At first glance, you see the designs of Gabrielle Friedman, Alyssa Cassatto and Meredith Jackson and conclude that they have nothing in common. Sure, they’re jewelry designers and they live in the South, but their designs are on different ends of the spectrum. However, upon closer inspection, you’ll find that they quite literally have the same motivations, the same inspiration and the same goals. What makes them each individually outstanding is their unique perspective on each of those things. Inspired by nature, art and decor, motivated by a need to express creatively and driven by their clients, these three Southern women bring their background and experiences to create absolutely beautiful, alluring jewelry that captivates those who see it and wear it. Get to know these three Southern jewelry designers.
3 Southern Jewelry Designers You Should Know
Meredith Jackson lives in Charlotte and has a namesake boutique in the heart of Myers Park. Years ago, she lived in London and found herself consistently drawn to the flea market there. She would browse and browse and find pieces of jewelry that inspired her to do something she hadn’t previously planned on. Before she knew it, Meredith Jackson Jewelry came about, and today she has grown her brand into her own shop and now website.
Meredith’s jewelry is made up of semi-precious stones, gold-fill and sterling pieces. A trained interior designer, her appreciation for beautiful design led her to create jewelry for women of all ages. Her pieces are simple, yet stunning, and they are ones reached for on a daily basis.
With a focus on the customer, Meredith’s approach is different than many. In her shop, she is able to meet the wearers of her jewelry, and as they build a relationship, she then designs with them in mind. The result? Pieces that resonate immediately with her clientele.
Meredith also offers custom services in the shop. There, she is able to sit down and create something one-of-a-kind with the customer. Meredith can take old family heirlooms and rework them, or create something from scratch – a service brides have grown to love!
At the end of the day, she seeks to cultivate relationships and create jewelry that is as singular and special as the women who wear it.
Nashville-based Gabrielle Friedman draws from the inspiration of her childhood home in Cape Town, South Africa, to craft her one-of-a-kind fine jewelry. Each piece is specially crafted around the materials with which it is created, which lends a special uniqueness to every necklace, cuff and ring.
With a background in art therapy, it’s no surprise that her personal experiences carry over into her jewelry. Her hometown influences her design from start to finish. She uses heat to shape and refine each piece of jewelry, and as she molds and crafts the jewelry, the pieces take on the many different characteristics of Cape Town. Cracks and texture emulate the expansive dry land, while fine stones sparkle to reflect light and beauty. No two pieces are exactly alike, and wearers can be confident that the piece around their neck or on their wrist was fashioned with care.
For her signature necklaces, the shape and color of the precious or semi-precious stone determine the setting and chain used. Gabrielle allows the stone to shine, perfectly complemented by its surrounding finishes. You’ll find yourself enamored with the way the pieces so seamlessly work. The natural shapes shine, and the result is a piece that can be worn from day to night.
The Botswana cuffs, some of our personal favorite designs by Gabrielle, are uniquely inspired by animals on safari – the black reflecting the coat of a zebra, the gold the mane of a lion, and the silver the lithe springbok. They are a balance of statement and practical pieces. Large and unforgettable, yet they pair easily with a t-shirt and jeans.
Gabrielle’s designs are ones that last a lifetime. They are timeless in style and pieces you will treasure.
Alyssa Cassatto of Connie n’ Jack
Alyssa Cassatto of Connie n’ Jack is bold and daring — just like her jewelry. The youngest of seven children, Alyssa named her business after her parents, Connie and Jack. Unafraid to make a statement, she designs pieces with varying textures and sizes resulting in jewelry that will undoubtedly catch eyes.
Alyssa has a true designer’s eye, in more ways than one. A commercial interior designer and jewelry designer, her unique pieces reflect her unique perspective.
Connie n’ Jack is anything but boring. Large, loud and bold, you might think that these pieces can exclusively stand alone, but you would be wrong! Alyssa, via her Instagram, has shown us that when it comes to Connie n’ Jack, the more the better! Stacked large necklaces paired with long earrings work because her color schemes and textures are designed cohesively. Layering these pieces feels daring, but the result is chic. Most designs are a combination of black, white, grey and other neutrals making them easy to style.
Also inspired by nature, as well as fashion and art, Alyssa uses materials like bone, wood, porcelain and brass to create pieces that are one-of-a-kind. While specific necklaces can be emulated using similar materials, the beauty of her work is that no two things are exactly the same — even when created with the same components.
Alyssa challenges the wearers of her jewelry to be bold, hopefully stepping a bit more out of their comfort zone with each piece they layer.
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