Silversmith// Kate Hargadon
Models// Kate and @anneparkes
Creative Assistant// @mahlee_sem23
Tell us about yourself! What do you do outside of Gem Studio?
My name is Kate and I live in salt lake with my partner and our dog, Blue. I was born and raised in Northern California and am about to start my graduate degree in Chicago to become a therapist. Outside of the gem studio, I love skiing, shopping at Trader Joe’s, planning my latest side hustle, and being with my people. I love a good podcast and hope every day ends in my rocking chair on my front porch with friends.
What inspired this collection?
I am a part of the queer community here in Utah and feel passionately that awareness and support of the LGBTQ+ community is very important, especially in this state where so many queer people suffer because of cultural stigmas and damaging beliefs. I wanted to create a collection that could represent the queer community’s rainbow and also create a way for the gem studio to financially contribute to the Utah Pride Center, an organization that does so much necessary good here in Utah. 25% of all the proceeds from any “Pride Ring” sold will be donated to UPC (indefinitely!).
What are you most passionate about?
I am passionate about human rights, connection with people, but mainly just cuddles with my dog.
What most excites you about moving to Chicago?
I am excited to live in a diverse city and be exposed to such incredible art, architecture, food, culture, and new experiences! Chicago is an amazing city with so much to teach me and I can’t wait to eat so much damn good food.
What is currently playing on your Spotify/Apple Music?
Currently? Lennon Stella, John Mayer’s sob rock, Moody Joody, Maggie Rogers
Always? James Taylor, Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Wonder
What do you want to manifest in your life over the next year?
Learning to play, spiritual connection, and expanding my mind.
What is your favorite gem, and why?
I love Buffalo Turquoise the most I think. I really love the yin and yang of the white and black part of the stone, and I think I am drawn to any stone that isn’t as common or easy to come across.
What is your favorite part of your job?
I love connecting with the people that I teach. It’s an enjoyable challenge for me to try and help them not just create an incredible piece of jewelry, but also feel that they’ve had a once in a lifetime experience full of fun, meaning, learning, and creativity. I also love my coworkers, especially those who I’ve worked with from the beginning. There’s a bond when you’ve done hard things together, and I’m so grateful for those who have helped me grow as a silversmith and valued me as a person and friend.
What is your favorite gem studio memory?
I mean, the best memories always come when sh*t hits the fan! I think one of the most iconic workshops I’ve taught was a birthday party of 9 year olds (probably 10 of them?). Torches + kids + 3 hour activity = an unforgettable experience. I also recently helped my 5 year old niece make a pendant out of sea glass she found at her home beach in California, and she wears it everyday. I loved that day.