Literally every few days someone comments to me about my bling. Not that I am dripping in diamonds and jewels. Ha, ha! Definitely not, I'm a pretty basic girl (though my dangly earring collection is slightly ridiculous ~ ). I'm talking about my wedding band.
Women and men stop me to ask about it regularly. I've been wearing it every day for over four years now and the comments and compliments have not slowed at all.
To me this could only mean one thing. The artist who designed and made it, Sarah Graham, is a genius. My one-of-a-kind artisan ring is truly a testament to the hands that created it. And you will be surprised to hear this: It was not even as expensive as rings we looked at locally from jewelers.
Sarah is based in California. The year before we got married I found Sarah's website after searching jewelry artists online until about 4 am one sleepless night. The moment I laid eyes on her work, I knew I had found the person who would make my wedding band. I felt instantly connected to her style, her vision and her philosophy.
We met up with Sarah when she came to D.C. a few months later as a vendor at an arts & crafts show. She measured my finger personally, and we chatted about a design she already made and the few custom changes I was interested in.
Sarah was beyond a pleasure to do business with. One of my custom requests was that instead of all diamonds, deep red garnets be placed in the ring. When she found what she felt where the perfect stones on a trip to Las Vegas, she actually Fed-Ex-ed them to me to approve for my ring! Well in advance of the wedding -- and well before the promised delivery date -- my ring arrived: 18 karat gold with white diamonds and dark red garnets. She presented it in a gorgeous, round red leather box that I still have.
In the past five years since I got my ring, Sarah Graham's work has truly exploded onto the couture fashion scene. Movie stars like Sharon Stone and Angelina Jolie are now sporting her creations, she's been featured in Elle, InStyle, Real Simple, the Robb Report, Organic Style, Lucky and Modern Bride magazines, and models are wearing her pieces on the catwalk at designer shows. Once when we were in NY, the owner of the gallery we were browsing looked at my hand and asked if my ring was a Sarah Graham piece! I felt way cool. And even cooler that I had enough of an eye to have recognized someone's work who was going to become so popular.
So if you like truly special jewelry -- for men or women (her collection is much larger now -- back in 2003 she had 4 lines, now she has 16 and does pieces for guys, too!), check out Sarah Graham. It feels great to support an artist living her dream (she only started her business in 2000!!) and even greater to have a regular source of compliments right around your finger! : )
PS If you love Sarah's work as much as I do, you can see it in person in Baltimore next month at the American Craft Council Retail Show @ the Baltimore Convention Center on Pratt Street. February 27 - March 1, 2009. She's worth the visit!!