Designer Spotlight: Deborah Ross
A BRIEF STORY OF WHAT YOU DO AND WHY YOU DO IT
I started making memory jewelry after my grandmother’s funeral I received a memory bracelet from her funeral flowers and knew I could do a better job. I played with materials, processes and techniques until I developed what I think is one of the best products out there. I continue making memory jewelry because it helps people. People who are grieving, celebrating, remembering. They all have stories. One minute I am on the phone with a mother who lost her child, I am a comforting ear to listen to them. The next minute I am on the phone with a new bride. I cover the whole spectrum of emotions every day. Every memory bead I make is for someone, its special, unlike any other piece of jewelry that they own. I keep that in mind every day, it’s my mantra..
HOW DID YOU GET INTO JEWELRY DESIGN?
Just by learning to make memory beads and wanting to offer better items than my competition.
What Makes Your Collection Unique?
I make sure the flowers, that my clients treasure enough to have memory jewelry made from, can be seen in every bead I make. I want to make each piece a work of art, a one of a kind. I am constantly reevaluating my processes, materials and products to see it there is a better way, a better outcome. I am continually evolving as a bead maker.
What Are your inspirations?
Nature, mostly, I like to keep my pieces as organic in appearance as possible. I have had people call convinced that the memory bead on the Men’s Leather Bracelet that I offer is stone and not made from flowers.
HOW ARE YOU MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN YOUR LIFE?
I am my own boss, if I need to arrange my schedule to take classes, trips whatever I now have that flexibility. I have had to learn to wear many hats.
What's something unusual about you that makes you “you”?
I don’t wear allot of jewelry. Funny huh? Especially for a jewelry maker. But I think I have a good eye for what looks good. I guess it comes from my commercial art background.
WHAT'S THE BIGGEST STRUGGLE IN RUNNING YOUR JEWELRY BUSINESS LIKE A BUSINESS? OR WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SUCCESS IN RUNNING YOUR BUSINESS LIKE A BUSINESS?
I struggle with the business side of my business. I find myself forcing myself to do bookwork, taxes, accounting. It’s much more fun to make beautiful things and create new products to offer.
I graduated from the Art Institute of Atlanta with a Visual Communications Degree, had a long and wonderful career as a graphic designer, art director and creative director. I am married, I have 2 adult sons, 6 grandchildren and I live in Charleston, SC. We enjoy traveling, golf and going to the beach every chance we get.