Creative Assistant// @mahlee_sem23
What inspired this collection?
I LOVE CHRISTMAS!!! I decided to do a Winter Wonderland collection because this time of year truly is the most wonderful. The holidays are so filled with joy and kindness and people thinking about others more than themselves. I just love it. December is the best month in the entire year hands down, prove me wrong. My birthday is in December and between Christmas and New Year’s, winter just provides the most incredible opportunity for families to gather and create lasting traditions and memories together. Everything about the winter season is comforting— from warm fires and cozy sweaters to Christmas morning and cookies for Santa, I can’t get enough of it! We shot my collection at the Gallivan ice skating rink because I LOVE ice skating and grew up going ice skating every year with my family at the Union Square ice skating rink in San Francisco and they are some of my favorite holiday memories!
Tell us about you and Matt’s gem studio journey
Well this one is quite a story. Simply put Matt and I met at the Gem Studio in April of 2018. We fell in love working side by side at the studio throughout that summer, got engaged in October of 2018, and married in May of 2019! In October of 2019 we opened the City Creek studio in Salt Lake and have just worked on turning our dreams into reality every day since then!
Where is your dream Gem Studio location and why?
Hahahh WELL this is fun. My dream Gem Studio location in the US would definitely have to be Santa Cruz, California. I grew up in Santa Cruz and absolutely love the community there. People are actively involved in the local community and there is an incredible culture of supporting small businesses and the arts. My dream Gem Studio location outside of the US would be in Mbale, Uganda located near the 1Heart1Mind children’s school that the Gem Studio supports. We would absolutely LOVE to teach the children at the school how to silversmith and hopefully uncover some incredible talents and passions for silversmithing that the kids can continue to cultivate throughout their lives.
What do you want to manifest in your life over the next year?
Matt and I are working hard to share the experience of the Gem Studio with everyone!! We are so excited about our locations in Salt Lake, Provo, St. George, and Oahu and hope to bring the joy of the Gem Studio to a few more cities in the near future ;) We truly love the unique ability that the Gem Studio has to bring people together and facilitate the creation of meaningful memories and we want everyone everywhere to have an opportunity to join in on the fun!!
Where do you see Gem being in 5 years?
Hahahah EVERYWHERE!! We want to see everyone rocking Gem Studio rings!! I am so, so excited to see where Gem Studio will be five years from now I’m hoping that by then we will have locations in cities all over the country (fingers crossed hahah!) and we will continue to provide amazing experience-based activities for all of our incredible customers :)
What is your favorite gem, and why?
I’m a turquoise gal through and through. I am OBSESSED with the really light blue variety of turquoise (think Dry Creek, Carico Lake, and Royston) and you will ALWAYS catch me wearing as many turquoise rings on my fingers as possible! Turquoise has always been my favorite color growing up and when I met Matt it was his favorite color too! I still claim that he copied me though hahah. Matt and I fell in love at the original Provo studio surrounded by turquoise and when Matt made my engagement ring he even inlaid a tiny piece of turquoise on the inside of my ring! Oh and turquoise is my birthstone, I guess it was always destined to play an influential role in my life!
What is your favorite part of the silversmithing process?
My favorite part of the silversmithing process is when we are attaching the bezel to the sheet. For this step we are using the most solder that we use throughout the entire process and I love seeing all the solder melt all at once as soon as it hits the proper melting point. I’ve made LOTS of rings at this point and it still impresses me :)
What's your favorite gem studio memory?
Hmm okay this is a hard question. Matt and I live and breathe Gem Studio and so many of my most meaningful memories in my life have taken place as a result of Gem Studio. Obviously meeting Matt and falling in love with him is the greatest series of memories the Gem Studio has ever given me, but aside from that my favorite memory of the Gem Studio has definitely been the incredible interactions I have had with some of our amazing customers! Workshops typically last around 3 hours, and you can get to know someone quite well during a 3 hour window. We have developed lifelong friendships with the people who we have met at the Gem Studio and have bonded with people about the trials and joys that they are currently experiencing in their lives.