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Behind the Scenes: Designing a Jewelry Collection

Inspiration Oct 15, 2013

As you probably know by now, I’m a total voyeur when it comes to the design process, I can’t help but stick my nose into what designers do when they’re creating their ideas and collections. You may remember Megan was kind enough to show us what she gets up to when she creates her beautiful pieces, and I’m super excited to share Aimee of Swellmayde creating her beautiful jewelry designs. Scroll to the bottom to read Aimee’s rundown of her process!

From start to finish, this is is how Aimee creates her jewelry.


Inspiration can come from anywhere and everywhere.  It’s all about absorbing the little details and really seeing the world. Sometimes the best inspiration pops up when I’m grabbing coffee or even when I’m walking down the street.  I love when inspiration flows my way organically, which happens most often when I’m travelling and visiting new places.  I recommend always having a camera or sketchbook to instantly capture ideas and inspiration. When I can’t travel, I love to find inspiration is all areas of my city from museums to art galleries to vintage bookstores.  Then, I like to supplement this with researching what’s currently happening in fashion by visiting my favorite fashion sites, reviewing runway shows and scouring through magazines.


Once you have all your research and inspiration gathered, make printouts, and lay it all out on your desk. Try to find trends and similarities in the images and sketches and cgroup ideas together.  Once groups of ideas are formed, you can put together a mood board and really see what’s inspiring you. For my particular jewelry, once I laid out all my inspiration, I discovered that I gravitated toward delicate pieces, nature inspired pendants and charms, and loved the color gold.


Begin sketching designs that stem from the ideas on your mood boards.  It’s great to sketch as many ideas as you can.  Sometimes new and more refined ideas emerge in doing so.


I work with local jewelers to create my designed sketches of pendants and charms.  Ask about lead times, which is the time period it takes for something to be made.  I recommend padding the lead times for yourself, just in case something unexpected arises, such as delays in shipping.  I first ask for a few samples, then make design comments on details such as size, color, texture, and materials.  Once I receive a sample that is I what I envisioned it to be, I then approve it and order a bulk amount.  For my jewelry line, I have all the charms and pendants made.  Then, I hand make each piece into a necklace or bracelet. Some companies have the jewelry manufacturer create the whole piece, it just depends on how you would like your company to be.


Once I create all my samples, and am happy with the whole collection, I have a photoshoot for all the pieces in prep for being posted onto our webshop.

Make sure you check out the beautiful layered pieces Aimee has just added to her store!



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