Todd Reed is a talented American fine jewelry designer renowned for creating bespoke jewelry and high art. Every piece Todd designs is hand-forged in his Boulder, CO studio using only the finest materials and ethically sourced, conflict-free stones. Each piece is one-of-a-kind and built with the most exquisite craftsmanship to create exclusive and highly collectible objects. Todd’s work challenged the established concepts of high jewelry and luxury design. He incorporates raw and natural colored diamonds with recycled metals, has created an entirely new category of jewelry rebranding the notions of “luxury” in the process. Over the course of his almost three-decade-long career, his designs have been featured in over 35 books, and major fashion and style publications including InStyle, Town & Country, Robb Report, and Elle Magazine.
Todd and Jay discuss the history of Todd Reed’s sustainable jewelry brand, repurposing jewelry, and color.
How did you get your start in jewelry?
Todd – I’ve been making things forever. I’ve always loved making things for people. I was 17, living in Colorado, I came up with this idea of recycling & upcycling material – reusing things that already existed. You make someone a piece of jewelry and the connection to it is amazing. It’s just like instant love. When we started in 1988, I just wanted to create innovative pieces and art for people.
Were you always doing men’s jewelry?
Todd – The thing with men’s jewelry is that, I’m a guy and I want to make things for myself and for my friends. Everything I do is to express myself.
Do the Colorado boulders influence your jewelry design?
Todd – Absolutely, I love being out in nature.
About Jay’s ring:
I was fascinated with black jade from Edwards, Wyoming. I designed it because it’s about power, it’s about strength. This is a stone that endures a lot to get to where it is. It’s also one of the only true blacks in nature.
I’ve always loved color. When I started in 1988 my jewelry was all color, but I wanted to be an expert in one niche, so I made diamonds my thing, which was associated with my brand. I wanted to be all about sustainability, and I could never figure out how to buy stones sustainably.
I’ve been collecting color for a really long time. I started pulling out color in the middle of last year when I decided on only make one-of-a-kind pieces.
What do you think about the future of jewelry after this quarantine?
Todd – I think that things are okay, and I think people still have birthdays and still want to celebrate their loved ones and themselves.
I’m bringing love to the universe and right now we all need love.
How has repurposing changed or inspired new designs?
Todd – The biggest way is I wouldn’t have thought about it on my own. It’s fun! The part that I like most about repurposing is I like being on the spot with the design. When I talk to the person about that particular stone, I can feel this connection between the material and the earth and them and their love for it. I get inspired by those materials and by sitting with the client.