Founded in 2007, Megan Thorne’s distinctively feminine collection was inspired by details of lace and fabrics informed by a vintage sensibility. But with experience, her collections have evolved to be as much about the fluid art of metalsmithing itself as any outside influences.

Because Thorne’s delicate bridal offerings proved so popular right from the start, she made the business decision to concentrate on engagement rings and wedding bands made in her Fort Worth, TX, studio in 18K recycled gold and ethically sourced gemstones. But now that she has established a loyal clientele, she wants to offer a wider range of fine jewelry so brand fans have more options for gift giving.

“As a bridal company, naturally, you gain customers who are looking for anniversary bands and fun gifts,” she says. “That tickles me. I’m so excited to get to branch out a little bit. We are less focused on mountings and more on cool one-of-a-kind limited edition pieces and gift-appropriate items. We’re trying to keep the price friendly while keeping the jewelry special.” 


How has your source of inspiration evolved?

Originally it was very much from fabric and lace. I had tons of lace in my workshop and studio. Now that we’ve been doing it a little longer, metalsmithing in general is an inspiration point. It’s very fluid now. It’s about how my hands, or my husband’s hands, are making the piece. We think next time, let’s try this or that. We come up with little tricks. It’s kind of like a river that flows.

Why did you become a jewelry designer?

I always knew I’d be a designer. But I thought I’d do fashion. That’s what I studied originally. I got a job as an assistant designer in a lingerie company right out of college. I liked it but I felt distant from the production process. I wanted to be involved from start to finish. I had taken a metalworking class and I thought, naively, “Oh, I’ll be a jewelry designer, there’s not a lot of competition there.” I was wrong, of course, about that. But in jewelry, I can come up with a concept and with my own hands make the piece. Even now that the business has gotten a little bigger and I have help creating the pieces here in the studio, I am still involved with the process all the way through.

What jewelry do you wear that defines you?

A slender gold wedding band made by my husband. It’s simple and classic, and looks equally appropriate worn solo with dirty jeweler’s fingernails (daily!) or piled with other rings clutching a glass of wine (rare!)

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

After I was years in, someone told me “Don’t ever make your hobby your job.” Totally opposite of what you always hear; we all think if you love your work, it will make you better at what you do. And I actually agree with that. I do think you are more fulfilled if you love your work. But it was an excellent reminder that the actual running of a business requires as much nurturing and attention as the creative side.

What’s been the highlight of your jewelry career?

Having my husband come on and take over the lead jeweler job so I could be a mother. It was a wonderful moment realizing I can have my first love — my career and my work — and also have the family that I dreamed of. And also, frankly, my husband, Jaz, is awesome. He has a great eye and great hands and much greater natural ability than I ever had. It was a really pivotal moment for us.


Web Exclusive: Quick Hitters

What’s your secret talent? Making fancy sandwiches.

What’s something that hardly anyone knows about you? I’m a pretty big sports trivia nut.

How do you unwind? Flipping through Elle Décor and Domino

If you could time travel, where would you go? Childhood summers spent with my family at the lake, my absolute favorite memories.

If you could try another career, what would it be? Perfumer.

Guilty pleasure? Ratty, holey vintage T-shirts, even more so when I’m the one who has worn them out. Some of my favorites are so threadbare that I honestly can’t wear them outside or I’m indecent, but I will never give them up.

Who’s your dream client? My grandmother.

Name a goal that doesn’t involve jewelry? A little boy who says please, thank you, and will always want to hang out with his mom no matter how old he gets.

What do you love to shop for? Goodies for my 1-year-old son. The tiny shoes just kill me!

 


This article originally appeared in the January 2017 edition of INSTORE.



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