Who is Mark Edge -only- Atlanta's Best Jeweler for 2010 as voted by Jezebel Magazine.
I spent a lovely spring afternoon with Mark, at his beautiful home in Midtown Atlanta, where we talked about his beginnings, his new direction and I even got to tour his studio.
When Mark was in the 8th grade his summer choices were to work with his father at a lumber yard or take a jewelry making class. I think you can guess what he chose. Mark loved the class but little did he know it was the start of his professional career as a jewelry designer. By the time he was in the 12th grade, Mark's work was selling well. He decided to major in marketing at the University of Alabama and then back to his passion of making exquisite jewelry pieces.
Today, Mark manages a very successful career as an influential jewelry designer. Hollywood loves Mark Edge Jewelry as A-lister's Drew Barrymore, Courtney Cox and counrty star Martina McBride are all proud owners of his pieces.
fashionado: Mark, will you describe your design process.
Mark Edge: I love designing which I only do twice a year for about six weeks - a hellacious six weeks! It's exciting but tremendous pressure and anguish. I push myself into each piece until that barometer in my brain says "that is a winner"... "you got that necklace, now pop out an earring."
fashionado: Why did you create a men's line?
Mark Edge: I always wanted to do a men's line and I had a lot of friends say "do it, do it" so back when, I designed my website with the capability to feature a men's link because I knew I would do a men's collection someday. The men's line is a little more scaled down and conservative. And you know, women end up wearing some of the men's pieces anyway.
fashionado: Lets talk about your latest line, the Eco Vintage Collection.
Mark Edge: I bought my house in 2007. I was attracted to it because it was an antique. I was attracted to the dark wood and I began the restoration process. My contractor worked on getting the house certified as eco-friendly. I ultimately restored the house using as much of the original as possible rather than tearing it down and rebuilding. So at the end of this project it just hit me that I was taking this house which is old and mixing it with new things, why not do this with my jewelry?
Mark took a risk with the Eco Vintage Collection. He says that he knew that he might lose some customers who preferred the "pretty" rather than the "cool" but it was a risk he was willing to take and it looks like its paid off.
Mark's Eco Vintage Collection Artist Statement:
I have a passion for creating jewelry. I gather environmentally conscious materials and push them beyond their conventional uses. My jewelry is handcrafted from a bevy of unusual materials including reclaimed metal and wood, unclaimed old stock chains and fittings and vintage crystals. I disappear into the design process for hours until I have that magic “ah-ha” moment. Then…and only then…do I feel my work is complete and that I can put my name on it. My designs are truly a labor of love.