FROM THE BENCH

Ask Todd – Part 1

Anne Lawler Rossini: “How did you make the leap from pastry chef to jewelry designer?”
I used what I learned in pastry and in the kitchen in my work. I still do; the organization, the cleanliness and quality, as well as sourcing is inspired by boutique farm to table cuisine.

 
Conny Karman: “If you could choose a superpower, what would it be and why?”
The power of always staying positive. I just think it would be helpful and good for me and everyone around me.

 
Cameron Kieffer: “Do you let the stones tell you what to create or vice versa?”
I definitely use the shape and energy of the stones to influence design. I learn the stone inventory, then design pieces that will easily incorporate the stones in the design.

 
Cara Romano LaValle: “How did you know when you were ready to hire someone?”
I was ready to get better at parts of the business I was not good at. Getting help was obvious for me when I needed it.

 
Julia Priore: “What is your spirit animal?”
Not sure I have thought of that. I’m kind of a honey badger with a soft side…

Donald Muller: “How do you compare the craft world to the fine jewelry designer world? Do you have a preference and why? Other than that, I miss seeing you and your staff! Pass some hugs around from me.”
Nice to hear from you Don, hugs will be passed around on your behalf. The craft industry and fine jewelry worlds are pretty similar. The two feed into each other nicely, and are mostly differentiated by service standards by vendors and buying/memo practices by stores and galleries. I think in the craft world, memo is the norm; in fine jewelry, buying is the norm. In craft jewelry, process and systems tend to be more
appreciated if done loosely, where as in fine jewelry, process is a good thing. In the craft world the artist is everything, in fine jewelry the brand is everything.

 
Jill Swanberg asks: “I am so inspired by your design and craftsmanship. Who inspires you and why??”
I am inspired by my everyday sightings, listenings, witnessings and experiences. I find great beauty and
passion sitting in the most obvious places. It feels wonderful to have an emotional epiphany watching a sunrise, and then turning that emotion into an object or a piece of jewelry.

 
Lesley Lomax asks: “Have you any tips for someone starting out in the jewellery business… I want to make exceptional pieces (like you!) and with that establish a brand. Thanks Todd.”
Lesley, thank you. I am certain that the key to establishing a brand is consistency. Consistency in everything you do and keeping always on track and on pace. Tempo is part of the consistency I’m referring to. Designs however, are very personal and passion derived. Always go with passion and beauty in design.

 
Linda Kannapell asks: “Despite your success, are you still the ‘Master Designer’ or have you turned some of the designing over to others?”
Hi Linda. I am still the only designer at Todd Reed, Inc. I do not fabricate the pieces anymore, but insist on doing the design work. Most of the work that we make here is custom/collaborative with clients. Therefore, I must be the designer.

 

Fonda Chilton Beasley asks: “What do you recommend the first steps should be in becoming a fine jewelry designer/fabricator?”
The first step is to set a goal. Then achieve it! If you like designing jewelry, then pick your favorites and build them or have them built. It is important to stay on task and not get pulled off by distractions of any kind.

 

House on Hudson – Jewellery by Miranda Scott asks: “Raw diamonds have really taken off in the last five years (largely due to your influence) and we’re seeing more jewellers than ever choosing to use them. Can you ever see yourself moving away from them if the market becomes too ‘saturated’?”
Hi Miranda. I will always use raw diamonds. They are the trademark of my work. I use many other types of stones and diamonds too. Although there is a raw diamond in every piece I make, I most often use vintage or uniquely polished diamonds in my work.

 
Chris Soden asks: “You are 205 yards out… slight right to left wind. Hole location is right back pin… What club are you grabbing?”
Thank you Chris. With the ground as hard as it is right now, I’m taking a long 5-iron, landing front and rolling toward the flagstick. Wish me luck!

 
Lalaena Gonzalez-Figueroa asks: “What’s the next exciting metal or stone that you’re looking to use in your pieces?”
Thank you for your inquiry. I am starting a men’s division at Todd Reed, Inc. and excited to add leather and jade to our list. I have been collecting jade for a long time in anticipation of this.