of the main proponents of sustainably responsible jewelry while also creating pieces that are magical to wear. Each piece combines her love of ancient civilizations with what is happening right now in culture and design and is hand-made, fabricated and finished at her studio in rural Sonoma County, California. Dawes explains, “I try to let the material speak for itself. I strip the designs back to their essential components and in doing this they become very feminine, subtle and organic. I have built a consumer base that resonates with the simplicity of my work and are able to combine and collect styles from my different lines which express their own individual tastes, desires and lifestyles.” Before launching the collection, Dawes attended a fine arts program with an emphasis in metalsmithing. “The moment I began touching and feeling metal, I had a profound understanding of what I wanted to do with my life,” she explains. “Learning how to manipulate this hard, shiny material was like magic to me and I have been passionate about it ever since. My hands have to physically manipulate and fabricate in order for the ideas to emerge out of the metal. It’s the physical aspect of the material that is so intriguing to me.” Dawes evolution was two-fold and happened almost simultaneously. Originally the collection had a slightly geometric feeling to it, but the more confident Dawes became as a goldsmith, her pieces took on a more relaxed feeling with flowing shapes and silhouettes. The second part of development was her rise to the forefront of the green movement in jewelry in 2005, around the time she had her first child. “Becoming a mother was the most meaningful and spiritual experience I have ever known. It changed the way I perceived the future and showed me how important it was to be committed to a socially and environmentally responsible lifestyle.” Since then, Dawes only uses recycled gold and responsibly mined stones wherever possible in her work. The company prides itself on making everything locally and sourcing using sustainable businesses that use recycled products. Both the lines of the metal and the gems Dawes chooses: natural colored diamonds and sapphires; slices; pale opaque rosecut diamonds and polished rough cuts give her collection a natural beauty and bohemian elegance. Dawes continues to gain both retail and consumer recognition and explains, “It is a priority for me to keep my work accessible to the public who truly appreciate it and for whom it resonates. It helps me realize that I am doing something of value—giving people a chance to feel like they are wearing something meaningful to them and that says a little about who they are.”

Jennifer Dawes’s website