Bonita Springs — Jewelry artist Heather Clegg finds inspiration in those who wear her jewelry. As owner of Gryphon Designs, Clegg says she designs jewelry that helps build and celebrate confidence, often becoming inspired by a client’s unique personality.
“Too often we focus on what we don’t appreciate about ourselves or what we want to change,” Clegg says. “Everyone has something they love about themselves. I try to design to bring out those aspects of ourselves rather than to distract from the things we don’t like about ourselves.”
This study of unique personality results in jewelry design that is refreshing. The pieces sometimes show simple elegance, sometimes make a bold statement, but are always executed in good taste and sparkling with personality.
“Only a woman or man who appreciates her own sense of style and wants to stand out rather than blend into a crowd is going to don a spectacular feather necklace or pair of custom cufflinks,” Clegg says. “My goal is to create pieces that help the person wearing them feel beautiful and confident.
My hope is not to draw attention to the jewelry, but allowing the jewelry to emphasize the personality and confidence of that individual.”
Her jewelry has been seen in numerous magazines and garnered national attention when she was chosen to participate in the 2011 IndiExhibit at the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards gift lounge.
She sells her work locally at Tie the Knot Couture Collections in Naples, Loretta Bridal Boutique in Bonita Springs and by appointment at her studio in Bonita Springs. Her work is available online at www.heatherclegg.com.
Though Clegg says she has been creating art since childhood, she chose to follow a corporate career path after graduating from Florida State University. She later left the corporate world behind and followed her heart to jewelry design, beginning Gryphon Designs LLC in 2010.
“I am, at my core, driven by having a sense of purpose,” Clegg says. “Before starting my business, my identity was mostly defined through my job title and what I did for a living. As a business owner,
that sense of purpose and identity has dramatically changed.”
She laughs, saying as a small business owner she finds herself in a plethora of roles each day. She goes from public relations/media director to advertising agent, photographer, accountant, shipping department, web designer, wholesaler, head of logistics, corporate strategist and still has to find time to create designs and make them a reality.
“I gain a tremendous amount of satisfaction in taking on and overcoming challenges that I never dreamed possible,” Clegg says. “I work all hours of the night and day in a variety of locations (my office, home, car, restaurants, etc). Curiously, one can’t plan when creativity hits so you just have to go with it if your eyes fly open at 3 a.m.”
With all of this, Clegg remains active in charity work. One of her jewelry lines, Sweet Charity, earns proceeds for organizations supporting women and children in Florida.
“For me, it’s being a part of something bigger,” Clegg says. “Jewelry is the medium that allows me to nurture confidence, joy and beauty in others. It’s not beauty in the skin deep kind, rather beauty in the sense of appreciating ourselves & others, inspiring kindness and sense of self.”
As life took the artist into difficult places, she spent a lot of time alone finding solace in books. One day she found a bookmark that changed how she chose to look at the world.
“I keep it out to remind me of two simple things: Even the simplest idea can be transformational if you let it,” Clegg says. “Well, the second one has everything to do with you and what you do with this uncomplicated knowledge you are about to receive. The bookmark reads: She believed she could, so she did.”