“If you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life.” This is a piece of popular career advice that many of us hear. Meaghan has been a representation of this quote since she started making jewelry. From running a boutique in Colorado to teaching metalsmithing and business classes for jewelers, Meaghan definitely knows the meaning of working for your passion.
Meaghan’s jewelry journey comes with fascinating starts. Her decision to commit to jewelry making came from an experience as a bartender. Wearing a necklace that she made to match her outfit for a wedding, her shift at the bar was about to be a life-changing one. During this shift, a guest instantly took notice and bought her necklace. Additionally, on the same night, guests who saw her stunning necklace asked Meaghan to make commission pieces for them. This encounter pushed her to embark on her jewelry journey more confidently.
“Not only did I just sell 3 necklaces without doing anything but designing one for myself, but, completely unbeknownst to me, I also changed the whole course of my life.”
In her town’s Center for the Arts, Meaghan saw an opportunity to share her passion with others. When she started at this center, no metalsmithing classes have ever been taught. Meaghan proposed to establish and teach the first silversmithing class. This idea was widely accepted by the center and its students. After this experience, Meaghan started her school, Crested Butte Jewelry School, and continuously provided metalsmithing expertise for those who are willing to learn.
For Meaghan, teaching’s best reward is seeing students blossom during and after her classes. Her favorite teaching experience occurred a couple of years ago when she was teaching her 5-day course. In this course, there was a local woman who has been an accountant for 40 years and has never done anything artistic in her entire life. This student flourished throughout the course and later on bought and set up her studio.
“Now she’s making the most beautiful pieces. I love this story because she had the courage to try something new, and it changed her life.”
On top of teaching, Meaghan runs Meaghan Young Jewelry, a boutique in Colorado that sells top-notch jewelry pieces. These pieces are carefully curated according to her inspirations and preferences. One topic that serves as an inspiration for Meaghan is nature. Her first company was a yoga jewelry business. Here, she created pieces that revolved around a lot of lotuses and flowers. Now, the properties of the gemstones are more important for Meaghan. Turquoise for her consists of varying properties that make the stone adaptable to different kinds of pieces.
“My favorite stone is blue topaz because of its sky-blue color and how it symbolizes self-worth. Amethyst is for transformation. There are so many gemstones to choose from.”
For how materials are made, Meaghan’s love for everything that comes from our earth serves as a factor for her preference. Using genuine materials signifies having the opportunity to work with distinct properties. According to her, synthetic materials, even lab-grown items like diamonds, are just not the same as genuine materials
“It’s just different. I like authenticity of the materials, of them being real.”
Hoping to hear more success stories, Meaghan shares her own words of advice for rising creators.
“Practice and don’t give up. If you can learn the skills, whether it’s from me or other teachers, it really takes practice. Filing is much harder than soldering itself. It’s one thing that all my students hate, but it’s just a skill that takes practice. If you give it the time and energy it needs, then your work will reflect that.”