Featured Designer: Designed in Stone

"As a breast cancer survivor, I know how
hard the treatment is and how hard it is to look your best
when out in public. I also know how a great piece of
jewelry can change your attitude. So I designed the
"Because You're Beautiful" necklace in honor of every
woman who is going through or had to go
through this treatment." - Deborah Emerson

Designed in Stone

Deborah Emerson of

Chicago, IL

Deborah Emerson is a mother, warrior, artist, self
styled fashionista, breast cancer survivor, and our
pick for Dakota Stones' featured designer for
October - which is also Breast Cancer
Awareness Month.

"While going through treatment for breast
cancer, I realized how important a nice piece
of jewelry can be. I lost my hair and no matter
how much self tanner I used, I am sure I looked like a ghost, even though my friends said I did
not. However, when I put on a nice statement piece of jewelry I felt attractive and pulled together."

Deborah then began making jewelry when she couldn't find pieces she wanted already made. Cancer taught her to "seize the day" and "you just never know", so she became a jewelry designer full time and really loves it. Deborah loves working with real stones and Designed In Stone is a collection of limited edition and one-of-a-kind jewelry designed and handcrafted by this Chicago native. Check out her featured pieces below, and follow her on Etsy and beyond for more work coming this Winter. You can learn more about Breast Cancer awareness month by clicking here.

Designed in Stone / Featured Dakota Stones Pieces:

Using Dakota Stones Purple Turquoise
with Bronze Matrix.

Using Dakota Stones
Magnesite Slabs

An Interview with Deborah Emerson of Designed in Stone:

* Do you have a method or source you look to use for inspiring your designs?

I am inspired by the people and events in my life. I am inspired by strong, independent women.
I am also inspired by the beauty and permanence of stones.
I feel out of sorts or restless if I am
not creating something, so I try to look for inspiration in everything, whether it is words from
a song, lines from a book or poem, a picture, the world around me, just about anything.

* How often do you work on your jewelry designs?

I try to work on my designs everyday. If it is even just sketching a design idea out on paper
or laying out a pattern in stones, I feel that in order to be successful and keep creative,
that I need to at least connect to my business daily.

* How would you describe your design style or technique?

If I look at a stone and see a finished piece, then I HAVE to have that stone. If I don't feel that or
see a finished product, then I know that that particular stone is not for me. I like my pieces
to speak for the wearer. Whether they say, "look at me", or "I am beautiful", or even
"Wow, I am really rockin' this outfit". When I come up with a new design idea or piece, I often bounce them off my sister. She lives in Texas, (where they are not afraid of big, bold accessories) and is a very stylish and well dressed girl, who has great taste in jewelry - mine of course!

* Do you work in any other mediums beside jewelry design?

That's an interesting question, because I have always been the type of person who
if I can't find what I want...I make it. While redecorating my living room, I couldn't find a
painting that I had envisioned, so I painted it. When my kids were younger, I was looking
for a particular kind of wooden coat and storage rack for my living room and couldn't
find it. So I went to Home Depot, bought the wood and made it myself.

* What is your favorite stone to work with and why?
A note from Debbie to her customer to accompany
the "Because Your Beautiful" necklace.
My favorite stone changes
weekly or monthly, depending on what grabs my attention.
About 2 or 3 months ago, I was passionate about the Magnesite slabs from Dakota Stones and made some of my biggest statement pieces. Right now, I am using a lot of agate and jasper.

Dakota Stones' Pink Crazy Lace Agate
is the central design element in my "Because You're Beautiful" necklace that celebrates breast cancer survivors.

I am also crazy about the Red Creek and Purple Impressions Jasper.
* What is your favorite shape/ size to work with and why?

I really like to work with nuggets or slabs. I like the natural or unfinished look that these
types of stones have. Most of my designs are asymmetrical and natural flowing. I feel
that the unfinished style of these stones also adds an edginess or "walk on the wild side"
feel that you can't find with a perfectly cut and finished stone. That is not to say that I
don't sometimes use the cut stones, because I do. I just prefer the more natural look.

* If you could pick one person living or not to wear your jewelry who would it be and why?

I would choose Cher because she has been pushing the fashion edge for years. She loves
to take a chance with her style and makes absolutely no apologies for it. She is not afraid
to take a chance and do something different. I find her independence and outspokenness
inspiring, as well has how she has managed to stay relevant for the last 5 decades.
I feel that she is a real icon of music and fashion - a true diva.

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