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Fort Worth-based jeweler Megan Thorne crafts intricate, beautiful pieces behind a small showroom along a strip of Magnolia Avenue better known for its food than fashion.
But make no mistake, the effervescent Thorne is making waves in the industry, winning over fans—and wooing stores—with her stackable bezel-cut pink sapphire rings, mosaic pendants and dainty earrings.
We recently caught up with the lovely jeweler and talked about baguettes (the non-edible kind), the Fort and the importance of Valentine's Day.
So, we just noticed, Ylang 23 is selling your baguette collection. How did that come about?
We've been working with Ylang 23 for a couple years now, and Joanne [the owner] is interested in the freshest work from each designer she carries. She saw an Instagram post of these pieces while they were still in production as prototypes and placed the order before we even had the final design finished out!
Can you describe the collection? How is it different than your other previous work?
Emerald and baguette cuts have always been my favorite because I love their faceting pattern...more of a subtle frame within a frame look, rather than the super-sparkly diagonal faceting pattern of more sparkly cuts. With linear and bar style necklaces and studs being such great layering pieces, it seemed natural to sweeten up the geometric hard lines and add in a more soft silhouette that works back to the rest of my collection.
It sounds like business is going well! Are you still making all of your own designs or do you have a bigger network of people assisting you these days?
We've got an awesome team...all friends and family! We have two jewelers other than myself, an in-house photographer and graphics person and also a marketing helper.
Besides Ylang 23, how can people find your work?
We work with a lot of great stores across the country, but here in Texas we love Ylang 23 in Dallas, The Cotton Club in Houston, and Eliza Page in Austin. Ylang 23 has an amazing online presence as well, and they can work on custom projects or call in special samples when needed, and with the move to a much larger store, they'll have an even more fantastic selection. If you are in Fort Worth just give us a call at the studio!
Is Fort Worth still your base of operations? Do you have plans for a larger showroom or an increased presence in the area?
Our studio is still on Magnolia Ave, and it is such an adorable space I'd stay here forever, although things are becoming a little tight as we add new people and equipment. My focus has always been on supporting the stores that carry our work, the showroom was more of a "hey, why not?" type thing, not the reason for our move to the area. Any future space would again focus on our production and studio square footage, and if space allowed, [I do love] the showroom.
What's up next for you?
One-of-a-kinds. When I was working alone, being able to relatively easily reproduce designs was important, but now that we have a stronger team, there is the opportunity to sink a bit more time into a stand-alone, super-awesome piece.
And a few random questions...Do you ever buy other people's designs/jewelry?
I do! The designer fine jewelry community is small, most of us know each other and are friendly, and I really love and respect the work of so many of these talented people. I love a good ring trade.
Where do you like to shop for clothes?
One of my dearest friends sells the best vintage clothing in NYC, and I am always jazzed when I visit her and come back with cool goodies. I'm also a hopeless late-night online shopper, I could probably use an intervention. Locally, A.Hooper is just down the road from my house, and I pop in often when I need a cute dress at the very last moment.
Describe a day in your life.
If I'm honest, my weekdays are pretty boring and disciplined; work by 8 am, gym at 5 pm, and then running back to the studio to squeeze in a few more work hours before bed. We sprinkle in a trip to the dog park or dinner out a couple times a week, and then if I've been good and focused during the work week, I hopefully have the time head to Austin Saturday night to catch my husband's band play a gig.
Is Valentine's Day a big time of the year for you? You have a lot of engagement-appropriate rings, etc.
Valentine's Day and Christmas are both important engagement/jewelry holidays...it's funny they back right up to one another. No rest for the weary! I think a sweet little simple something is ideal for Valentine's Day though, I love the idea of a more everyday piece that can be worn all the time...a stackable band or stud earrings.