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Megan Thorne Ready to Branch Out From Bridal Jewelry

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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.” 


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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Hot Sellers

The Hottest-Selling Jewelry From Last Month, According To The Brain Squad

Hearts On Fire took over the top spot.

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We recently brought in the line Ania Haie. Since introducing the line to our customers, we can’t keep it in stock. Very reasonably priced and great for gifts and add-on sales. — Shannon Akridge, Clater Jewelers Diamond Center, Louisville, KY

Top-selling jewelry brands in October

Hearts On Fire (6), Ania Haie (3), Gabriel & Co. (3), Pandora (3), Rolex (3), Allison-Kaufman (2), ArtCarved (2), Benchmark (2), Carla Corporation (2), Citizen (2), John Hardy (2), Lafonn (2), Lashbrook (2), Maple Leaf Diamonds (2), Shah Luxury (2), Stuller (2), Sylvie Collection (2), Vahan (2)

* Brands mentioned by at least two of 114 Brain Squad members when asked what they would be reordering in November.

  • Three-stone engagement rings are flying out the door! Many in yellow gold or two-tone. — Jen Hollywood, J Hollywood Designs, Chester Springs, PA
  • Engagement rings under $1,500. Gold from Royal Chain. Sterling anything! — Andrew Russakoff, Russakoff Jewelers, Skowhegan, ME
  • Believe it or not, 20-inch yellow gold rope chains for men are selling well. A few years ago, I couldn’t give them away, now I reorder every week! Also sold quite a few heavy men’s solid yellow gold link bracelets this month. — Shari Altman, B & E Jewelers, Southampton, PA
  • We carry a fixed pearl on a leather necklace and bracelet set from Janes Pearl World, retail $39. They are flying off the shelves. — James Stinson, Diamond Classics, McMinnville, TN
  • Diamond stud earrings! Everyone loves them and you can always need bigger! — Cathy Calhoun, Calhoun Jewelers, Royersford, PA
  • We sell Gabriel gold/diamond fashion. It appeals to them because of the price and design. All age groups seem to be attracted to it, so we like to sell it as it makes it easy. — Alisha Moore, Toner Jewelers, Overland Park, KS
  • Hearts On Fire: bridal and fashion! And custom bridal. — Kim Hatchell, Galloway & Moseley, Sumter, SC
  • The biggest sellers for October were 14K gold earrings from Carla Corp. Mostly hollow hoops of different sizes. — Joe Caron, Caron’s Jewelry, Bristol, RI
  • Fire Polish Diamonds. They are 300 percent more brilliant. Everyone loves them. Greatest change in diamond cutting in 100 years. Also a great add-on to recut the customer’s diamond. — Bill Jones, Sissy’s Log Cabin, Pine Bluff, AR
  • I think it’s time that jewelers realize that men also impulse-buy! We have had lots of men making self-purchases in our INOX brand. They also have amazing blue and red line designs, which represent first responders. Prices retail on average under $100! — Stephenie Bjorkman, Sami Fine Jewelry, Fountain Hills, AZ
  • Best-selling were unique gemstone jewelry! Graziela and Suzanne Kalan were the top designers in October. Price point $500-$7,500. The age of the purchasers varied from millennials to above 60. — Elizabeth Saba, Presley Co. Fine Jewelers, San Diego, CA
  • October was a great month for selling opals and diamond bridal. We are thrilled diamonds are still preferred, and we experiencing a real boost in selling engagement rings with oval- and pear-shape center diamonds set in yellow gold! — Annette Kinzie, Leonard Jewelry, Stillwater, OK
  • We have already done well with several of the new items that will be featured in our upcoming Christmas flyer from the Berco Co. We recently added the Ania Haie line and have done relatively well with it, too. — James Sickinger, Sickinger’s Jewelry, Lowell, IN
  • We had a nice month with engagement rings. And not your typical cuts. Pear, marquise, radiant and emerald cuts seem to be popular right now. Color is slowly starting to come back and we moved a nice Mexican fire opal ring last week. — Marc Majors, Sam L. Majors, Midland, TX
  • We did great with engagement rings and matching diamond bands from Shah Diamonds’ Carizza collection. We are also doing a lot of custom work off of our Carizza alloy collection. We have also had a nice run of loose diamonds bought off the street and from GN Diamonds. — Dan Levinson, Ellis Jewelers, Concord, NC
  • Sylvie Collection bridal, custom and Southern Gates by Cargo Hold. — Doreen Vashlishan, Werkheiser Jewelers, Bethlehem, PA
  • Lab-grown engagement center stones. MUCH better margins, customers love the story and the savings. — Jeffrey Debs, Debs Jewelers & Gemologists, Philadelphia, PA
  • The fall John Hardy release has been well-received. We continue to have success with Gabriel & Co. and Hearts On Fire. — Tonia Ulsh, Mountz Jewelers, Camp Hill, PA

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. jewelry store, you’re invited to join the INSTORE Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting the jewelry industry. Good deal, right? Sign up here.

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New Arrivals

From Vivid Colors to Subtle Shades, Here Is the Latest in Men’s Jewelry

See 18 new designs for men.

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THE CATEGORY OF men’s jewelry has expanded far beyond the traditional basics. Look for thoughtful, subtle details, mythological references, and rich, inviting textures. Don’t forget that this vital category is also a go-to for jewelry lovers of any gender who prefer a bold, straightforward aesthetic.

Men’s jewelry by Royal Chain includes two Figarope chain necklaces, $4,200 and $9,120; two Figarope bracelets, $1,640 and $3,140; and Curb cuff, $1,825. Call (800) 622-0960 or visit royalchain.com for more information. MODEL: Guilherme Angotti; PHOTOGRAPHER: Christian Escobar

Vivid Joy

The bright beauty of gems and precious metals holds an irresistible allure that every consumer can appreciate. These pieces are a celebration of gold and silver, punctuated with occasional thrilling additions of gorgeous, glittering stones. Perfect with jeans and a t-shirt or the finest Italian suit.

Deakin & Francis

Sterling silver cufflinks with ruby, black spinel, white enamel, and hare.

$670

0121 236 7751, deakinandfrancis.co.uk

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Keith Jack

Sterling silver pendant with 10K yellow gold on a sterling silver chain.

$289

(604) 971-4367, keithjack.com

Bellarri

14K yellow gold ring with rhodolite and diamonds.

$3,750

(800) 255-0192, bellarri.com

Shay

18K yellow gold ring with diamond (0.15 TCW).

$2,520

(424) 777-0210, shayjewelry.com

King Baby

.926 sterling silver ring with gold alloy skull.

$260

(310) 828-4438, kingbabystudio.com

Rahaminov Diamonds

18K white gold and black rhodium bracelet with diamonds (16.57 TCW).

$76,000

(213) 622-9866, rahaminov.com

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Loren Nicole

22K yellow gold hammered band.

$3,800

(424) 262-7319, loren-nicole.com

Hugo Kohl Jewelry

Sterling silver ring.

$250

(540) 564-2755, hugokohl.com

Parle Gems

14K yellow gold pin with black opal and diamonds.

$17,634

(800) 635-9800, parlegems.com

Quiet Strength

These distinctive designs are dark and powerful — subtle in color, but with a clean simplicity that calls to confidence and self-assurance. Subtle stones, clever lines, and tantalizing textures make these mostly monochromatic finds unforgettable.

Zina

Sterling Silver Leather bracelet with 14K yellow gold accents.

$1,595

(310) 286-2212, zinasterling.com

Phillip Gavriel

Sterling silver necklace with black sapphires.

$495

(800) 622-0960, phillipgavriel.com

Jewelry Innovations

Tungsten carbide band.

$117

(800) 872-6840, jewelryinnovations.com

Lashbrook

Zirconium band with 14K yellow rose gold.

$1,050

(888) 252-7388, lashbrookdesigns.com

Italgem Steel

Gunmetal and black ion-plated bracelet with gold ion-plated accents.

$199

(514) 388-5777, italgemsteel.com

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Julez Bryant

14K rose gold cufflinks with black diamonds and white diamonds (1.06 TCW).

$13,998

(844) 525-7775, julezbryant.com

Johnny Nelson

18K yellow gold-plated sterling silver earring with black enamel and 14K gold screw post.

$160

(917) 602-2860, johnnynelson.nyc

Thorsten Rings

Titanium ring with carved pattern.

$180

(888) 209-4757, thorstenrings.com

Roberto Demeglio

Ceramic bracelet with blue sapphires and black and white diamonds.

$1,368

(212) 575-0213, robertodemegliousa.com

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Tools and Services

Become A Wizard, Newest Updates and More Service News This Month

Boost your business with these new offerings.

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Fish Your Wish

Salmon Gold is a new initiative from RESOLVE that is dedicated to the careful re-mining and restoration of Alaskan streams and fish habitats that were negatively affected by past mining operations. Gold from this worthwhile project is already in the supply chains of Tiffany & Co. and Apple. resolve.ngo

Become A Wizard

Gemewizard, a leader in digital solutions for the analysis, description, pricing and trading of colored gemstones and colored diamonds, has launched Gem Color Academy, a new interactive online course for colored stone grading. Includes comprehensive online resources as well as course notes, at-home gem kit, and one year Gemewizard subscription. gemcoloracademy.com

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Refreshed Reporting

The Jewelers Board of Trade (JBT) has released an updated version of its Credit Report. After a full redesign, the new JBT Credit Report features a convenient front-page overview section, new charts, and live linking of summary information to its source. jewelersboard.com

Thinking Pink

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has released a software update for its GIA iD100 gem testing device. With the update, the GIA iD100 can now distinguish natural pink diamonds from lab-grown (HPHT and CVD) diamonds and diamond simulants. gia.edu

24K Winners

Congratulations to the Jewelers 24 Karat Club of Southern California’s 2019 Honorees! The organization recently honored Bill Jones of Sissy’s Log Cabin and Ruben Bindra of B & B Fine Gems for Excellence in Service and presented a Lifetime Achievement Award to Terry Chandler of Diamond Council of America. jewelers24kclub.com

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