A brilliant career start
From high finance to high style: Up-and-coming jewelry designer Katie Deckerschooled in econ and baubles
Finance is such a left brain sort of thing, while creating delicate jewelry designs in diamonds, sapphires and gold is clearly a right brain endeavor. But for Texas A&M grad Katie Decker, the cerebral requirements of her college degree in finance and the creative world of baubles and beads are a complimentary duality.
"I know that the business side of jewelry design is a downfall for a lot of artists," Decker said as she packed her collection for JCK Las Vegas, one of the jewelry industry's premier trade shows. "I hope the finance degree will help with the business side of things."
The Houston-based Decker is one of eight young designers to be featured at the juried JCK show, at The Venetian, as "Rising Stars." That puts her at the forefront of 100 up-and-coming designers that will be featured June 4-7 along with 3,100 established exhibitors.
The 22-year-old began designing and producing her delicate, feminine creations two years ago, some of her first drawings made in the margins of her economics books. Decker had long been doodling and enjoyed an artistic bent that had her at one time considering architecture and interior design as career paths.
But her mother, Liz Decker, had a penchant for jewelry and was regularly adorned with handsome pieces. Young Katie paid attention. "Mom knows jewelry and she exposed me to it all."
In fact, it was Liz Decker who got Katie started. The young talent's mother wanted a cap for a pearl and asked her daughter to design it.
From there Katie Decker began slowly, eventually launching her Ivy Collection at Judith Ann Jewels, where she had had a summer job. Since then, her repertoire has expanded to include 75 different pieces including rings, earrings, bracelets and necklaces. Prices range from $400 to $500 for gold charms to as much a $8,400 for a diamond-laced Lotus bracelet.