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For some women, having children can throw a wrench in their career plans. Not so with jewelry designer Jennifer Dawes. Following the birth of her son almost two years ago, she revamped her California-based line, Dawes Design, to include only recycled gold, conflict-free diamonds and responsibly mined stones.
“After I gave birth to my son, I was soul-searching,” said Dawes, who first launched her jewelry line in 2000. “I needed [my work] to be more meaningful to me.”
When Dawes went sustainable, her jewelry garnered new interest online, as word spread through eco-conscious blogs. “I actually haven’t had this much attention on my work before,” she said. “A lot of people don’t know they have the option of getting sustainable jewelry. There are not that many people doing it.”
For Dawes, bestsellers include recycled gold stacking rings and jewel-adorned hoop earrings and bracelets wholesaling for $325 to $750; 18-karat hand-hammered rings with rose cut diamonds, wholesaling from $475 up to $1,425 for a large diamond solitaire ring and her customized stacking stone collection in which customers can choose their own stones, cuts and band thickness.
Dawes estimates 2008 sales will reach $500,000. The jewelry is sold online at dawes-design.com and at ABC Carpet & Home in New York, The Clay Pot in Brooklyn, N.Y., and Gallery of Jewels in San Francisco, among other locations.