Behind The Design: A Step-By-Step Guide

Posted by Sierra Otto on

Behind The Design:

 A Step-By-Step Guide

A step by step guide of how Sierra Winter Jewelry gets from my brain to your arms, wrists necks, and ears!

 Over the last two years, I've had a lot of people ask me how I design my jewelry. 'Do I make every piece by hand?' 'Do you buy pre-made components and put things together?' etc. I wanted to write a blog post about how I design and what that process looks like. So here you go! 


Step 1: PLANNING! 

 Figure out what is missing from the line and what price points and silhouettes need to be added. I call this part the mullet... business in the front, party in the back. 

Fall 2018 Planning Boards


Step 2: GATHER INSPIRATION!

 I look at magazines, global textiles, ancient jewelry, and fashion trends when I am doing research for new pieces.

Original inspiration for the Warrior pieces


Step 3: GET SUPER SKETCHY! 

 Sketch, sketch, and sketch some more. I get as many ideas as possible on to paper. There are usually hundreds of sketches per collection.


Step 4: REFINE!

 Refine sketches and narrow down key styles and silhouettes. Draw out to scale renderings including front views, side views, and color mapped drawings and send to suppliers.

 (This is my favorite part. Nothing is more therapeutic to me than drawing!)

Harvest Necklace

Warrior Earrings

Sahara Earrings

This was a photoshoot for Herlife Magazine August 2017 Issue, of me at my design table.

Step 5: SAMPLE! 

 Based on my drawings, my suppliers then make wax models, molds, and samples to send me for approval. Pictured below are the wax models and molds for production. 

 (This part feels like Christmas every time!)

Harvest Necklace 

Sahara Earrings

Warrior Earrings


Step 6: MORE MULLET'Y STUFF! 

 Negotiate costs, modify or approve samples, and then proceed to production! Once production arrives, then we photograph, update the website, and then they are available to order.

Harvest Necklace

Sahara Earrings

Warrior Earrings


Step 7: DAMN GIRL! 

 You wear it and look beautiful! We love seeing your fine ass rock our jewels, so be sure to tag us! @sierrawinterjewelry



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