October 15, 2019

I’m often asked how metal became my preferred medium, and jewelry my art form of choice.

Initially, I went to Virginia Tech to become an architect. I used to wander around the studios late at night looking at other people's creative spaces. I remember I became mesmerized by one woman’s studio where she had about 30 models of a shoe on the wall. In my mind, it made so much sense that you could pull a shoe off the wall and literally hold the model in your hand. That’s when I decided industrial design (also called product design) was what I wanted to do.

Jewelry was always a hobby of mine. Even as a small child, I was always making things that I wear or touch. I lost track of time making elaborate woven bracelets and collaging the walls of my bedroom. At the time, I had no idea my creativity would be the driving force of my future career as a designer.

I still remember some of my very first sales…I made several pairs of silver hoops, just slightly hammered. I began with just a half day course learning how to fuse silver. I made 5 or 10 pairs and brought them with me to a street festival here in San Francisco. I couldn't believe how quickly they sold out. That’s when it clicked. I realized people wanted pieces that they wear everyday and that's when I started working almost solely in metal.

People want simple pieces that they could wear every day. They don’t have to think about what outfit it goes with… it just works. It's a piece that becomes an essential part of their wardrobe, and a signature part of their unique style.

Personally, I like to make a subtle statement in all that I do. Some of my favorite CMD pieces aren’t too far off that original hoop design. I call them my “grocery store hoops,” because I always like to have a pair of earrings when I leave the house, even if running out to the store. A simple pair of earrings makes me feel feminine, powerful, and put together. Truth is, I dress in a pretty plain palette; I wear neutrals and basics most of the time. Varying layers of simple, elegant, classic jewelry is my go-to style. It makes for one of my favorite conversation starters, too.

After over 14 years in business, I’ve realized just how much jewelry means not only to me but to my customers. When someone tells me they purchased a CMD piece that they wear every single day…I feel like I’ve done my job as a designer.

Colleen's Signature


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Blog

CMD's Modern Designs are for Everyone
CMD's Modern Designs are for Everyone

June 11, 2021

Asbury Park doesn't celebrate Pride Month until October, but CMD has its roots in San Francisco where they celebrate the LGBTQ+ community all year long. CMD has always been for everyone. Our modern and edgy designs will look fabulous no matter who you are or how you identify! I've put together a short list of some of my favorite unisex pieces. [...]
Read More
Free Earrings? Yes, Please!
Free Earrings? Yes, Please!

May 27, 2021

This weekend only: we're giving away two brand new designs from our Celestial Collection when you order online! Spend $150+ and you'll receive a free pair of our sterling silver moon studs ($78 value). Spend $450+ and you'll get a pair of the 14k solid gold sun studs ($178 value). And finally, spend $750+ [...]
Read More
My Mental Health Rituals
My Mental Health Rituals

May 26, 2021

2020 was quite a year, I think we can all agree. It was challenging for everyone and forced us to think of new ways of working, socializing and living our lives. As a small business owner in a pandemic, I had to completely shift the way we were doing things to stay afloat. By the beginning of April 2020, my Valencia retail shop was boarded up, I had to furlough my SF team and part of my NY Team. [...]
Read More