Tiffany | Designer Goldsmith
I began as an apprentice to a jeweler in Raleigh doing basic repairs. After I had soldered charms on a gazillion charm bracelets and had sized half that many rings, I found an opening for jewelry production work in Hillsborough, NC at Dallas Pridgen Jewelry, where I learned the lost-wax casting technique. Within a few years, I moved up to Production Manager and met Melissa when she would pop in occasionally to “talk shop” with Dallas. One day she invited me to come see her studio and gallery.
In her studio, I was floored at all of the amazingly unique designs and gemstones and that old tingly feeling came back. We had a wonderful rapport and she casually asked whether I was planning to stay in my current job, or had I considered doing more…basically snatching me away – much to my excitement! I began working part-time with her shortly thereafter.
Happily continuing my real-world jewelry education, I never wanted to leave but circumstances in my life led me away to Southern California, the San Francisco Bay Area, Alaska, Arizona, Washington, and even Belize. Over the past twenty years, I’ve held various positions in the field of Jewelry and Watch repair, manufacturing, sales and service. Through all that time, Melissa and I stayed in contact and she has remained a trusted mentor.
I’ve always appreciated that she and I get along so well, even better than a sister-like relationship (no offense to any of our sisters), and I respect and admire her deeply. It was a dream to work with Melissa eleven years ago, and it is an even bigger dream realized to be working full-time, side-by-side with her again!
My experience working with Melissa again, either assisting in creating her one-of-a-kind designs or collaborating on custom projects, has daily fueled my passion.I love working with our clients on repairing their treasured mementos and keepsakes, or creating distinctive pieces to be similar treasures for future generations. It is a joy and a privilege to be a trusted part of something so special.