Katherine (“Katie”) Jetter is a spunky, gorgeous, smart jeweler who lives in Santa Fe. She has a GIA Graduate Gemology degree and worked for DeBeers and other jewelry designers in Europe and the United States before launching her own jewelry line here in the US in 2008.
You have a degree in psychology and background in finance – two fields that most people would think are analytical. What made you change course to the creative path of a jewelry designer?
To be a successful businesswoman, even if you are creative, requires analytical skills and an analytical mind. To take creative inspiration and translate that to a product that is beautiful, wearable and affordable requires business acumen.
Your company logo is a turtle representing your commitment to preserving earth and protecting wildlife. What concerns you most about our impact on the planet and nature?
What concerns me most is how rapidly our climate is changing due to the warming of the planet. Fragile ecosystems, like coral reefs and rainforests, are disappearing at breathtaking speed, with resulting impacts on species diversity. Imagine a world without polar bears, the black rhino, large portions of the Amazon, or the truly spectacular marine wildlife of the Great Barrier Reef. I could go on and on, but because so much of my inspiration comes from the beauty of the world outside, on this issue I feel compelled to be part of the solution and to encourage others to do the same.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Follow your heart; you can’t go wrong—from my father when I was 9 years old.
What is Santa Fe’s most interesting cultural event?
Folk Art Market. I love that Santa Fe is host to the largest international folk art market in the world, supporting entrepreneurial folk artists from around the globe and giving them a dignified place to showcase their work and gain fair market value for their beautiful goods.
If someone were visiting Santa Fe for the first time, what are a few of the not-to-miss places you would recommend?
Canyon Road, the Farmer’s Market, Tomasitas, a hike at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, a walk around the Plaza, and the St. Francis Cathedral.
What is your biggest quirk
I like to wear bold colors to cheer up my day, and I am not afraid to wear them all at once. My husband calls me a walking crayon box.
I know you travel a lot. Where is your favorite place in the world?
I have two. First, Africa. If that is the only place I am ever able to visit again for the rest of my life, I would be a happy girl. Second, despite all my travel, I love being home in Santa Fe most.
What one fashion trend do you wish would never go out of style?
Low-rise jeans. My brand is AG. I don’t know how women wore all those high cuts in the 70’s. So uncomfortable!
What is your favorite song?
Just a Man by Tommy Castro. It was our wedding dance song (June 25, 2011).
What are you most proud of?
At a young age, I feel like I’ve been lucky enough to have already accomplished a lot. I came to the United States at age 24, designed, created, financed and built a nationally recognized jewelry brand, all in less than 6 years. Since Santa Fe is now home, I want to be recognized and known as a fellow artist and as the local, private jeweler for Santa Feans.
Have you had any famous customers?
Just last night, Rebel Wilson, the Aussie comedian from Bridemaids, hosted the Critics Choice Awards, and wore my bracelet and ring! I am presently doing the Red Carpet styling for the Grammys, the Golden Globes and the Oscars, so my jewelry may end up being worn at all three events. Stay tuned, after the Awards season, I’ll let you know who wore what.