Meet jewellery designer Britta Ambauen of Britta Ambauen Jewelry, who is well known for her sophisticated and delicate jewellery designs that are handcrafted to empower folks, serving as a beautiful reminder to honour themselves. 

Join us as we discuss with Britta about the beginning of her journey of being a creative, what inspires her jewellery designs and some of the charity work that she participates in! 

How did your brand begin?

I studied fine art in college with an emphasis on intaglio printmaking. After college, I got an apprenticeship at a small jewellery store in Boulder, Colorado with a metal studio in the back. I learned techniques like saw work and soldering.

When the apprenticeship ended, I started collecting tools and continued making jewellery in the corner of my living room. Eventually, I took the plunge and signed up to exhibit my work at a craft show booth. I prepared for months and created 110 unique designs.

The show was a flop!  One day was cancelled due to rain, and I only sold one piece. I was disappointed, and it took a while to recover, but after some time I tried another show and had better results. I started booking a lot of shows and learned about better display techniques and how to talk to customers. Thirteen years of evolution later, I’m still learning. I feel grateful every day to work with my hands, doing something I love.   


Where do you draw inspiration from for your designs?

Experiences in my own life have often led to designs because I want to create a talisman that captures an intention or lesson or memory. For example, I was struggling with a decision about whether to move across the country, and a friend reminded me of the character “Mr. Glass” in the movie Amelie who advises Amelie that her bones are not made of glass.

I created a little pendant with a ribcage overlaid on the text “my bones are not made of glass.” I wore it as a reminder that I can take chances and I’m strong enough to handle consequences. 

At other times, I create forms in metal that feel good to me and then attribute meaning to the form. For example, the “Touchstone Necklace” features a smooth, organic stone-like form that I carved in wax and casted, just because the form felt nice in my hands. But it works well as a centring talisman that can be worn to bring ones attention inward.  

Are there any specific manufacturing/crafting techniques you use?

A few of my favourite jewellery techniques include intricate saw-work, wax carving, bezel setting, and acid etching.

How do you want someone to feel when they wear/use your designs?

Wearing jewellery to add some colour or detail or sparkle to an outfit is lovely, but it's even better when the jewellery connects us with a person we love, an experience, or an intention. Jewellery is a unique form of art that can be carried with us as we travel through life. 

I hope that people attribute their own special meaning to our jewellery, and feeling it "riding along" brings thoughts to a grounding, uplifting or empowering place. 

Do you work with any charities?

I love supporting charities that empower women. 

I used to work for an organization called The Women's Wilderness Institute in Boulder, Colorado, and we provide an annual scholarship to send girls to their leadership program.

This year, I'm participating in a fundraising climb of Mt Baker to support "She Jumps", an organization that strives to help girls and women reach their potential through outdoor experiences.

This spring, I'm coaching a team of 3rd grade to 5th-grade girls in a program called "Girls on the Run." This organization helps girls develop leadership skills and confidence through running.

How do you ensure you’ve got a good work/life balance?

I try to make time every day to care for myself and spend time with people I love. It can be easy to work, work, work when work is so fun, but I find that my jewellery turns out better when I reserve time for play, connection, and rest.

How do your brand values align with those of JewelStreet?

We strive to empower people by creating jewellery that serves as a reminder to honour yourself. Our jewellery is handcrafted by a small team of women from my home-based studio. Jewelstreet is an ideal partner for us. 

We appreciate how supportive they are of small businesses, as well as the community of customers they've cultivated who appreciate handcrafted jewellery.

Thank you for talking with us Britta!

Check out Britta Ambauen Jewelry's boutique on JewelStreet today!