About Susan Cummings

A little bit about my life

I grew up in rural Connecticut with dogs, horses, music, and a lot of activity in the kitchen. My mother was my biggest influence. She had the talent to make a beautiful meal from an empty cupboard, the eye and feel to give a home a facelift on a dime, and when she stepped out to attend a social event your jaw dropped. Life’s presentation was about elegance, not opulence according to her. I wholeheartedly agree.

Needing more than my east coast roots could provide, I moved to California as a young girl in the mid 70’s. My jewelry passion started in late 1980. At that time I was selling to specialty boutiques in California. By 1982, the collection was bought nationally by premier retailers such as Henri Bendl, Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Neiman Marcus. By 1985, and for the next 12 years. I primarily focused on the Neiman Marcus business. My studio and staff went from a 550’ft. studio in Venice with 8 craftsmen, to a 4500’ft studio with a staff of 22 located at the Santa Monica Airport. When my daughter was born I moved to Ojai, still maintaining my presence in Santa Monica. But in time I decided to scale back business in order to spend time as a mother.  Now that my daughter is a beautiful young woman, my designing is once again a full time passionate focus. Currently the collection is designed, and created in total in the beautiful Ojai Avenue Studio and being sold in Ojai and through specialty and lifestyle boutiques.

I continue of course to enjoy the things that I grew up with: my cooking, music, animals and, of course, my daughter.

Through my eyes

I love to see people looking at a woman and wondering what it is about her that makes her different than anyone else. The little touches—jewelry can set you apart. It doesn’t need to be outlandish to draw attention, but it doesn’t necessarily need to conform to mainstream thinking.

Unearthed beauty

The less we mess with a perfect thing, the better we feel. Roughened torn edges, silken matte finishes, gypsy set stones, asymmetry, these are all perfect design elements.  This unrefined part of what I do allows me to feel that I’m not manipulating the natural state of things – the less you do, the more beautiful they are. Stones, metal, and people – we’re all in sync. We ARE those elements. We are not machined. My jewelry doesn’t have to be explained to customers because it is a part of who we are; it just makes sense.

The embedded nature of stones in metal gives a feeling of partnership. A diamond mounted high above its base on three prongs loses its place in the piece to me: out of its nest in a way. The energy that goes into my jewelry? I don’t think too much about it – it’s just who I am, me and my sketch pad.

My future goals? Feeling out that new design direction by crossing paths, reaching out and connecting in an authentic way with my customers and those who just appear in my life.