Jewelry designer Todd Reed was in Houston recently to showcase his latest and greatest collection of uniquely raw fine jewelry at Cotton Club. Known for pioneering the rough diamond jewelry movement, Reed uses naturally colored, untreated diamonds for his designs handmade in his studio in Boulder, Colorado. He has a unique perspective on love and jewelry that speaks through his creations.
He started the company 25 years ago at the ripe age of 17 because “words are difficult for many people,” he explained during an interview. He realized jewelry is a strong authentic communication to send the message of "I’m sorry" or "I love you" without having to get too vulnerable.
He said he found a lot of in inauthenticities in traditional luxury jewelry such as “the notion that you have to spend half your salary on a ring to prove to society how great your love is.” He wanted his designs to represent the real reasons why people hallmark their life moments with jewelry.
So he started making jewelry that was real — rough textures, edgy tones, things that weren’t perfect — the proverbial diamond in the rough became important to him.
Along with color, cut, clarity and carat, Reed puts the most importance on the fifth C – character. When he has fallen in love in his life, it has been because of another’s character and unique imperfections. “When something is so glossy and perfect it doesn’t even exist. The cracks and fissures are what gives us character,” Reed said.
He has lived by that philosophy in his relationships, his business and his creativity. “How you build friend groups and people around you is by character, why not do that with what you wear," he said.
Following Reed’s devotion to raw authentic materials, rough diamond collections became the fastest-growing category of all jewelry a few years ago – now every single major jewelry store has one of their own. He helped innovate a sector of the industry that originally didn’t exist.
Reed also does a large amount of custom work and recycling and rebuilding heirloom jewelry. “The appreciation of going back to unique, handmade quality stuff instead of the fast fashion or jewelry is something to be said,” he explained.