Great Finds: Heidi Carey Designs

Instagram has been a fun and wonderful place since Jessica and I started the We Are Midlife account. What’s so fun about it, you might ask? In such a big space you really do get to “meet” people. One of those people we recently got to know was Heidi Carey of Heidi Carey Design. Her bold, unique, sometimes Asian sometimes inspired jewelry caught my eye. I had the opportunity to view and try on some of her jewelry and talk to her a little bit about her business. Heidi started out her career in New York, after studying Economics at Barnard College and Design at Parsons, designing accessories for Ralph Lauren. Lucky for Heidi her boss (at Ralph Lauren) was Vera Wang, who became a friend and role model.

I had a few questions for Heidi and I wanted to share her story with all of you.

How did you get started making jewelry?

I started designing and making jewelry a few years back to help me relieve the stress of raising three wild boys and being married to the same man for many years (who I still adore)!

 

What drew you to jewelry design?

I fell in love with the stones and beads. I use mostly semi-precious cabochon stones which have such great texture and color. I love that every stone is unique and a bit rough.

Heidi Carey necklace with freshwater pearls

What’s been your greatest challenge and biggest joy in this process?

My biggest joy is watching people discover my things and hearing from them how many compliments they get when they wear my jewelry. The biggest challenge for me is helping people understand that my things are an exceptional value without being able to put it in their hands. My prices are much closer to wholesale than retail so many people assume its costume, not real. Once they get things in their hands and try them on, the biggest reaction I get is “wow, what a deal!” which I love. But it’s hard when you only sell online.

 

Where are you from, where are you located now? Do either of those influence your designs?

I grew up in New York and have lived in San Francisco for the past 25 years. New York gives me my classic leanings and San Francisco opened my design horizon toward the East. Today I think of my style as East meets West. Classic but always with a twist and an effort to be unique.

What is your inspiration?

Forgive me for the cliche…but I get a ton of inspiration when I travel. I usually start in the International Terminal of SFO! Into Hermes and Gucci to see what they have in season…..I just don’t have time in my life to shop the Gucci store unless I am traveling. I typically do a bunch of research before I go anywhere to find local boutiques to visit etc. I am also inspired every day by people who take style and fashion risks to look great. I prefer living and dressing slightly outside the box and when I see others doing it well it’s super inspiring.

What keeps you going?

It’s fun. Yes, it’s hectic, but its fun. I love my customers but also my suppliers. I have a man named Omar who cuts beads for me in Afghanistan. I love carved beads and he has the best I have seen so I have bought a lot from him. He will send me photos for approval from his workshop in Afghanistan. I just love that, its fun and we have become friends. Fun with friends what could be better?

Take a look at her website www.heidicarey.com or her Instagram page @heidicareydesign to see all her beautiful creations.

This beautiful buffalo horn bead necklace has two sides, the four characters mean Good Fortune and the other side means Happy Fortune.

**This beautiful buffalo horn bead necklace has two sides, the four characters mean Good Fortune and the other side means Happy Fortune.

Our favorite hoop earrings are in mixed metals

Hoop Earrings: The Essential Accessory

This post was sponsored by JTV.com. I was paid for this post and received JTV.com jewelry pieces as compensation.

I was in middle school when my mother “got her colors done”. She went to a woman who held small swatches of fabric next to her cheeks and then her eyes. This somehow determined which colors were her best. A fan, my Mom then signed all four of her daughters up to have our colors done. I was told I should wear gold jewelry and pretty shades of green and yellow. This would bring out the color of my eyes. At the time I thought it was all a little hokey but when my mom was on to something, there was no stopping her.

From that moment forward all the jewelry I owned was mostly yellow gold. My engagement ring and wedding band were yellow gold. In the early 2000’s I discovered that I really enjoyed white gold and platinum. I enjoyed the creativity of mixing metals and sometimes I didn’t want to wear gold at all.

Even if silver wasn’t “my color” I wanted to wear it.

Today, I wear what I like, and what makes me feel good. I especially love wearing white gold with black. When JTV approached us, I was all too excited to look for a pair of white gold earrings to wear with a little black dress I have. These hoop earrings are perfect and they really do dress up an outfit, which is exactly what I needed. They aren’t so big that they can’t be worn during the day, but they also make a strong statement with a nighttime outfit.

We spend time together at least once a week planning our photos and our blog posts. We talk about who we are interacting with and try to find new ways to feature people, places, and things. These are creative meetings.

 

Wearing hoop earrings

If you follow us on Instagram you already know that Jessica is mid-remodel. We’re working in sub-optimal conditions. For instance this is the “wall” that we use for the kitchen.

 

We don't have walls in the house. Yikes!

 

Stefanie taking photos of her new earrings

Sometimes though, we work from the hot tub. Which is very very professional and we think that all offices everywhere should have this sort of work environment.

Business meetings in the jacuzzi

And sometimes your friend comes over to take your photos and almost falls in the pool

Gasping when your friend almost falls in the pool.

Jessica chose champagne diamonds set in yellow gold. Hers is a more delicate look and it’s just a few shades darker than her hair. We did notice that her wedding set is white gold, the opposite of the colors recommended to her in the mid 80’s when she was deemed an “Autumn” by the color lady.

 

Here's the selfie you were looking for

Gold hoops with champagne diamonds

Hoops are an essential accessory for both of us. With or without gemstones a good pair of hoop earrings will frame your face and set the tone for your outfit. A ponytail and a large pair of gold earrings is perfect with a boho-chic outfit. Slick back that ponytail and put on a modern black dress and all of a sudden your hoops are dramatic.

One of the nice things about hoops are their practicality. Dangly earrings can get wound up in my hair when I’m running around (hiking anyone?). Studs disappear if I’m having a big hair day. Hoops are workhorses. They don’t slide out, fall off, disappear they look great with everything from casual to dressy, and they will never go out of style.

 

Close up of silver hoops

If you are interested in purchasing the earrings that Jessica or I are wearing JTV has a
full line of hoops
for every budget and every color rule you decide to break.

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Affiliate links are not associated with JTV.com.

Keri Close Pres Creative jewelry for Mothers Day is a great gift and it supports The Africa Foundation

Près Creative: From FriendRaisers to Foundations

Keri Close lovingly makes jewelry that was worn with pride first by the women of Los Angeles, and now the country. Like many artisan businesses Près Creative Fine Handmade Jewelry was born of both passion and need and continues to grow with talent and tenacity.

When Keri’s Husband, Eric Close, was working in South Africa a quick PSA was added on to his work schedule. No one knew at the time it would change so many lives. Because of this PSA, Keri was introduced first hand to the important work that the Africa Foundation does. She was touched by the joy and warmth of completed projects and moments later heartbroken to see a school without a roof. She was informed that $40,000 US Dollars would provide a roof. Keri and Eric headed home, resolute in problem solving, hosted a FriendRaiser (a house party with people you know specifically for the purpose of fundraising), and in one day $56,000 was raised and a roof was built.

After doing a PSA in Africa Keri and Eric Close threw a fundraiser and they were able to build Nhlalala Creche for schoolchildren

This is a lovely story, but how did this lead to Près Creative?

When challenged by our pastor to find a place where our passion and gifts will have eternal value – I thought, “I am passionate about the people of Mduku and Welverdiend,  South Africa. How can I use my gifts to spread the word about the work Africa Foundation does to empower and improve the lives of the people in those communities?  What can I do besides write a check?  Or have a party?” I had been making jewelry for fun for about five years (using only sterling silver, gold and semi-precious gemstones which makes it a very expensive hobby!) and giving my pieces as gifts to family, friends, my daughter’s friends and teachers. Then one day someone asked me “Why don’t you sell your jewelry?” My answer was, “Because I love it, I love being creative, and I love giving it away.  It’s not about the money.”  Then came the “ah-ha” moment.  What if I could marry my passion for Africa Foundation with my passion for designing and making jewelry, giving away the proceeds to help the people in those S. African communities? This was the birth of Près (pronounced ‘pray’) Creative Handmade Jewelry.

As a  natural introvert Keri’s time spent alone creating jewelry during the workday rejuvenates her and leaves her fresh for her family when they convene at the school day’s end.

Armed with a Masters in Social Work Keri’s first career had been in caring for other people’s children at Hillsides Home for Children in Pasadena, California. She was a therapist for pre-adolescent girls. Keri stopped working there during the second trimester of her first pregnancy and Près Creative was born a decade and a half later as her second daughter entered high school and her first daughter began to drive.

One could successfully argue that Keri never did stop taking care of other people’s children. She currently sits on the advisory board for Africa Foundation and at 47 is able to spend her days creatively exploring her passions.

At midlife Keri Close learned entrepreneurship.

She found it both daunting and exiting to learn the ins and outs of small business including how to make a business plan, getting the proper licensure, budgets, product pricing, marketing and building a website.
Her name is Keri Close. Jewelry is her “What”. People are her “Why”.

When Eric Close had to work in South Africa it sparked a philanthropic and creative career for his wife Keri.