Sophisticated bohemian. That's the vibe Dallas-based jewelry designer Kristin Miller is going for, and it's working.
After falling in love with the craft of jewelry making in her metalsmithing glass in college, Miller revisited the hobby in 2012 after several years of working as a graphic designer. She missed "getting her hands dirty" and making meaningful physical objects that people could enjoy, so she decided to take a chance and launched a company called Sensibly Selfish.
"With the encouragement and support of my husband, I took a part-time design job and started making my jewelry to sell," Miller says. "Along the way, I began taking wax carving and casting courses, while eventually transitioning to jewelry design as a full-time career."
"I focus on the artistry of jewelry making to create pieces that transcend trends and can be treasured for years to come," Kristin Miller says.
Riding the momentum of a new eponymous brand name and website, Miller is introducing a new collection that reflects her growth in the business. Because jewelry designers are a dime a dozen in Dallas, we asked what everyone really wants to know: What makes her pieces different?
Turns out Miller has been on quite the quest to design unique jewelry, and it all started with collecting rocks and crystals from her grandmother's farm in the Ozarks. She says that these "rockhounding habits," mixed with her graphic design background, has helped her to produce a style that marries material and form. Rather than focusing on one or the other, Miller enjoys combining interesting shapes in metal with custom-cut semi-precious stones.
Miller also sources vintage chain and crystals (she credits vintage Cartier as inspiration) to make distinctive, limited-edition earrings, necklaces and bracelets at an approachable price point: $35-$350.
This native Texan also is influenced by traditional Native American and Mexican adornment, and although many of her designs are geometric in nature, they maintain a rustic quality by embracing the small imperfections that result from casting — a process that Miller says serves as a reminder that each piece has been touched by many sets of hands.
"I love that jewelry can serve as a method of self-expression, a piece of art, a relic — or all of the above," Miller says. "By carving all of my original waxes and having them hand-cast, I focus on the artistry of jewelry making to create pieces that transcend trends and can be treasured for years to come."
Miller is showcasing her latest objects at a trunk show on Thursday, December 4, 6-8:30 pm, at Lab Art, a gallery in the Dallas Design District.
"I'm really interested in the convergence of different creative ventures, and I thought it would be fun to shake up the traditional trunk show venue of a home or retail space by hosting an event at Lab Art," Miller says. "People can get a feel for the jewelry in person, while simultaneously viewing some great art.
"There will be many pieces that I reserve exclusively for shows, which are not available for wholesale or on the website."
Kristin Miller Jewelry is currently only available online, so this is a chance to see her creations in person — and receive a 15 percent discount. Attendees can also enjoy appetizers and drinks and enter for a chance to win a $250 gift certificate.