Engagement rings and wedding bands are always on our minds here at Brides, so we were thrilled to learn that Boston-based fine jewelry designer Sophie Hughes, of Sophie Hughes Jewelry, has launched a new collection of signature handmade rings for brides. We talked to Hughes about the inspiration behind her expansion into bridal.
Brides: When did you start designing jewelry?
Sophie Hughes: I grew up in Kennebunk, Maine, and my high school had a fantastic arts program and offered a jewelry course. I fell immediately in love with metalsmithing in that class, and soon had a great jewelry apprenticeship that allowed me some creative freedom to try my own designs. I went on to earn a BFA in jewelry and metalsmithing from Mass Art (Massachusetts College of Art and Design) from 2004-2008, and debuted my own line in 2009.
Brides: What inspired your expansion to bridal?
SH: As my design sensibility matured over the years, I also started receiving more requests for custom engagement rings and wedding bands. This is jewelry that people will wear every single day for the rest of their lives, and jewelry that has such deep, personal significance. It needs to really reflect the personalities of the wearers, and people were coming to me saying they just couldn't find anything that was "them". I wanted to create bridal jewelry with personality, warmth, and a bit of an edge.
Brides: Tell us about your engagement rings and wedding rings. You offer custom services; how quickly can you create pieces to order?
SH: I love to work in 18k royal yellow gold and/or 18k palladium white gold—which has a warmer tone than traditional white gold or platinum—with hand-hammered textures that enhance that sense of warmth. The designs are contemporary, and a little rough. All the metals I use are recycled and the stones are responsibly minded, so it's guilt-free eco-conscious jewelry!
Photo: Courtesy of Sophie Hughes Jewelry
We make every piece to order. We take time to work with the client to decide on each design detail, and from the time of the design approval we make rings within 4-6 weeks. Each ring is hand-fabricated from scratch, rather than cast, so it takes a little time.
Brides: What other jewelry designers' work do you admire?
SH: I am SO in love with Polly Wales' jewelry. It's unreal—I've never seen anything like it. It looks like melting gold with gemstone sprinkles sinking into it. I also adore Anna Sheffield's designs—they're richly colored and fun, and bold in a very different way than my own designs.
Brides: What's your favorite bridal fashion moment?
SH: I absolutely loved Gwen Stefani's dip-dyed pink wedding dress. The ombré look is a favorite of mine, and her dress was so classy with the white top, yet so bold with the pop of color at the bottom. Brilliant.