Hi there! I’m Amanda the face behind APJ Designs, I create handmade jewelry with timeless style that will make you feel effortlessly beautiful! I love to create and express myself through my jewelry.
My love for creating began when I was a child, I was given a book on how to make small animals out of beads and wire. I had so much fun making the animals and then playing make believe with my twin brother. We often did adventure missions where some bead animals would accidentally fall out of my bedroom window...no biggie I could always repair them or make more! It wasn’t until I got a little older that I began enjoying making beaded jewelry more so than the cute little animals. I made a lot of friendship bracelets! Haha
For my 16th Birthday my Grandma gave me a 1920s 14k gold diamond ring and that was the start of my love for timeless style. She always took me to high end craft fairs, even when I was very young instilling the value of quality products. I like to think my jewelry can give someone the same feeling I had when I was given such a special gift.
Whether it be playing in the woods during the summer or skiing in the winter, growing up in a small Upstate New York town, I always spent time outdoors. As I got older I really began to appreciate all the seasons and the beauty they have to offer. My passion for creating fine jewelry came to me towards the end of my college years. I was finishing up my bachelor’s degree in environmental science when I realized that I wanted to pursue my dream of making jewelry, so I did just that! I value the education I received and I loved studying our planet and it continues to inspire me to this day!
I knew I had a long road ahead as I had no experience in metalsmithing which is the medium I always found so fascinating, but I took some major solace in finally feeling like I knew what I wanted to do with my life.
I spoke to some local jewelers and one of them referred me to Metalwerx, an adult jewelry school just outside of Boston, MA. I signed up for a weekend beginners class and was super excited/nervous to dip my toes in the world of metalsmithing. It was just as cool as I thought it would be, and I quickly learned there are a lot of really awesome techniques and lots of tools that go into making jewelry. Ever since I’ve been honing my skills and my design aesthetic and could not be prouder of the jeweler I’ve become. I’m very fortunate to have also found such an amazing partner that has always believed in me and together we’ve built an awesome house, fully equipped with a studio for me :)
The hubs and I love to play cards, travel, eat breakfast food (cereal & pancakes for him and bagels and french toast for me haha), camping, lawn games, fetch with our dog Toast, or just hanging out on our awesome porch. Life is sweet!
The Designs & Inspiration
Inspiration for my designs come from all around me, I love seeing something and then all of a sudden, my mind starts going through how I can create that into metal or how can I capture the essence. My designs incorporate classic metalsmithing techniques to create delicate pieces with clean lines and textures. I enjoy when there is a little interpretation of inspiration to design. The journey of a new designs is one of my favorite parts of the process. Things don’t always come out the way you first imagine, but I find that’s where some of my best ideas come out.
I use sustainable practices where ever I can to reduce my business’s impact. Being a jewelry designer combines my joy of creating with my love for the natural world.
Argentium Silver is a superior, high performance silver with a number of unique properties. It is purer than Sterling, has increased tarnish resistance, a whiter color, antibacterial and hypoallergenic properties (Argentium alloys do not contain nickel) and a fire stain-free surface. Argentium guarantees traceability of its raw silver, it is produced using only recycled silver. All of these benefits make Argentium Silver better for the end wearer and gentler on the environment.
I really love to use natural gemstones, I love that the earth can create such beautiful little stones filled with character. Some of my stones are even mined in America which I think is really cool, my favorites are the Montana Sapphires! With a lot of my one of a kind pieces the stones drive the design process, it is fun the create a setting to highlight the natural beauty of the stones.
Gold purity content is categorized using the karat system. Depending on the ratio of pure gold to other alloys, 14 karat gold is 58.3% pure gold to 41.7% alloy, making it a very popular choice for jewelry because you get the rich gold color with strength for everyday wear.