Kris Singleton’s journey to becoming a jeweler hinges on one major, life-altering event. In 2010, shortly after giving birth to her first child, Kris was diagnosed with cancer. She eventually went into remission, but the diagnosis (understandably!) changed her entire outlook. “Going through chemo, you’re so focused on surviving that you don’t really have the time to process it until after you finish. I was looking for something to help me transition back into ‘normal’ life,” Kris explains. Tooling away at the jewelry bench became a meditative way for Kris to do just that—or, as she puts it, “I was just looking for some release.”
After her first metalsmithing class, Kris dove head first into that world and hasn’t looked back—she’s kept at it as she’s had three more adorable kids and has relied on the internet to help her hone her skills when time’s been tight: “It’s been about lots of videos and trial and error.” She launched her line, Kiki Koyote, in 2014, cementing a signature style of organic, curvaceous metal shapes polished to a mirror shine. These days, Kris is living healthily and happily in Minnesota, where she was born and raised. “I just had my fourth child, and I really feel like I’m where I’m supposed to be with both motherhood and designing,” she says. In other words, it’s a lot, but it’s all good.