“When I moved back home to Southeast Missouri, I wanted to do something to honor the outdoors traditions that are such a part of life in this part of the country,” said Tammy Hilderbrand, owner of American Sportsman Jewelry.
With jewelry designer Kevin Hilderbrand, the two began building a brand of custom jewelry that did that, and so much more. It made jewelry as individual as the person buying it.
“Kevin really is a techie geek, so he loved the opportunity to put those skills to use in jewelry design,” added Tammy. “Now with the advent of 3D printing technology, we really are at the point where we can individualize jewelry like never before.”
It has also brought about many interesting design jobs, from designing racing jewelry for an auto racing group, to jewelry design for the corporate world, to continually adding new designs to fit the outdoor lifestyle of people from all over the world.
“In this area of the world, we think of an outdoor lifestyle as being hunting, so we design a lot of hunting jewelry, but also jewelry dedicated to people into mudding, into motorcycles, or tractors, or just about anything,” explained Tammy.
But an outdoors lifestyle can mean much more.
“We’ve designed surfing rings for surfers. We’ve designed yachting jewelry for yachtsmen,” she added.
And the interesting thing about this type of jewelry is that it is equally wearable by men and women.
“In this area of the country, it’s not just the guys who are into hunting and four-wheeling, and outdoor sports,” said Tammy. “Girls are equally into it. So we try to put a feminine twist on much of our outdoors jewelry.”
The one thing different about custom jewelry versus normal retail jewelry is that it is actually made to order.
“When we design, we try to give customers a choice of metal, of stones, of as many different factors as possible, because everyone is different in what they want in their jewelry. Some customers are very cost-conscious, and with others, it’s the quality that is their number one concern,” explained Tammy.
With the 3D printing technology, many options are on the table for any given design, added designer Kevin Hilderbrand. On several designs, customers may choose metals ranging from stainless steel to silver to gold and even to platinum. Several finishes are frequently available.
When stones are involved, there are choices to be made between synthetic stones, genuine stones, and diamonds. All of those choices effect cost, and enable the customer to not only get a custom piece of jewelry, but often at a custom price based on their needs and desires.
What are the best sellers?
Tire treads are a huge favorite, ranging from mud tire tread designs to street tread designs to tractor tread designs.
“We can basically take the pattern from any tire and use it in a ring,” explained Kevin.
To see the entire line of outdoors jewelry, go to www.americansportsmanjewelry.com
But always remember….custom design is generally only limited to the imagination of the buyer.