This Jersey City Jewelry Designer Made Custom Pieces for The Young and the Restless

Joanne Simmons is the artist behind The Silver Sculptor, a handmade jewelry brand owned and operated by Joanne herself. Growing up in London, she was always making things. Her mother taught her how to sew — and would take her to buy her own materials at the local bead shop to make creations of her own. Like all great mothers, Joanne’s encouraged her to continue to make things and always be creative.

Joanne moved to Jersey City in 2005 for a marketing role at an International Tourist Board. After browsing jewelry shops, she couldn’t find anything anywhere that matched her individual style, so, in true artist form, she began making her own sterling silver pieces and The Silver Sculptor was born. It’s no surprise that Joanne was approached by the costume designer at CBS’s long-running soap opera, The Young and the Restless. Read on to learn more about Joanne’s story, her pieces, and designing custom pieces for a hit show.

the silver sculptor jersey city

Her Journey

the silver sculptor jersey city

“My jewelry style is not the kind of thing that you’d usually find in stores. I like bold, minimalist geometric statement pieces,” Joanne told Hoboken Girl. “So after not being able to find jewelry that I really loved, I decided to make something myself, I researched some different techniques, bought some tools, and just gave it a try.” 

After making a few pieces for herself, friends started requesting pieces of their own and in 2010, Joanne became a vendor at the Not Yo Mama’s Craft Fair. When she almost sold out of her inventory, she realized that people liked my designs and there was real potential. “Of course my designs have matured since then, but the thing that shines through is the bold design. I worked on my business in the evenings and weekends until 2015 when the opportunity came to do it full-time and I haven’t regretted that step one bit,” she said.

The Silver Sculptor

the silver sculptor jersey city

Joanne prides herself on designing bold, contemporary designs with elegant packaging. She makes custom pieces. “All of my jewelry is custom made for you, so when you buy something from me, rest assured that I will be making your piece from scratch. That means that you can customize with a finish of your choice and of course choose the right size to fit you.”

Read More: An Inside Look at the Hoboken Office of Electric Picks

She finds inspiration in just about anything. “Sometimes it can be my surroundings, whether it’s architecture from my walks around Manhattan, or nature walks in New Jersey. I love learning new skills, so when I try new techniques sometimes an idea will just pop in my head and I’ll experiment with it. Sometimes the experiment will work out and sometimes it won’t. What’s been happening recently is I’ve been dreaming about jewelry designs. During the state between being in a deep sleep and waking up, I’ve been lucid enough to think about new designs. One that I’m working on at the moment is a hinged ring, I don’t know if it’s going to work but I’m certainly going to have fun trying out!”

the silver sculptor jersey city

If you’re curious about what a day in the life of a jewelry designer and small business owner is like, it’s busy. “I can go from shipping to making jewelry, to admin, to marketing to finance, to PR. So it certainly keeps things interesting and no two days are alike. That said, there are certain things that need to be done daily, such as social media, responding to emails, etc. Most days you can find me in my home studio making jewelry though, that’s where I’m the happiest!”

Joanne is committed to sourcing materials from ethical and environmentally responsible companies. She uses metals that are recycled and bears in mind where the gemstones she uses come from. The company also has a philanthropic role to play in the community. “I do this through making jewelry to donate to charity gala auctions, giving jewelry to healthcare professionals, donating profits from sales to non-profits, and more,” she said.

Jewelry Kits

quench jewelry

In 2019, in addition to The Silver Sculptor business, Joanne launched Quench with her jeweler friend Stephanie Maslow-Blackman. The duo curates jewelry kits for folks at home to have a more interactive experience rather than just ordering pieces online. “We send you a kit with all you need to carve a ring out of jewelers casting wax. Once you’ve carved the ring, you send it back to us and we’ll cast it in sterling silver, polish it and mail it back to you. It’s been a great activity to keep our customers occupied during the last year whilst we’ve all been staying home. Anyone can do it, you don’t need any experience and you get a gorgeous handcrafted ring at the end of it – created by you,” Joanne explained.

Being Featured On The Young and The Restless

silver sculptor

The costume designer from The Young and The Restless was compelled by Joanne’s pieces and requested some. “ She wanted an emerald tie clip for the character Kyle Abbott {played by Michael Mealor} and was part of a wider storyline {fans of the show will recognize the Teardrop of Love}. It has aired multiple times throughout the latter part of 2020 and the costume designer said it was a hit! So much so, that shortly afterward, she reached out again asking me to make a second tie clip. This one with an emerald and a diamond. The second tie clip was aired on the Christmas Eve episode. Where it was given as a Christmas gift from character Summer to the same character,” she told us.

See More: The Co. Opens in Hoboken: A Home + Wellness Boutique on Washington

She never imagined her jewelry designs would appear on such a popular show – let alone be part of an actual storyline. “I was so excited to see my work appear on TV – it was a thrill I’ll never forget. When I got the email from The Young and The Restless to say it had been aired, I jumped up and turned on the TV to watch it and I was beaming from ear to ear! It’s safe to say that now I’ve seen my jewelry on TV, I’m determined to get more of my jewelry on other shows and who knows, maybe the silver screen,” says Joanne.

Goals For The Year

silver sculptor

Joanne signed up for a Diploma in Fine Jewelry which will start in September. “I’m looking forward to developing my skills to make even more beautiful jewelry for my customers. As I mentioned earlier, I’m also keen to get my work on more TV shows, so I’ll be working on that. And finally, I have a couple of collections in the pipeline which I’d like to launch this year. One is inspired by the art-deco buildings in NYC, but recreating it with my minimalist geometric style and the other collection is inspired by the artist Mondrian,” she shared.

Highlight In Her Career

silver sculptor

“Moving to the US changed my life,” she said. “ I wasn’t expecting to stay, but a year after moving here I met my husband. So that’s definitely up there along with making our wedding jewelry. In my jewelry career, having my jewelry featured on The Young and The Restless was for sure a high too. Other special moments were winning a competition to get a design available for sale on UncommonGoods.com, being invited to be featured in a book written by Entrepreneur magazine about selling jewelry on Etsy, and I also enjoyed showcasing a necklace at an art gallery in New Jersey, which was important because I view my pieces as wearable art, not just jewelry.

“I’m so glad that I found Jersey City and I’ve made it my home. I’ve met so many amazing people in the artist community that we have here. I like to support artists and help run Alley Cat Gallery with photographer Beth Achenbach, we open it to the public a few times a year {usually} and we can’t wait to do it again in the near future,” says Joanne. 

Shop Designs

Shop some of Joanne’s one-of-a-kind jewelry at Love Locked in Jersey City or request a custom piece through her website. If you want something more hands-on, check out the jewelry kits from Quench here. Follow Joanne on Instagram at @silversculptor and Facebook.

EMAIL BUTTONS


Written by:

Victoria is HG's Associate Editor and Social Media Coordinator for the Hoboken Historical Museum + Fire Department Museum. She is a fourth-generation Hoboken native, BNR in the Mile Square, and Jersey City. Through playing softball in town for fourteen years, playing the trumpet for the Hoboken High School Redwings Band, and graduating from New Jersey City University, these two cities have a special place in her heart. When she isn’t Style Assisting or volunteering at Symposia Bookstore, she’s exploring everything the Concrete Jungle has to offer. You can catch her at art exhibitions, local festivities, traveling, diving into a new book, thrifting, or indulging in some form of arts and crafts.