Join us for a special trunk show with Sharon Zimmerman during Sausalito Art Walk, Wednesday August 9th, 5-8 pm.
When it comes to jewelry designers that we admire, it's hard to surpass Sharon Zimmerman. We've watched as Sharon built a thriving jewelry business in a flooded market, finding her voice and staying true to her values as an ethical metalsmith all the while. Sharon will be sharing her full collection of edgy yet classic silver and gold jewelry during her trunk show - don't miss it!
We recently visited Sharon in her bright plant-filled studio in San Francisco. Read below to learn more about Sharon's work and how she decided to pursue a career in jewelry.
Can you tell us a bit about your work?
I design and craft fine jewelry to make any woman feel like a badass. Major bonus - everything is made from recycled gold and silver, recycled diamonds and lab-created sapphires for maximum sustainability. Perfect for any woman - from the professional to the punk.
How did you come to fall in love with jewelry?
I can't remember a time when I didn't love jewelry: pawing through my mom's collection of 60s clip-on earrings, ooing over the gems at the Museum of Natural History, picking out that perfect accessory for a dance or event. I've always loved jewelry.
The materials that you use play a very large role in your work. Can you let us know how you made the decision to commit to using 100% recycled metals and either lab grown or repurposed stones?
For me there was no other option. As a teenager, I convinced my family to start recycling after reading about the environmental damage that plastic and paper waste were causing. And I started using 100% recycled paper back when it was much harder to find. When it came to jewelry, seeking out the most environmentally responsible materials just seemed like the right thing to do. As for the gemstones, finding responsibly-sourced stones has always been difficult. there isn't a lot of transparency in the supply chain, so I started using lab created stones because at least I could tell you where they come from. Same with re-purposed stones.
We very much believe that jewelry designers are artists. It's very difficult to start any business, nevermind an arts-based business. Did you have any hesitation, or jump right in?
No hesitation, and frankly not a ton of planning. In hindsight maybe that was for the best. Because I didn't fully know what I was doing, I tried just about everything. When I found something that worked - a way of approaching galleries, a design that clicked with people - I would stick with it and develop strategies and designs around those discoveries.
Any advice for designers just getting started?
Have your own creative voice. I really can't stress this enough: there is a lot of jewelry out there. Your expression will be what sets you apart from others. Oh, and take a business math class or basic accounting class because it is empowering to understand your business from the ground up.
You've called San Francisco home for some time. What was it that brought you here and what has kept you here?
I came here for jewelry school at the Revere Academy. I stayed for the weather (no, seriously. I hate both extreme heat and extreme cold. SF is just right for me), I stayed for the people and the open-mindedness, I stayed for the food, I stayed for the access to the outdoors, I stayed because it quickly felt like home.
Thank you, Sharon!
Make sure you join us this week for jewels and champagne!