We are thrilled to share Closely Crafted, a newly launched non profit designed to invigorate local craft in luxury American Fashion pioneered by Team Verm favorite, Gigi Burris.

In celebration of the launch, our owner, Ashley Vermillion Webb chatted with Brent Neale about why she chose to produce her eponymous line in America.

Check out the exclusive below

Q:

Was it important for you when you began designing jewelry and as you continue, that your jewelry be made in America? Was it difficult to find artisans that were able to execute the BN designs to your expectations?

A:

I actually talk about this with my husband all the time that I could never leave New York City. I’ve worked on production overseas for others in Asia, Thailand and India. There’s nothing like working in your backyard with some of the finest crafts people I’ve ever known. I trust them implicitly. We know each other so well they know that when I sketch something I don’t even have to do that many views, they just get it. Most of these people I’ve know since right out of school. So a long time.

Q:

I know you work very closely with the artisans who help to execute your designs, what is something we may not know about what they do for?

A:

We go through many iterations of setting our designs to make them the quality that our clients know and love. It is not a simple of a process, often we break a setting and start over and I cannot imagine not being hands on from sketch to “and on”

Q:

When you started designing jewelry was creating a sustainable model intentional or was it just a happy accident?

A:

To be honest it was both. There’s a warm and fuzzy feeling you get when you rework with someone’s piece. I live for seeing a clients face when they see the transformations.

I’ve worked on production overseas for others in Asia, Thailand and India.

There’s nothing like working in your backyard with some of the finest crafts people I’ve ever known.

Q:

How did your time at FIT influence how you approach producing your designs. What advice would you give to someone wanting to learn the craft?

A:

My time at FIT has immeasurably influenced my process. I know that because I was self taught figuring things out on my own before design school. The Techniques and the mechanics of design and learning the process I can’t really imagine doing what I do now without that. But I’m also extremely involved in the process some people aren’t interested in that part. I am and for me it’s what it makes it interesting. And that’s part of the reason our pieces take us a long time. My advice would be figure out what you enjoy most and try and educate yourself on that the best way you can.

Q:

Q: What do you think could inspire other designers to bring production back to the United States?

A:

To be honest cost of labor and I don’t think that’s ever going to change.

Q:

Who are some of your favorite “Made in America”designers?

Markarian, Prabal Gurung (coming to Vermillion!), The Row, Louis Vuitton.

A:

CLOSELY CRAFTED EDIT

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