Love Letters
Heather Moore adds bridal to her award-winning line of personalized jewelry
“I said to my sister and she said to me: ‘Come, let’s play laughter together.’” Jewelry designer Heather B. Moore stamped this sweet sentiment from her sister into a small silver plaque more than 20 years ago and has carried it in her wallet ever since.

Perhaps that’s because Moore takes great pleasure in preserving those things that make a lasting impression in life, particularly through a jewelry line that’s considered one of the finest personalized collections on the market today.

Moore’s collection began in 2004, when she revisited that plaque and others she made during the 1990s for an exhibition to complete her studies in glass and metals at the Cleveland Institute of Art. The plaques displayed quotes or favorite words from family and friends, stamped into metal using stamping tools Moore found at a garage sale when she was 13.

She then decided to stamp the names of her four children into pieces of silver, frame them in yellow gold and string them as charms onto a necklace.

“The first personalized pieces I created showcased my kids’ names,” Moore says. “It was very sweet because my kids were very little, and they would sit on my lap and flip through the charms in the group around my neck to find the one with their name on it.”

This design inspiration came at a time when Moore was ready for a new challenge. In addition to turns as a well-respected glass blower and metal worker, she had been crafting for several years a jewelry collection in sterling silver and enamel, urged on by her sisters, one of whom worked on movie sets in Los Angeles and needed jewelry for the actors. The collection won a Rising Star Award in 2000 from jewelry trade organization JCK and was well received throughout the United States and Japan.

But enamel was difficult to make, and Moore wanted to focus more on a process and a product that would be enduringly fulfilling. So when people clamored for her charm necklace at a trade show for her enamel work, she knew she was onto something.

Today that charm necklace has turned into a vast collection of charms, necklace chains, earrings, bracelets, rings, cuff links, belt buckles, key chains and money clips, all of which can be personalized in a very special way to showcase what you cherish, be it a person, date, location, milestone or inspiration.

Moore achieves this special quality by milling her own stamps at her studio in Cleveland, Ohio. This gives her the ability to replicate things such as handwriting, family crests, corporate logos—even a child’s face or drawing.

“All someone has to do is bring us a handwriting sample or the artwork and we will photograph it, or they can email us a digital file. Then we take it to the studio and create a steel stamp, and after tempering the stamp, we’re able to make an impression in the metal that displaces the metal, giving it a really nice, antique feel,” Moore says.

To make the pieces even more unique, Moore uses a freehand stamping technique, where each character is individually positioned and stamped into place. This provides a countless number of text and image layouts, which Moore and her team design in conjunction with their clients.

“Once we find out what the story is that the customer wants to document and what his or her style is, we’re able to choose the best layout for them,” Moore says. “That could be a simple monogram or initials, or text repeated or spiraled in a pattern. Our design consultants are very good at reflecting the aesthetic of the customer in a piece.”

To make the process more straightforward, Moore also has a sizable library of fonts from which you can choose to stamp your message. She also offers braille for a more tactile design that keeps the message private.

Style options are numerous as well. Charms, for instance, are available in 14-karat yellow, white, rose and green gold, as well as sterling silver, all of which are 100 percent recycled. They can be in the shape of circles, ovals, hearts, ID tags or keys, with the option of being all metal, decorated with diamonds or coated with brightly colored enamel. There’s also the Harriet Collection of charms, which are gemstones that can be personalized behind the stone as well as on the mounting or “cage.”

Needless to say, the opportunity to have a piece of jewelry that truly reflects who you are is limitless. Perhaps that’s why Moore has won a slew of jewelry-industry design awards, including several first place honors for personalized jewelry.

Her most recent award, first place in the bridal category at the 2013 Couture Design Awards (a showcase for boundary-stretching jewelry designs from some of the most brilliant minds in the industry) was for an engagement ring from her recently launched bridal collection. Inspired by the 13 ladies at her office and studio who are planning weddings, the collection currently comprises engagement rings and his and her wedding bands, many of which can be personalized.

“We’ve created classic bands as well as diamond bands, and then there are the personalized ones that are more of a conversation piece. I think the one that brought the biggest smile to my face was a 9 mm scroll band that documented where the couple first met, where their first date was, their first trip and their special nicknames—all memories reflecting the beginning of an amazing companionship,” Moore says.

The bands are available in yellow, white, rose and green gold, as well as palladium, and the diamonds are all conflict-free. Some reflect the designs of the charms, so you can really see the evolution of the brand, Moore says. And like the charms, the bands also lend themselves beautifully to stacking, “making you wish you had really long fingers so you can just keep adding them on!” Moore says.

With a price-point range that appeals to “college kids, young mothers and grandparents alike,” Moore makes that easy to do. She also makes her collection available though a variety of retail outlets, including Neiman Marcus, independent, family-owned jewelry stores, high-end jewelry stores, some high-end clothing stores and at the brand’s website.

This broad reach gives Moore a greater opportunity to do what she loves best about designing jewelry: combining her talent for storytelling with her passion for the arts in timeless jewelry that captures a person’s life story for generations to come.

“Listening to people explain their charms has always been and still is a highlight for me,” Moore says. “This collection is not about impulse jewelry, it’s about documenting all that’s important in your life and remembering what shaped you. I am so honored to have the opportunity to make what are truly heirlooms. And just how all treasured things are passed down through families, this is how your story will continue to live and be told.”

Looking ahead, Moore will have many more opportunities to fulfill her vision. She’s currently working on anniversary bands that showcase the years a couple have shared together, and there are thoughts of a baby-themed line.

“After a wedding, there’s almost always a baby, so I can imagine doing a children’s line with baby spoons, little cups, rattles,” Moore says. “That would be a nice addition and a natural evolution to the collection.”
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