jewelry designer Cresta Bledsoe
I fell in love with the jewelry designs of Cresta Bledsoe after coming across her pieces in Garden and Gun magazine. I have also shared a lifelong love of the ocean and the interesting and was intrigued by mere THOUGHT of pairing a fossilized shark’s tooth with diamonds and precious metals.
I hope you enjoy learning more about the designer: how she launched her company and her plans for the future as much as I did. I know I am COUNTING DOWN to the launch of her online store.
Cresta Bledsoe’s Q&A with Nonsense & Sensibility:
N/S: Did you always know you wanted to be a jewelry designer?
Cresta Bledsoe: No, not at all. My education is as an interior and product designer, which is largely what my career has been. I was originally going to do a few custom jewelry designs and I became completely enthralled and still have not been able to stop since…
N/S: How did your owning and designing your own jewelry line come to be?
Cresta: Jewelry design organically became a path out of the desire to create refined, modern heirlooms out of fossilized shark teeth. This was inspired by my time in Ponte Vedra Beach and inheriting my husband’s grandmother’s lifetime collection of fossils from the beaches there. I loved the idea of taking one of the oldest relics you will ever touch (that is really a prized keepsake or trophy for people that live in areas where they wash ashore) and creating something timeless and elevating the material by pairing it with precious gemstones and 18K recycled gold.
N/S: Are you based out of Florida? Why do you call home, home?
Cresta: My husband and I split our time between Ponte Vedra Beach, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. We both are in creative fields and work with groups in lots of places, which allows us to be on the move and be wherever we need to be at that time. This really leads in to the second part of your question… Growing up I lived all over the country as well as abroad and I continue to feel that home is not so much a place but just wherever I come back to laughter, late-night pillow talk, and silliness with my husband and dog.
N/S: What inspired your shark tooth jewelry?
Cresta: I think creating anything usually comes out of filling a personal desire for something you want that you can’t seem to find, and that you feel you have a different perspective on. But truly it was inspired by my husband’s grandmother. She was such a glamorous and poised woman. I remember seeing a photograph of her in a Pucci maxi dress with her prized fossil wrapped with gold wire to create a pendant on a chain – it was such a dichotomy. I couldn’t escape the thought that there should be refined and elegant jewelry with these fossil keepsakes that matches the timeless sophistication of the woman – something that celebrates these relics for their shapes, rich color combination with satin finish yellow gold, and meaning to the wearer.
N/S: What has been one of the biggest highlights of your career thus far?
Cresta: In jewelry, it is working with private clients as it is such a rewarding experience. Nothing makes me happier than seeing my clients find pieces that become part of their everyday wardrobe, that feels more a part of them with each passing day. That being said, I had the privilege of working with a client that not only bought his wife, daughter, and daughter-in-law each a piece at Christmas, but that very same year he decided to make it an extra special Mother’s Day for all of the women in his life. He came back for 2-3 additional pieces EACH as Mother’s Day gifts for his wife, daughter, daughter-in-law, and his mother! Not only is it the ultimate compliment because they are friends, but nothing could be better than creating things that you know are treasured.
N/S: Where is your jewelry currently available?
Cresta: Our online boutique is almost complete! It is also available at Broken English in L.A. and at Jamie in Nashville.
N/S: What new designs can you share for fall 2013?
Cresta: As a fine jewelry line, I have not timed collection launches with seasonal fashion launches. But I have just completed a series of evening-oriented earrings that are fossilized shark tooth with white diamond pave and various natural gemstone drops. They take a bolder color approach and are very versatile in what fashion looks they can be paired with. They can be worn very traditionally, with the added element of uniqueness because of the organic fossil shape, or very modern, as a color block complement to a solid. I am also starting to work on a new collection without fossils that will continue to be very graphic, clean, architectural, and continue to create pieces with multiple uses.
N/S: How do you hope to see your company grow?
Cresta: I will continue with collections that feature the handmade one-of-a-kind pieces that the first collection is exclusively made of, but begin to add production-oriented pieces into the mix. I will always design pieces with a specific wearer in mind above all else – someone who values expressing their individuality; they seek pieces that fit their streamlined lifestyle of day to night and with the flexibility to wear them in different ways; they want their jewelry to make them feel feminine or masculine by delicacy, weightiness, and attention given to falling in the right places; they have a simple, clean-lined modern aesthetic; they think of their jewelry as an investment in quality that is timeless and will be with them for many years and passed down as a modern heirloom. Beyond that… it will be a surprise to us all!
N/S: Do you have any staple pieces that one will always find in your line?
Cresta: Yes! The 18K stack cuffs with various diamonds or gemstones. The stones go the full distance around the cuff so there is no front or back side to the delicate cuff. This makes them interesting on their own, or with others, and they can be neutral or very colorful and personalized.
N/S: What are 3 things you absolutely couldn’t live without?
Cresta: My husband, the ocean, a triple shot americano in the morn (and sometimes afternoon)
N/S: How do you destress and unwind?
Cresta: Meditation and travel are my most effective ways to do both. When I can’t do either of those, I look at imagery – online is of course the best and easiest resource, but I still love to flip through my library and piles of books and mags. It has a cathartic effect on clearing and opening up my mind for my design process or just daydreaming.
N/S: How would you describe your personal style?
Cresta: It is all about balance and variety – high-low mixing, trend oriented pieces mixed with staples or vintage pieces. It is always modern and classically feminine with a focal point piece.