It’s not your mother’s pearl necklace anymore | 2017 Kitsap Wedding Guide

Hold on to your seats. Wedding bling has just gotten personal.

Ask Rebecca Johnson, owner and designer for Third Wish Studio in Seabeck. She creates unique one-of-a-kind jewelry for brides and bridesmaids.

“It all just started as a hobby,” said Johnson, who has had a career in retail sales. It was when she was busy working for another online retailer, with her own wedding coming up, that her finance said to her “I need my wife back.”

So, Johnson decided to create her own jewelry company where she would be her own boss and work hours that worked for her life.

That was a in 2009. She began creating jewelry made of gems, rocks, and crystals. Her work was in boutiques and galleries up and down the west coast.

She now sells in a couple dozen places around the Kitsap Peninsula and in Seattle and has an online business of her own (www.thirdwishstudios.com.)

Recently, her jewelry was worn by models at several wedding shows in the area.

“People saw it and wanted to know more,” she said. “Brides are deciding that they wanted to have something that no one else has to wear at their wedding.”

And often, brides will have Johnson make similar necklaces or bracelets for the bridesmaids, she said.

“Something similar, but less showy,” she said. “And the brides then give these items to the bridesmaids as their gift.”

The work she’s done for brides has ranged in price from $40 to $4,000. Cost depends on how long it takes for her to make the items, and what kinds of gems, beads, pearls or crystals she uses.

“One of the necklaces I did took about 12 hours of handiwork,” she said. “I used fresh water pearls and Swarovski Crystals. That ran about $750. But I can make a knockoff of it using Chinese crystal and standard pearls and that brings it down to about the $150 range.”

Before working in retail, Johnson was a social worker and sometimes misses the connecting with people. However, she’s found that working with brides has helped with that.

“It’s a very personal thing, how they choose their jewelry,” she said. “I get to learn about them and about their lives.”

She will make jewelry from family heirlooms and with stones people bring in to her.

“The vintage look is really popular,” she said. “But some brides don’t want to wear an out of style pendant even though it was their grandma’s. So we take parts of it and design something that fits their personality more.”

It’s one of her favorite things to do – work with vintage family pieces.

“But it does make me nervous,” she said. “Having something so cherished in my hands can be a bit scary.”

She also said chokers are back in style.

“Chokers are really popular,” she said. “And some of them have detail in the back that can be seen when brides wear low back dresses. The chain will go all the way down their back.”

She travels to gem shows and she buys her wears of bling online. Being a part of a bride’s special day means a lot to Johnson.

“It’s the one time you’ll wear jewelry that really matters,” she said. “You’ll keep it forever and maybe even pass it down to someone. It’s not something that you’re going to just give away the next year.”

This story originally appeared in the 2017 Wedding Guide.

Leslie Kelly can be reached at lkelly@soundpublishing.com.

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