I know many of you wonder about my start in the jewelry industry. When I was eighteen, I attended Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus, Ohio. After my first year, I spent a few weeks searching for a summer job in Dayton, Ohio, which is my hometown. I came across an ad written by a jewelry storeowner. He was looking for an experienced commercial artist that could design high-end luxury pieces of jewelry. When I saw the job posting, I thought the store needed a graphic designer who would design advertising. At this time, I had no sense of luxury fashion lines such as Cartier, Patek Philippe, Van Clef and Arpel, or Mikimoto. I didn’t even know the difference between a sapphire and a piece of turquoise! I was called into the owner’s office, offered a seat and a cup of coffee. After a bit of chit-chat, the owner asked me to design a “water fall diamond cluster ring.” My first thought was “Wow-what in the heck is a waterfall diamond cluster ring? I am doomed!” Thank god he opened his desk drawer and pulled out an existing ring and wanted me to copy it. The ring was wavy, choppy, curvy, swirly, and twisty; a three dimensional mess. It was like a never-ending roller coaster of precious metal and diamonds. I was led to a table, given a sketchpad and pencil. I sat, gazed out the high-rise window, chugged my coffee, wiped my brow and thought, ” what the heck; I have nothing to lose but an opportunity for a summer job and a little bit of my pride” so I took a deep breath and whipped out a design that became my first masterpiece in the jewelry industry. My design was not perfect. It was rough; out of proportion, and choppy. But, the owner saw something in the design that intrigued him. He saw an unseen creativity unbenounced to me, and hired me on the spot. From that day, I had become Dayton, Ohio’s premier jewelry designer and was thrilled. I was ready for the journey of becoming an independent young designer in the field of luxury jewelry design and manufacturing. I continued my education in California at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) where I studied diamonds and merchandising. Thus my journey as a full-fledged jewelry designer begins……..