Julia Bergen was first attracted to jewelry-making for its ability to tailor and personalize a given look. "I love seeing how each person brings their own spin to how they wear it," explains the California native.
"It's also exciting because jewelry takes art out of the home and brings it to the streets."
Today, the Chicago-based designer—whose mother taught her basic cross-stitching techniques as a kid—is bringing her own quirky baubles and adornments to her new label, Do Re mi, so-named for her love of singing as well as her grandmother, "who uses the phrase often."
"I got the stitching bug again when I was in college," explains the designer who, three years ago, received her BFA with a concentration in print-making from UC Santa Cruz. "[That's] also when I taught myself how to embroider."
Composed primarily of colorful, geometric pendants fashioned from small hand-stitched panels finsihed in delicate square and rectangular frames, the collection takes inspiration from '50s "design and color combinations, textile patterns, and fashion" as well as "Frank Lloyd Wright's clean lines and architectural details."
Made entirely by hand, each Do Re Mi requires approximately two and a half hours to complete from start to finish, giving each piece a unique, personal appeal.
Eventually, Bergen hopes to branch out into earrings as well as her own hand-made textiles. "I'd love to write about cross-stitched projects that others can create," she explains. "Ultimately, I just want to continue to grow my business little by little and share my passion."
See the complete collection or order pieces online at www.doremijewels.com.