Learn more about Beth Macri’s story of becoming a jewelry designer in the Q&A below.
As a former structural engineer, how did you come up with the idea for your jewelry line?
The inspiration was the I-beam. As a structural engineer, I was trained to work with blueprints, and translating 3-D forms from 2-D drawings was a daily task. The I-beam is a classic example of this. Architectural plans need to be presented in two or three different perspectives, or cross sections, in order for the full story to be told. The same goes with my jewelry, I want there to be a play between what is seen and what is hidden in order for the story to be told.
Beth Macri 14K Gold XO Stacking Rings
What was the turning point when you realized it was time to turn your idea into a reality?
My right brain and my left brain have always been in competition with each other. I am obsessed with art, architecture and industrial design, yet my knack for math and problem solving led me to a career in structural engineering. Structural engineers have to be creative, but it is a mostly left-brained type of creativity. When I came up with the ‘Hidden Message’ concept, I knew it was special. I immersed myself in the jewelry trade, took bench jeweling classes, and met fantastic people in the NYC jewelry district on 47th street. It took nearly a year to perfect the idea, making prototypes and working with NYC artisans, and at that stage it was time to turn it into a reality.
Beth Macri Hidden Message Horseshoe Symbol Necklace
What does being an American maker mean to you?
Being an American Maker means quality, valued relationships and being an integral part of the life-cycle of the jewelry. Being based in NYC gives me access to one of the most renowned Jewelry districts in the world, where the quality is second to none. Many of the workshops have been here for decades and the people behind the scenes are able to make a living off of their craft, which is becoming rarer due to the boom of overseas manufacturing. By keeping our manufacturing in the U.S. we are doing our part in keeping this industry thriving. We are a small team and we work with the artisans throughout the entire process. After the components are made we assemble the jewelry in our studio by hand, resulting in the highest standard possible.