Designing shoes and accessories for the likes of BCBG fresh outta FIT, Savannah Watson quickly realized the corporate world wasn’t suited to her style of creating. So she took things into her own hands, attending jewelry and silversmithing classes and ultimately waving goodbye to the NYC fashion industry entirely. Back to her hometown of Wilmington, North Carolina, she went, where she set to work on her own line, tinkering with gold, brass, and sterling silver in her garage and studying YouTube tutorials to hone her skills.
Merewif, the label that, in 2012, grew outta all that autodidact-ing, puts to use not just the expertise Savannah developed back home but also the natural objects that she gathers at nearby beaches—think starfish, shark teeth, and coral—sometimes mixed with sixties and nineties motifs (and a very light touch). From there, the real test is 3-D printing the ultra-delicate casts that become squigly cuffs or leaf-like earrings. As she explains, “I can sketch and think all I want—I don’t know if a piece will be successful or not until it’s physically in my hands.” —olivia martin