Meet the Makers - Cosette Designs
By: Meg Smith
After attending Parsons School of Design, NYC, on scholarship, I had careers in fashion design, illustration, and as a muralist.
In 2007, I escaped domestic violence with my three young children, not knowing we'd be moving and fleeing multiple times through three states and more motels and shelters than I could count.
My children were very young, and not being able to afford daycare, much less a forever home, I took on sewing projects and starting making and selling handmade pins and bracelets I made with bits of vintage ribbons and findings. I sold these in two consignment stores in San Francisco, where we were living at the time, as well as in a coffee shop and on the street.
I understood creating these little treasures was an outlet from the grueling hardships we faced.
I found my way back to my native Minnesota in 2013, where my family finally found safety, stability, and security. I continued to make jewelry out of vintage findings while I worked retail.
Initially my biggest challenges were making sure I could put food on the table for my kids. My creative process started out as just that; a way to cope. But after working long hours at a retail job, and making jewelry when I wasn't sleeping, I began to think I might finally be on to something worthwhile.
My business started out in one or two consignment stores and from there things started to grow.
Currently I have my jewelry line in over 90 stores across 8 states. I am grateful for the opportunity to get up each day and do what I love to do!
I've always been drawn to the mid century glamour era. Even as a kid I remember going through my grandmother's brooches and pendants and thinking how sparkly and beautiful they were! It was these fond memories with my grandmother's influence of persistence and tenacity that led me to name my business in her honor.
I create earrings and necklaces with vintage, uncirculated Swarovski crystals, vintage German glass, vintage Japanese glass pearls, and vintage brass stampings and findings. I have some pieces that go back to the 1920's.
I think what sets me apart is that all of my jewelry is hand crafted; my work is very unique unto me. I also take great care in the details and quality is very important to me. Yet everything I make is very affordable to all.
Part of my healing journey has been the desire to give back. Because of this I have recently partnered with Women's Advocates, the first domestic violence shelter in the nation. A percentage of sales are donated to aid this organization, and my goal is to help raise awareness of this silent epidemic destroying the light within women.
In addition to my line of jewelry, I have recently reengaged my love of painting and illustration and introduced a line of tea towels using prints of my original artwork.
I hope you enjoy!
Read more of our stories in Issue 25 of Lake and Company.