For the past five years, jewelry designer Valerie Madison has been busy building her business Valerie Madison Fine Jewelry (@valeriemadisonjewelry). What initially started as a hobby has grown into a busy and fulfilling career of creating pieces that commemorate meaningful events in her clients’ lives. From statement rings for women who want to celebrate significant career milestones, to special gifts and wedding bands, Valerie pours her heart into turning her clients’ ideas and wishes into truly special treasures.
Valerie and her assistant Liz work from Valerie’s studio near Seattle’s Central District. The two-floor workspace, located in a turn-of-the-century industrial building, offers everything the duo need work-wise. In addition, the space also serves as Valerie’s showroom. “It’s always been important for me to curate a space that feels inviting, cool, calm, and interesting. In decorating, I’ve learned that those are my own personal traits that I want people to feel around them so they can quickly understand me and the passion I have in my career,” Valerie explains. When stepping foot in the studio, clients are able to see Valerie’s personal touches everywhere. It’s filled with plants and various curiosities, such as crystal and mineral specimens, fossils, and dinosaur paraphernalia — all things that bring Valerie joy to collect and take care of.
With a growing business and a true passion for her career, Valerie sometimes finds herself spending more time in her studio than at home. She’s learned to understand how the space works, and how she can work best in it. “My studio is a representation of me and my work in a way that can’t be expressed at home,” she says. “As a solo business owner, my business is what takes up most of my energy and time. When I walk into my studio every morning and slide open my heavy door, I immediately feel gratitude for the beauty and brightness that greets me.” For Valerie, her workspace is a daily reminder of how hard she has worked to grow and cultivate business relationships with new and repeat customers alike — for that alone, her studio is a true gem among gems. —Sofia
Image above: This view of the downstairs parlor room is the first thing that Valerie sees when entering her studio each morning. It is also the space where Valerie welcomes her clients for jewelry consultations, and where she and Liz host the occasional open house events. The exposed brick walls allude to the building’s industrial history. “I recently learned that this space was partially constructed with leftover steel beams from a waterfront pier that was torn down in the early 1900s. The beams were hauled by horses all the way up from the waterfront and recycled into usable building parts. The building owner continues with the recycling efforts, always preferring reusing old materials that still have life in them and quality restoration over new materials,” Valerie tells us.