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20th Anniversary Jewelry Artisan Spotlight: Suzanne Kalan

October 19, 2016

Twenty years ago, we launched the first Sundance Jewelry Catalog dedicated to the artistry and beauty of jewelry making. Showcasing artisans and their craft from all over the world, the jewelry catalog quickly attracted loyal customers who appreciate the authenticity and originality of its collection. Two decades later, as Sundance continues to celebrate the community of jewelry artists who express their individual spirit of creativity through inspired use of mix metals and gemstones, color and form, Sundance is renowned for the unique yet timeless pieces that the artists offer.

To commemorate the anniversary, we will be posting several blog posts featuring some of our favorite artists. This week, we are featuring artisan Suzanne Kalan. When asked about her jewelry, Kalan notes, "The first thing I think about when designing a new piece is 'Would I want to wear this myself?'" Suzanne Kalan attributes her intensely personal approach to design to her mother, who handmade all her clothes; her father, a jewelry-store owner; and her husband, a diamond setter. She hand picks every gemstone with a keen eye for color, traveling the world to ensure each stone is uniquely cut to fit her collection. Her pieces are at once modern and classic, with a natural elegance all their own.

Sundance: Tell us how you got started as a jewelry artist?
Suzanne Kalan: I started off designing jewelry for my family. I was standing in the lobby of a building, 28 years ago, waiting for the elevator when I noticed a beautiful jewelry store. All of a sudden, the owner of the jewelry store came out to ask me where I had purchased the jewelry I was wearing. It just so happened that I was wearing my own designs. He placed an order with me right then and there and I knew from that moment that I needed to pursue this passion of mine.
What are your favorite materials? I love using gold with color stones, diamonds, and most of all baguette diamonds.

SD: Does your collection change seasonally?
SK: I feel as though my collection is constantly changing and evolving. However, the most important thing is for my collection to be recognizable. I try to keep my look as authentic as possible. This industry is so fast paced that you have to constantly be innovating. I love designing new pieces constantly and I especially love designing One of a Kind pieces. Those are definitely the most fun.

SD: What is your inspiration?
SK: I have a definite love for color which is evident in my collection. I love using classic pieces in a modern way and I never like anything to be too perfect. Something I would love to wear myself is probably my biggest inspiration!

SD: Can you give us any more information about yourself that could be useful?
SK: I have two specific pieces of jewelry that are most sentimental to me. First is the necklace my husband gave me on our wedding day. He is a diamond setter by trade, his brother a jeweler. It was handmade for me by the both of them. Second, which I don't technically own anymore, is a tennis bracelet my parents gifted to me on my wedding day. I ended up selling it to start my business 28 years ago.

Shop all of Suzanne's 20th Anniversary Collection here.