Gay Isber Designs
Tell us about your business.I have a MA in Visual Arts and have always been an artist. Jewelry came after working for years in ceramics, paint and sculpture. My grandmother taught me embroidery as a child and my first jewelry were made like I was using thread and a needle. I created bracelets using my fingers. Women fought over them. My creative process is really about the products in front of me on my table. I see the creation finished before I even start. I specialize in crowns, tiaras and "WOW" jewelry. Being prolific in creations means my studio is stuffed with finished pieces that make for a wonderful treasure chest for magazines and stylists to come pick a fabulous piece. I would love to have my jewelry in more retailers across the US. If brides only knew about me they would have custom pieces made that will be passed down. I have a letter from Martha from when I gave her a bracelet to replace her ankle bracelet from prison. I have read every Martha since the first issue!
What makes your business stand out?I am a partner with Swarovski and Fire Mountain Gems plus I work with an old horde of beads and chain from the 1940's-80's. I get to work with the best items and find new challenges all of the time. At the moment I am making a headdress out of clear acrylic for a magazine. Just like Martha, I research and learn everything that I can and then tackle the project. I have had success - I have sold on The Shopping Channel in Canada, designed a line for a large importer and sell to stores across the USA. My atelier in Austin is two years old now and well known for custom work and fashion jewelry repairs. I work with other local designers to support their collections. I also teach jewelry making for the local community college at my studio. I specialize in fossils, minerals and gems. Each piece is museum quality. I have given jewelry to HRH Queen Elizabeth and made a crown for the Duchess Katherine. I new baby crown for the upcoming birth is on my table to make this week!
What's the best business advice you've received?Don't copy anyone else's work, be unique and true to your own visions.
Mark Your Calendar
NominationsJune 3–Aug. 29, 2014
Nominate yourself or other aspiring makers.
JudgingJune 23–Sept. 8, 2014
Judges will select finalists throughout this period.Meet the judges
Online VotingSept. 15–Oct. 13, 2014
Vote for your favorite American makers.See the finalists
Winners AnnouncedOct. 17, 2014
2014 Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.See past Award Winners
American Made EventNov. 7–8, 2014
Join us for our annual event in New York City.Buy tickets now