JADE GEDEON IS WEARING worn jeans, a cozy sweater and huge, I mean really huge, swan earrings. What is nearly as remarkable as the slumbering cygnets dangling from her ears is how perfectly normal they seem; it all makes sense.
This is the world of Jade Gedeon. A confluence of unexpected beauty.
The first time I noticed Jade was years ago at Essex Elementary where we were both in a cafeteria packed with kids participating in Messy Art Night, an event true to its name.
My kids and I were covered in plaster of paris and she and her family were delightfully coloring in a gorgeous and intricate coloring book. I was taken with her because frankly she is stunning, but also because as a family they seemed to be existing in some kind of unique environment all their own. Not to the exclusion of others, quite the opposite. It had the feeling of ease and light, it was almost ethereal and somewhat mesmerizing. They had a subtle joy and beauty that, seeing it, left you feeling the way you might after a quiet day in the sea, or when you finish a marvelous novel that takes you far away. This is Jade. And this is what she has created, in her life, her art, and now in brick and mortar in Essex.
Jade is an artist, a jewelry designer, and a very successful one. As a young woman she left her native Trinidad to attend college at the Pratt Institute in New York City where she studied industrial design and art history. There she and her roommate began making jewelry. A blogger blogged. Daily Candy in LA noticed her. And that was kind of it. In a very organic way her art and her jewelry came to be known, sought after, and the business grew easily. We Dream in Colour came to be.
Now Jade’s pieces can be found in Anthropologie, Neiman Marcus and on the pages of major fashion magazines. Her black-owned, self-funded business is comprised of herself, her sister Mika, and an all-women team creating her entirely handmade line which has over 700 pieces.
Her jewelry clearly suggests the wonder of the natural world, with leaves, animals and flowers throughout. What is less obvious, but perhaps even more magical, is that they are also little stories. Each collection is its own sort of universe and each piece is a vignette, with alluring names such as Verdigris, Scluptra, Indah and, my favorite, Night Garden (where the sleeping swans live).
When I asked Jade why, with a thriving online business, did she decide to open a retail store, she attributes it to the joy of growing up working in her mother’s stores in Trinidad which included clothing boutiques and a rather interesting gourmet food import business run on cleverness and charm. She loved the bustle of being in a shop and how her mother designed interesting spaces in what was an otherwise bleak environment. Jade found herself wanting to do the same. Retail is in her blood. And so is curating a gorgeous space.
You will see it when you visit. The store is delightful. Jade weaves together elements from different eras, vintage and contemporary, textures mingle and vibes are tropical, European and just plain whimsical. All in a world of intensely rich color. It’s the mesmerizing universe of Jade Gedeon. And lucky for us, we get to visit.
Kris McGinn writes features and columns on local life around Cape Ann. In 2020 she won two national writing awards from the National Newspaper Association. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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