There’s something about jewelry that brings people together. I think that’s one of the reasons I was drawn to becoming a jewelry designer. And it’s own way, jewelry speaks. It takes us back to special moments and seasons, and serves as a symbol of hope for the future. It reminds us of where we’ve been and where we’d like to be again. It tells the world who we are in an expression of beauty and clues people into our personal style. It helps us to feel understood.
I started designing accessories during an internship with Nashville bridal designer Jeanne Dudley Smith for a degree in fashion merchandising through Eastern Illinois University in 1993. Although I’m both creative and analytical, I’ve always gravitated toward the creative side. So while crunching numbers in various finance roles in the Christian music industry for 13 years, I designed accessories for bridal clients on the side. All my brides were asking for jewelry. I’ve always loved jewelry, but it found me, really. I signed up for a metalsmithing course at Arrowmont school of arts and crafts and fell in love with the process of making. Since then I’ve honed my skills through Sarratt art studios at Vanderbilt University and middle Tennessee gem and mineral society. D. Marlene jewelry was launched full-time in 2008.
Handmade from sterling silver and 14 karat gold using time-honored metalsmithing techniques and semi precious stones, D Marlene jewelry collection contain classic pieces and are never void of details that push the envelope. Many times I’m inspired by the gemstones themselves. One client put it well in saying “you have captured the best representation of the stone and have put it in the best possible light”. This is a creative cool I aspire to with each design from concept through production.