Ann Gray, a 47-year old artisan from Kansas City, MO., is a talented and inspiring jewelry designer. She specializes in silversmithing and wire wrap. Her motto is "Adorn Yourself With Style"; and her particular style trends toward vintage, while still keeping up with the latest fashions. I appreciate her humble approach to art; as she explains it, "In the last ten years, I've found that art emerges from a process of learning from mistakes, as much as from successes." I also really like a quote she uses from Alexander McQueen, a British fashion designer and couturier:
"Fashion should be a form of escapism, not a form of imprisonment."
Years ago, Ann was a cosmetologist, creating signature hairstyles. (This was before she spent 12 years as a Human Resources representative.) One day she was looking for a particular type of jewelry and couldn’t find what she wanted. Someone said, "Why don’t you make it?" And the rest, as they say, is history. She bought some supplies and books and began to study and practice night and day. Now she says every day is consumed with her creative work and learning how to make new things.
Ann particularly loves fine silver, sterling silver, Argentium silver, and rose and yellow gold. Her favorite stones are Turquoise and Gem Silica Chrysocolla. She works with other stones as well, including agate, jasper and opal (see one of her pendants with blue Agate featured to the left). It's important to her to use natural stones because they are more eco-friendly (for more on this topic, see our previous post Eco-Friendly Jewelry).
Ann is also committed to helping other artisans just starting out as jewelry entrepreneurs. She mentors a group about Online Marketing for Jewelry Designers or Small Business owners. Her YouTube Channel is:
Her mentor Group is https://facebook.com/groups/JewelryInBusiness
One of the endorsements I ran across while researching Ann and her work really sums up the special appeal of her mentoring:
"Following you was the best thing for me. I'm no longer afraid to do what it takes to close the deal. You empower women who want to have their own business." It's clear she provides not only this kind of support, but mentoring and training in marketing and other practical business skills.
You can also find Ann on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mrsanngray
I encourage you to connect with her if you want to learn more about the handcrafted jewelry business -- she gives generously of herself, her time, and her expertise!
If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy Dawn Wink on Turquoise.
Until Next Time,