Born and raised in Western Montana, Mariele spent her early life in the rivers and woods, exploring and creating art inspired by her beautiful surroundings. It was in a 1920s barn turned wooden boat studio that she created her first jewelry piece at the age of 5. As her journey as an artist began, she realized that being an artist isn't just about producing work - it's about the way you live your life. She studied anthropology and fine art at university, then moved from the mountains of Montana to the city of San Francisco, where she established her first design studio.
Respect for nature and honor and care for the planet are pillars of her business and personal life. Her jewelry features recycled gold, sterling silver, conflict free diamonds and 100% American-mined stones for inlay. Her stones are sourced raw and in their original forms, directly from miners around the country.
"I do not think inspiration is divine. I think its intrinsic, but ignited by the elements around you. I like to imagine it like a seed that won't be a flower until its ready. All you can do is keep it nurtured with water, sun, healthy soil, essentially a healthy subconscious. When ideas seem to spring forward out of nowhere, I can see how one might like to look outside ones self for the source, but I think its healthy to acknowledge the power our minds have to surprise us. I try to practice being grateful and aware of my surroundings. This helps me develop a keen eye for the small details that will eventually be part of that “flower“ later. ”
It can be challenging for small jewelry producers to achieve transparent supply chains. While meaningful progress is finally being made in the jewelry industry, much of that work has been targeted at larger corporations with large purchasing departments, and on supply chain initiatives that serve larger volumes. The jewelry designer panel at Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference has been a big hit each year. It is an excellent opportunity for designers who have achieved blazed a responsibility trail to share their knowledge, experience, and practices with other small producers.
This panel will be moderated by Brandee Dallow (Responsible Jewellery Council), and will include Dana Bronfman (Dana Bronfman Jewelry), Deborah Spencer (Trios Studio), Mariele Ivy (Young in the Mountains), and Meri Geraldine (Gardens of the Sun).