What: Jewels and baubles made with contrasting materials. Think: opaque + transparent; precise + imperfect. Oxidized sterling silver, Swarovski crystal, semi-precious gemstones and vintage glass beads are made into earrings, necklaces and rings; prices range from $24 to $128.
Who: Like many other jewelry designers, Sara Schwittek started her business because of “an insatiable addiction to buying and hoarding beads.” A graphic designer by day, she found this creative outlet tied well to her livelihood. Creating an online presence required sweat equity, but with low risks and startup costs.
How: An education in architecture laid the building blocks for jewelry design. “How do the material, the ‘layout,’ the way light reflects or passes through it, reinforce this experience?” she asks. “For me, a successful end design looks intentional and organized, yet unexpected and unconventional – hopefully creating a beautiful little experience for the beholder.”
What’s in the name: Shy Siren describes a woman who embraces being beautiful, sensual and alluring in her own unique, understated way, inside and out, says Schwittek.
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Inspiration: “I am more deeply influenced by my education in architecture and graphic design, and my own personal travels and passion for photography.” She says she’s drawn to the imperfect, as well as patterns, geometries, textures, light and shadow, and seeks these for her inspiration.
Favorite piece: “Right now the pieces that resonate with me most are those that incorporate that gritty imperfection in opposition to precision and perfection. … Organically wrapped oxidized sterling silver vs. the unsurpassed sparkle and precision faceting of Swarovski crystal. Many of these pieces have a monochromatic palette, yet are full of visual texture.”
Find it online: www.shysiren.com