Happy New Year, friends!
I’ve been easing my way back into the normal routine of making my custom and modern jewelry this week after a whirlwind holiday season! But before we blaze ahead into 2017 (and it’s going to be a GREAT year, let me tell you!), I want to take a moment to look back on the most loved photos from the J’Adorn Designs Instagram page in 2016 and reflect a bit on each one. So without further ado…
My 2016 Best Nine:
Most popular jewelry photos of the year!
1. Self Portrait from My 5th Anniversary Photo Session
One of my very favorite projects from 2016 was the anniversary photo session that I had the chance to plan & style with A. Griffin Events to celebrate my own 5th wedding anniversary. The gallery has been submitted for publication so I can’t share too many details yet, but my style inspiration was an elegant interpretation of one of my favorite rock-n-roll music videos with a nod to the Art Deco and Art Nouveau eras.
And even though the photos by Bekah Kay were to-die-for gorgeous, the best part was being able to take a few hours with my partner during one of our busiest seasons of life to celebrate the life we’ve been building together for the past 5 years. This photo represents the joy of looking back on all those moments, knowing all that we’ve enjoyed and overcome together, and realizing that we’re even more in love today than we were on that sunny October day when we said, “I do.”
Photo by Bekah Kay Creative
2. Custom Bridal Accessories for a Boho Baltimore Wedding
Last year broke all my previously held records for custom bridal accessories with more brides commissioning custom jewelry and hairpieces than ever before! 2016 was also the year that I added hair accessories to my lineup of modern bridal accessories, including bridal combs, flower girl clips & bobby pins, and customized bridal hairpin vines. This was one of my personal favorite sets of the year because the bohemian bride who wore it selected a combination of altered pieces from my pre-designed bridal jewelry collection and made-from-scratch custom accessories to meet her exact needs.
Photo by Nichole Meredith Photography
3. A Bayside Wedding for High School Sweethearts
This was another one of my favorite weddings of the year. Not only because of the stunning bridal jewelry that I got to make for Olivia, but also because she and her groom, Anthony, are close friends of my family. I have known these two sweethearts since their last year of high school, and they were just as in love then as they are today!
Their wedding at Celebrations at the Bay was on a beautiful summer day. We danced all into the night as these two celebrated the marriage they had been looking forward to for years. Brooke Michelle captured this intimate moment between the newly minted Mr. and Mrs. just moments after their ceremony. The joy of that moment is almost palpable.
Photo by Brooke Michelle Photography
4. The Prettiest Gold Druzy Earrings
This pair of simple, sparkly gemstone earrings were in my very first bridal jewelry collection! They continue to be a perennial favorite for brides, bridesmaid jewelry, holiday gifts, and stylish women of all ages. I have my own pair of these neutral druzy earrings that I wear almost every day because they match so many different outfits! This photo is one that I’ve used multiple times in my Instagram feed because it captures those crystal facets so perfectly.
5. A Statement Necklace to Have and to Hold
In my work as a custom and couture jewelry designer, my goal is to create jewelry that honors and reflects the most important moments and relationships in life. The accessories that I design are made to be worn, handled, gifted, and loved!
This photo comes from a wedding style photo session in early 2016. I collaborated with A. Griffin Events (she’s one of my favorites!) on this cool beachy wedding editorial. When I received the photo gallery from Lauren Werkheiser, I was simply blown away. She captured not only the beauty of this oceanic statement necklace, but the sentimentality I hope to inspire with each accessory I create.
Photo by Lauren Werkheiser Photography
6. Showing My Sweet Tooth at The Bridal Event in D.C.
There’s no gentle way to put it: I am a sugar fiend. A sugar fiend who also loves cocktails! Both of these things were in abundance at The Bridal Event D.C., a unique party thrown by Grace of Bridal Bellhop and Jasmine of Jasmine Smith & Co. The Bridal Event involved a mock ceremony, a wedding photo session, and live demonstrations of all the vendors’ services who participated in the event. I had a blast at the party mingling with my industry friends and potential clients. I even got to enjoy a helping of gourmet cotton candy from Fluffness and a custom mixed cocktail from Mixin’ Mimi. What can I say? The job has its perks!
Photo by Evan Sanderson
7. Community Over Competition at Tuesdays Together Annapolis
It’s no secret that I’m an active member of The Rising Tide Society, an international movement that seeks to educate, connect, and empower creative entrepreneurs in the spirit of community over competition. I attend local Tuesdays Together meetings almost every month of the year in my home state of Maryland.
(I have some excited news related to this coming soon…!)
We took this photo at one of the monthly gatherings in Annapolis back when the organization had its headquarters on West Street downtown. This venue came to mean a lot to me during 2016 because I was lucky enough to spend a few months co-working there with RTS founder Natalie Franke and her team of genius young women. The office recently closed with RTS headquarters moving to San Francisco at the end of December, but I will never forget the sense of belonging and empowerment I received from this place and my friends who worked there for that season.
Photo by Natalie Franke
8. Green Druzy Earrings and Oceanic Wedding Inspiration
This photo is another one captured by Lauren Werkheiser at the cool beachy wedding editorial from photo #5. I love the way the direct sunlight illuminates the inside of the mint green druzy gemstones along with the highlights of its facets!
Photo by Lauren Werkheiser Photography
9. Celebrating Love in Every Form
I came to a big realization in 2016. I want to use my custom and modern jewelry business to actively celebrate love in every form. It’s true that many of the handcrafted accessories in my collection are perfect for weddings and even made specifically for that purpose. But I also want to be clear that J’Adorn Designs is not exclusively for brides.
Love comes in many forms, including romance but also friendship, family, and self-love. The jewelry and hair accessories that I make are meant to celebrate love in every single shape, color, gender, orientation, and type of relationship.
The photo session that this image came from was inspired by the song “How Sweet It Is.” It was by far the most published editorial featuring my work this year. It’s meaningful to me because it shows the beauty, depth, and singularity of each individual love story. If there’s a relationship that you want to honor with a tangible keepsake that can be cherished for years, let’s talk!
Photo by Corinne Kensington Photography
Raising my glass to all of your love stories and a successful new year!
With love, Ali