Although she grew up in Dallas, Nicole Rottler Harlow spent summers with her family in the tiny town of Cloud Cross, New Mexico, where she fell in love with all of the craftsmanship happening at local leather shops and at Native American reservations, watching as artisans turned silver and stones into intricate necklaces and bracelets. As she explains, “I didn’t actually decide to work with metal until after college, but it makes sense since I’ve been hoarding Native American jewelry my entire life.”
Those early vacays also sowed the seeds for Nicole’s deeeeep affection for small-town life—after graduating from the University of Mississippi, Nicole created a studio in a 100-year-old house in Taylor, Mississippi, a Gilmore Girls-esque spot with one restaurant, one grocery store, and—surprisingly—a thriving community of artists (William Faulkner even set a story there). “There are a lot of painters in the area and tons of support for the arts but no small-scale, fine metalworkers,” explains Nicole, who launched her line Niett Metals in 2017. “It’s been really fun to be the one to introduce jewelry-making to this town.” Catch a glimpse of her super-sculptural pieces that combine Southwest standbys like leather cords with modern, half-moons of brass, and you’re going to be thrilled to make her acquaintance, too.
BEHIND THE SCENES
One designer spells it out for you.
Apartment-dwellers: apologies in advance.