Local Jewelers Find Inspiration in Aspen
by becky malinsky
Taylor DeWind and Adam Tessier, in their Aspen studio among the tools of their trade
A year ago, Taylor and Tessier were names familiar only to local Aspenites. But a lot can change in a year. Now carried in more than 40 stores around the world, Adam Tessier and Taylor DeWind may just be on to something.
Growing up in Aspen, DeWind always had a knack for color and stones, and today with Tessier, her partner in life and work, she creates jewelry fit for both the rugged and refined lifestyles that Aspen blends so fluidly.
The creative team’s signature pieces are cut-leather bracelets adorned with wire-wrapped stones, which can vary from season to season. While their range has expanded into other metals, it’s the bracelets that stop passersby in their tracks. The pieces benefit greatly from the differences in the pair’s aesthetics: DeWind is the stone and metal expert, seeking out raw precious and semi-precious stones in vibrant colors, while Tessier is a true leather craftsman. “Adam’s style is completely different from mine,” explains DeWind. “I’m wild with the stones and the wire wrapping. His leather is so controlled; it’s perfectly cut, molded, and polished.”
In describing the methods behind their creative process, the conversation turns to childhood. “I moved to Aspen when I was 12,” says DeWind. “Being surrounded by the creative and well-traveled people who are drawn to Aspen gave me the confidence to start my business.” Although she has been drawn to stones and jewelry design since she was a teenager, the hobby really took off as a trade three years ago, when DeWind met Tessier, the son of an artist with a flair for business.
The pair’s charisma—along with, of course, a hefty amount of talent— only helps their brand. “Taylor is magnetic,” says Tessier. “When she meets a stranger, she lights up their eyes. She puts that same energy into every piece we create.”
The duo started selling their jewelry at Aspen’s Saturday Market in 2010, meeting vacationing shoppers from all over the world and interacting with them face-to-face. “We would listen to their feedback,” Tessier explains, “and when something hit, it would explode.” From there they applied to the famous Pitkin County Dry Goods, where everyone from Martha Stewart to Jack Nicholson has been known to seek covetable wristwear.
These days business is booming, with callers from around the globe begging to see the collection and to place orders. The couple are now at a point where they find themselves turning people away, to adhere to their brand's identity. “Everything in our collection is one-of-a-kind and handmade by us,” explains DeWind. “We want to keep it that way.”
“We will always stay close to our roots,” Tessier continues, passionately describing their philosophy. “The raw nature surrounding us in Aspen is always reflected in our pieces, even if the colors and textures change. We are constantly creating, changing, and growing, but the rush of pleasure we get from taking raw, untouched materials and refining them into art will always be a constant.” Pitkin County Dry Goods, 520 E. Cooper Ave.
photography by matt power