On a beautiful Wednesday morning, we met up with Emi Grannis in her San Francisco studio. We asked her about her creations and chatted with her about the magic of her work.
What does jewelry mean to you?
Jewelry is so personal to me -- I love that it can tell a story, whether that’s reminding you of a loved one, congratulating yourself on reaching a certain milestone or acting as a symbol of love between you and your partner. I have certain pieces of jewelry that have almost become an extension of my body – I wear them every day and they each represent something special to me.
I share with every customer that you hand-make each piece because that's so rare. Why is that important to you?
I’ve always identified more with the term “maker” rather than “jewelry designer” because the hands-on part of the process is what I love. There’s something very meditative and centering about making jewelry for me -- I often allow my hands and intuition to take over and can turn off my “monkey mind” and just be. It’s a lot of work, but I truly enjoy making each piece by hand. Knowing that I’m personally creating each piece of jewelry makes me feel connected to whoever ends up owning it, and I always hope customers can feel the love and care I put into it.
What motivates you to keep creating/designing new styles?
There’s nothing more exciting for me than to just sit alone in my studio with some gold, my tools, and maybe a few diamonds or gemstones and dream up new pieces. Sometimes, I’ll just make something that I wish existed and want to wear, and sometimes I let the materials inspire me. I’m less concerned with trends and releasing full collections at once, and like to take a more organic approach to things, making new pieces as they come to me. My goal is pretty simple: I want to create beautiful, high quality, handmade, eco-friendly jewelry that people will love to wear.
When I’m making custom work or engagement rings, I really like to get to know my clients so that their own styles, stories, and personalities can inspire the piece. I keep myself creatively open to different styles while still maintaining my own perspective so that the result is truly tailor-made to each person. It really keeps me going to know that the jewelry I create will hold so much personal meaning and can become a treasured heirloom.
Your stacking rings are my favorite! What's your favorite stack right now?
Thank you! I think stacking rings are such a fun and versatile way to wear fine jewelry. It’s a great way to slowly collect pieces over time and allows for so many combinations. Some days I like to keep it simple and just wear a few featherweight or midweight stackers, and sometimes I love playing around with layering rings with stones to add a little more interest. Two of my favorite combos right now are the half-moon ring with either the iris sapphire ring or the champagne diamond whisper ring, and also the diamond baguette ring with the tiny peak diamond ring. So cute.
We had the best time pulling together outfits for this photo shoot. How would you describe your style?
I like to keep things simple – my closet is pretty much all neutrals. Black, white, gray, tan -- just like my jewelry, I tend to focus more on form and texture rather than bold colors. I also think both my work and my style are influenced by my Japanese background, minimal and clean but with attention to detail and a subtle pattern here and there.
// If you love Emi's jewelry as much as we do, you can shop her collections on our site here; Studio Credit: Maxwell Smith Design Studio, Thank you so much Emi for your time and for your beautiful words! We're so lucky to have you as part of the Seldom Seen family. Imageries by Daniel, Co-Founder of Seldom Seen x MSSHN (via video). Words by Natasha, Co-Founder of Seldom Seen.
Co-founder of Seldom Seen | 522 Octavia St. SF, CA | @seldomseen