When it comes to jewelry, a great design is key. From the style to the materials, colors and more, every piece has the power to elevate a basic look, grab major attention or evoke a memory. One fabulous jewelry designer that truly loves the craft is Annie Hammer. Read on to learn more about this creative powerhouse and her creative ideas.
Robin: When did you first realize you wanted to pursue a career as a jewelry designer?
Annie: While working as graphic designer at the local ABC affiliate in the 80’s. Two dimension was no longer satisfying my need as a designer.
R: Who or what is your inspiration for jewelry making?
A: I had many inspirations starting at a very young age. My mother and grandmother both went to art school. My grandmother had quite an extensive collection of art. So, I would say that was my first inspiration. Seeing the amazing art every time I went to her house was like visiting a museum.
R: How would you describe your design style?
A: I'd say it’s an evolution in progress. It changes somewhat with every collection. My mind runs so fast that after designing a collection I'm on to the next. While taking a class in bead work in the 70's, my teacher called my style "fierce elegance." That definitely stuck.
R: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received from someone you admire?
A: One of the best pieces of advice I got was if you don’t financially need a partner, don’t have one. It gets too complicated! Also, one of the most important parts of building a successful business is developing the best relationships you can with the buyer. That is so important. Create trust and have the best customer service.
R: What inspired you to start designing handbags? Do you have a different design process?
A: Back in the late 80’s and early 90’s, I started making beaded evening bags. They were embellished with Swarovski crystals, fringe and lined with beautiful fabric. I have always wanted to design leather handbags. So, recently I bought a sewing machine and started to make my own patterns. It’s been a great and rewarding journey figuring it out. Lots of YouTube videos have been watched. I really don’t have a consistent design process. I start by seeing it in my head and just start constructing it. Sometimes I do very simple sketches only I can figure out. That’s how I remember what I want to start with.
R: What role do you think social media plays in jewelry and handbag design today?
A: For me social media is a great tool for branding your company. It definitely gets it out there so people can see it. It’s also a great way for stores to see what you’re working on currently.
R: What’s the feeling you’d like women or men to have while wearing your jewelry or carrying your bags?
A: Basically, one word. Empowered.
R: What do the ideas of badass design and fierce elegance mean to you and your brand?
A: When I was at a trade show in New York one of my customers called me a badass. And, as I said before, one of my teachers called my work "fierce elegance." I added them to my Instagram hashtags and whenever I post, those are in my consistent hashtags.
R: Where can we find your jewelry?
Annie Hammer Jewelry
Coming from generations immersed in art and design, Annie Hammer has taken the path to continue with that legacy. Her designs vary in a diversity of colors and materials. From gemstones and fossils to diamonds. She plays with shape and style that gives the feeling of “fierce elegance.”
She says, “The biggest compliment is a happy customer that can’t get enough of my jewelry.”