This year I started a series called Fresh Look Friday. Fresh Look Friday is a play on words. The jewelry and designs in each episode are “fresh” in terms of fashion and accessories, but the series also takes literal fresh looks at various pieces in my collection in order to take deep dives into the different ways pieces can be worn, etc. The very first episode of Fresh Look Friday was all about me, Amanda, the designer and metalsmith behind everything Amanda Hagerman Jewelry. I felt this episode was fitting for my first journal entry because I want to help you get to know me better! So, let’s get started with the interview...
Where are you from?
I grew up in North Eastern Central Pennsylvania in the Muncy/Hughesville area. Hughesville to be specific. I went to Hughesville High School in the East Lycoming School District and if you're familiar with Hughesville, you know it’s a small little dot on the map. Currently, I live in Crofton, Maryland which is right outside of DC. I'm 30 minutes outside of DC, 30 minutes outside of Baltimore, and 20 minutes from Annapolis. So, it's a really, really great place to be.
When did you start making jewelry?
I started making jewelry in high school. I should probably back it up by saying that I always loved art as a young child and knew that I wanted to do something in the art world when I got older, but I just really wasn't sure what that was. When I got to high school I thought, “Oh, I can be an art teacher and then I can learn all the different skills of art-making and teach other people how to do that”... but I was introduced to jewelry making in high school which was like a lightbulb moment for me. I realized I could take my love for working with my hands and creating and meld that together with my love of fashion and accessories in order to create something that people could wear and enjoy. So, really it started in high school for me.
Where did you study jewelry making?
After high school, I attended Kutztown University in Pennsylvania where I went on to study art education and metalsmithing. I earned 2 degrees, a Bachelor of Science in art education and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in metalsmithing.
When did you start your business?
I technically started my jewelry business in 2013-2014. Right after college I moved to Maryland where I currently live and I started teaching high school art full-time and I did that for about eight years. While I was still teaching I started the business. In 2013-2014 when it started, the business didn't look like it does today. In 2016 I decided to leave teaching and pursue the jewelry business full-time. That's when it really started to evolve and become the Amanda Hagerman Jewelry that we know it to be today.
How do you make your jewelry?
All of my jewelry is individually handcrafted by me in my studio here in Maryland. I use all traditional and old-world metalsmithing techniques. I primarily focus on using lost-wax casting. All of the casting is done by me in my studio and if you're interested in seeing more images or videos of me working in my studio, you can visit my IGTV or scroll through my “Bench Work” story highlights on Instagram.
What inspires your jewelry?
The thing that really inspires my work the most is nature. I love being outside. It's my favorite place to be. My husband and I spend a lot of time outdoors hiking and doing different things like that. When I look at nature, the thing that I love the most is the balance between the rough and the refined. You see old vs new, you see textures vs clean shapes, hard vs soft... So, it's that constant push and pull between those elements that really drive the inspiration of my work. I call my work ancient chic...ancient refers to those primitive qualities and chic refers to the tasteful, refined qualities. It’s finding that balance between the rough and refined that we see in nature that really inspires my work.
Why do you love making jewelry?
I love making jewelry because I love making people happy. There's something so special about putting on that earring that's unique, beautiful, and shiny... and going out and feeling really great about yourself. I just want to make people feel good about themselves. I want to make them feel like they own something special, they own something unique that is a work of art. Jewelry much like the rest of fashion really plays a role in being able to transform who you are. When you get up and you get dressed up and you put on those different accessories, it does transform you and it becomes part of a way to express yourself. I love giving women something special that they can express themselves with. When I'm creating the jewelry I'm not only thinking about nature and all those elements that inspire me, but I'm also imagining that woman who is going to discover that piece of jewelry and decide to make it hers, wear it, and just love it.
What do you enjoy on your free time?
On my free time there is so much I love to do. I mean, what don’t I love to do?! I love to cook. In fact, in my Instagram stories, you probably see me cooking a lot. I love food...I’m a big-time foodie! I love going out to fine restaurants and even just like, you know, hole-in-the-wall restaurants where I can get like a really good burger and fries! I just appreciate food and I love to cook myself and experiment with different flavors and seasonings. I also love entertainment in the form of movies and TV shows and Broadway musicals... all of that stuff! I love going to concerts and watching musicians, bands, and all of the artists that I love. I’m a huge junkie for entertainment of all kinds! Adam (my husband) and I consume so many movies it's ridiculous, but I just can't help it. I love going to movie theaters. That's something that we did all the time before Covid hit. We were going almost every week to go see a movie. I miss that. I also love my two cats, Henry and Harper. I have at least two story highlights dedicated to them on my Instagram profile. I don't know what I would do without those two knuckleheads. They really just bring a lot of joy to my life. I love animals in general... all animals, but those are my two fur babies. Additionally, Adam and I love to go hiking and we love to travel. Travel is something I miss so much as well. I can't wait to go back to an airport and get on a plane and go somewhere.
What is your favorite piece of jewelry to wear?
My favorite piece of jewelry to wear is hands-down a great pair of pearl studs. In fact, that's what I'm wearing today. I just love wearing pearl studs because it’s a nice little pop of white next to your face that brightens you up. Pearls are so classic and easy to wear. I just love them so much. I have a nice little array of pearl stud earrings in my collection that are available on my website.
If you have any additional questions for me, Amanda, feel free to ask in the comments below. 😊
Shop the jewelry I'm wearing in the video:
Necklace: Chunky Weathered Chain with Pearl
Earrings: The Pearl Cluster Studs - Solid 18k
Rings: Narrow Crest Stacking Rings