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In the bag

What I blew my paycheck on this week.

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Taking an active personal role in the earth-conscious movement of reduce-reuse-recycle that translates well to a good business practice, owner of KJDesigns, Katherine Morrissey, utilizes gems and metals from existing jewelry and settings to create, in essence, refurbished one-of-a-kind items. “A recent client came to me with tons of family jewelry — emeralds, rubies, sapphires — from India. I met with them, talked about what was possible and then crafted solely by hand many items for their nieces and daughters that had the family heirloom stones in them so they were still being passed down.” Otherwise, the jewelry they had may never have been worn again.

In addition, Morrissey likes to use lab created gems such as sparkling diamonds, lustrous rubies and brilliant sapphires when creating fine jewelry pieces such as wedding rings or anniversary jewelry for a cost-effective approach to generating stunning jewelry for important occasions. “The negative impact on the environment from the constant dig, dig, dig to get those stones from nature isn’t necessary,” she says. Morrissey will use natural stones if a client so desires though.

Morrissey has been exercising her own creativity and tapping into nature as inspiration since the late ’90s when she graduated from Washington State University. “I initially got started in jewelry in 2001-2002 by learning the basics at American Jewelers Institute in Portland, Ore.. I learned the fundamentals of jewelry fabrication and wax carving there,” she says.

Using mostly silver and semiprecious beads, the Tacoma resident’s pendant, necklace, and earring designs are easily attractive. Morrissey describes her style as “simple, elegant. I like to mix Art Nouveau with Art Deco.”

KJDesigns are available at Tacoma’s Serenity Spa and Seattle’s Tangerine Spa. She can be contacted directly for custom design work at

[Serenityspa, 706 Market St., Tacoma, 253.473.7830]

[Tangerine Spa, 1714 N. 45th St., Seattle, 206.790.3846]

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