How I created a custom necklace to reflect the personal brand of C&V’s Illiah Manger
C&V is the name of Illiah’s brand design business.
If you followed along with the J’Adorn Designs rebrand last fall, you may recognize her name. Illiah is the mastermind who translated my vision & values into the public face of J’Adorn. You may also recognize her from my Instagram Stories, where I often share pictures from our co-working dates!
The official colors of Illiah’s brand are white, black, and copper/rose gold.
So when we began designing her custom brand necklace, I knew that these colors had to be at the forefront.
I chose rose gold as the fine metal base for Illiah’s custom necklace. In addition to matching her brand’s colors, solid rose gold is both durable and lustrous.
Fun fact: rose gold actually has stronger properties than yellow or white gold from the copper that’s added to give it that pink hue!
For the engraving on the nameplate of the necklace, I used the exact font and layout of C&V’s logo and filled it in with black for extra contrast.
Lastly, I added a tiny black spinel gem at the bottom right corner as a sparkling accent! (I like to think it represents the strength and shining depths that I see in C&V and in Illiah herself.)
C&V are also the initials of Illiah’s two daughters, whom she lovingly calls “the muses.”
Illiah is one of those amazing women who simultaneously runs a powerhouse business while raising her children. Even more impressively, she’s continued to do so during a transition to single parenthood.
Illiah’s transition to single parenthood was the catalyst for my creating her custom necklace.
It will eventually grow into a three-layered masterpiece, which I’m making one layer at a time. I can’t wait to make the next two layers!
Making this custom necklace for Illiah opened my eyes to a part of my craft that I’d never recognized before.
I learned that jewelry can honor life’s important moments, even when they don’t start as celebrations.
The end of Illiah’s marriage was anything but positive, but it marked a turning point for her. And from that nexus, she’s grown into a more confident and determined woman, both in business and in parenthood.
Illiah’s custom necklace is a talisman representing that turning point and all the growth that is yet to come.
All photos by Elisenda Llinares Photography
The sterling silver family tree branch necklace that I made for Abby is really special.
It’s one part anniversary gift, one part push present. And it’s so full of meaning that I just keep counting the big moments represented by its gemstones.
Five years of marriage.
Three colors, each representing a month.
One beautiful, growing family.
Like all of my custom jewelry designs, this branch necklace started with a message.
Abby’s husband Josh reached out with a general idea for a big surprise. He told me that he and Abby were about to celebrate their 5th wedding anniversary and welcome their second child, all in the same month!
Josh wanted to give her a special gift to commemorate this time in their life together.
And since Abby still loves to wear the custom jewelry set that I made for her wedding, he knew she would love to have another piece of J’Adorn Designs jewelry to add to her collection!
I suggested the concept of a family tree branch necklace to symbolize their growing family, and Josh loved the idea!
Next, we selected materials, including the colors and shapes of the gemstones that would be set along the branch.
We needed to represent the months of June, August, and December in a color palette that was both complementary and Abby’s taste.
Josh and I didn’t think like the traditional stones of peridot or pearl for this piece.
So, we replaced them with two alternative birthstones for June and August: pink spinel and alexandrite!
With all the materials selected, I got to work creating the family tree branch necklace out of sterling silver!
I used a combination of sheet metal and wire to form the basic shape of the tree branch. Then, I perfected the piece with some engraving and polishing – all by hand, of course! Finally, I set the stones in their new homes.
The double-prong settings are one of my favorite little details in this piece because they mimic the look of berries or twigs that would occur naturally on a tree branch.
I think Abby’s smile says it all! But just in case you’re not convinced, here is what she had to say:
“Thank you for being so secretive and creative with Josh! I absolutely love it and was super surprised…The setting and stones are beautiful!”
Ally had a specific vision for her bridal accessories but couldn’t find it in any store. So, she called on us to create her custom floral hairpins!
J’Adorn bride Ally wears a lot of hats.
She’s an engineer, a fitness instructor, and a graduate student to name just a few of the roles she fills.
When it came to her bridal headwear, she knew exactly what she wanted.
But after searching high and low for those hair accessories in stores, she couldn’t find them.
With Jamie’s referral, Ally reached out to me a few months before her wedding to ask if I could help bring her vision to life.
She wanted two very small floral hairpins with minimal embellishments, no wider than one inch per pin.
It was a very specific request that I embraced as a design challenge! And after two rounds of design revisions, Ally and I decided on the perfect custom floral hairpins design for her walk down the aisle.
To make Ally’s custom bridal hairpins, I used a combination of paper millinery flowers, freshwater pearls, and Swarovski crystals in my signature hand-wired sprout formation.
With a golden leaf and beaded ivory flower as accents, each pin represented delicate simplicity at its finest.
Ally was thrilled with the results of her custom floral hairpins.
She raved, “I love them so much!”
From the father-daughter dance until the last kiss of the night, Ally’s custom floral hairpins were the perfect accent to her half-up bridal hairstyle.
Wedding photos by Kate Dixon // Product photos by Nichole Meredith
See how I took a loose heirloom sapphire and turned it into a wearable ring to honor a family’s legacy of love!
One of my favorite parts of working as a custom jeweler is the opportunity to create heirloom jewelry that will be cherished for years to come.
One way I do this is by creating brand new jewelry from scratch to honor special moments and milestones, such as the arrival of a new child.
Another way is by giving new life to old jewelry that has already been part of a family’s history. This is how I met Lindsay and got the opportunity to work with her unset heirloom sapphire.
Lindsay explained that she inherited an oval cut sapphire from her grandmother. She loved the stone but it sat hidden away for years. This was because it was unwearable without a piece of jewelry to give it a home.
Other jewelers refused to set this heirloom sapphire due to a small chip. But I knew I was up for the challenge. And after hearing about how special this stone was to Lindsay’s family, I just had to set it in a custom ring!
Setting the stone proved to be a challenge. But with a lot of concentration, patience, and detailed workmanship, I was finally able to create the heirloom sapphire ring of Lindsay’s dreams!
There were two elements that were the most important when I designed this custom ring:
Lindsay told me that the ring for her heirloom sapphire had to be delicate. She wanted a very thin band so she could wear it comfortably every day.
I wanted to honor the continuing legacy of Lindsay’s family in a visibly tangible way.
I used my design expertise to pick the perfect setting for Lindsay’s heirloom sapphire. I created a ring with a thin sterling silver band and simple four-prong setting. Under the setting was a silver infinity symbol.
I represented the ongoing love and legacy of Lindsay’s family with this silver infinity symbol. It was part of the setting, directly attached to the heirloom sapphire from her grandmother.
At the final reveal, Lindsay told me that she loved her new ring. She said that couldn’t wait to show her grandmother the new home for her heirloom sapphire! This is just about the greatest compliment that a custom jeweler can receive.
What about you? Do you have an old heirloom stone or outdated piece of jewelry that’s dying for a refresh?
Send me a message to begin work on your own custom jewelry design!
Pearls & Crystals
Classic elements for a bridal comb came together in this custom-made, adjustable bridal headpiece
You might remember J’Adorn bride Michelle from a previous blog post about her custom set of diamond and sapphire jewelry.
Today I’m sharing another piece from her custom bridal jewelry suite: a classic crystal and pearl bridal comb!
But it wasn’t a perfect fit for her wedding colors and bridal hairstyle. So, I made some minor changes to the crystal & pearl colors to better match her look.
Erica of Silver Immersion helped me customize the size of Michelle’s bridal comb at her bridal hair trial.
From there I designed a stunning, extra-long bridal comb that Erica could bend around Michelle’s cascading half-up bridal hairstyle.
I created bendable crystal & pearl branches to extend on both sides of Michelle’s bridal comb.
This made the design wider and even more stunning at the back of her bridal hairstyle.
The end result was a crystal & pearl bridal comb in exactly the color, size, and style that this Maryland bride needed!
Are you interested in ordering a custom bridal hairpiece for your wedding?