Former Memphian Cecily Briggs began designing jewelry about 10 years ago.
"I wanted to design a piece for my boyfriend," she says. "He was a boy from Germantown so he was kind of conservative. He didn't wear a lot of jewelry."
She tried to make the necklace three times before getting it the way she wanted it. But, in the meantime, workers at the bead store she was frequenting told her she had an eye for jewelry and encouraged her to continue making it.
Briggs used to work primarily with glass, but now prefers to work with rocks and minerals, calling them more powerful. She does a lot of custom pieces, generally working late into the night and through the early morning.
"I make things based off the energy I get from a person," she says.
The California resident also is completely self-taught.
"I didn't know what I was doing when I started," she says. "I'm kind of stubborn like that."
She doesn't sketch out her striking pieces before she begins work on them, preferring to design as she goes. Many have a distinct asymmetrical quality.
"I don't like anything perfect. I don't like things to be symmetrical," she says. "None of us are perfect and I think people need to accept that."
Briggs' line, Cecily B., is available locally at Joseph and the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. You can also email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit her website.