The other night, after a 10+ hour work day, I went home and sifted through a box of jewelry created shortly after Colleen Mauer Designs launched in 2005. I came across delicately strung beads and the beginning stages of my now signature wire-wrapped designs; beautiful relics of my personal and professional growth.
Each year that passes—whether it be on a birthday, holiday or anniversary—brings a moment of reflection. It’s impossible to hit a milestone and not reflect on the memories of that significant date, both literal (where you physically were, perhaps) or the figurative (and how your mind has shifted in that time). That being said, spending an entire decade crafting something (in my case, honing in on my true passion of designing jewelry) when the monumental landmark of 10 years rolls around…well, all I can say is the reflection on those roughly 3652 days has been nothing but surreal.
The early pieces I found weeks ago were created before I had a clear vision of what CMD would become. In the beginning I was overflown with ideas, and my collection was a mishmash of those thoughts (and truthfully, not a cohesive collection). I vividly remember an “AHA!” moment during one of my first shows in Cole Valley, San Francisco, around 2006. Though I was proudly displaying my colorful pieces, it was my simple, hammered silver hoops (of which I had only made about 10 pairs) that sold out instantly. At first I was scratching my head, but I quickly realized: this is what women want. They want every day jewelry that they can toss on without coordinating to their attire. They want pieces that transition from their office to a night out to the grocery store run the next morning. Slowly I began to phase out the wildly designed, brightly pigmented beads and began creating simplistic, structured jewelry—using only metal. It was then everything clicked, and therefore jewelry began to sell. To this day, 10 years later, when a client says to me, “I wear my CMD piece every day,” it is exactly what I’m trying to do. My true vision, though I didn’t design to it at first, was to craft jewelry a woman loves and connects with so much that it has become her staple.
So now, as I reflect on these 10 years of glory, pain, joy, tears, laughter, friendships, and oh-so much more, I must express both my gratitude and my nostalgia. I am overflown with happiness and pride, and though I am just a speck in the universe of creators, I live for this passion (truly, creativity keeps me sane). As I celebrate 10 years of designs now, I feel as if it’s just beginning and I can’t wait to see what the following years will bring. If it’s even a fraction of the fulfillment I am experiencing now, I will be forever grateful. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your endless love and support.
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