Jewelry designer among Sidewalk Arts Festival vendors
Ambrosia Slothower used to design toys, outdoor equipment and furniture, but when she designed her engagement and wedding rings, her life changed.
And not just because she got married — that’s when she knew she wanted to create jewelry. Five years later, she has two businesses: Ambrosia, a custom design jewelry business (www.ambrosia
-designs.com), and Borrow for Tomorrow, a jewelry rental business (www.borrow 4tomorrow.com, coming soon).
Customers can rent designer gemstone and diamond jewelry by the week or month, says Slothower by phone from her home in Sioux City, Iowa.
The artist will be at Saturday’s Sidewalk Arts Festival in downtown Sioux Falls.
Question: How did you come to design your own wedding rings?
Answer: During college, I had an internship with a jeweler in Denver who designed jewelry for the stars, and I loved it. When my fiancé and I started looking at rings, that’s when the topic came up. He said, “Why don’t you design your ring?”
My first project was designing my wedding ring. My husband’s wedding ring goes with mine; they aren’t alike, but they complement each other.
We decided neither one of us could wear the rings until our wedding day. So he kept the rings, but I peeked at them now and again.
During the internship, I learned about metals and how to set stones. Designing? I’ve always had an eye for art and design.
When I made my own wedding rings, I knew — designing, casting, setting the stones and seeing the whole process from start to finish, I just knew jewelry was the way to go.
Q: What is your favorite metal to work with: gold, silver or platinum?
A: Gold because it’s easy to work with and you can create creative designs; there are no limitations. Most of my designs are in 14 karat gold.
Q: Where do you get your ideas?
A: A lot of ideas come from other types of art, architecture, sculpture and different forms of painting. I’ll see different shapes and translate it into jewelry.
Q: Do you have a favorite item you like to design?
A: Engagement rings are my favorite thing to design. Sometimes I’ll have the bride come to me with ideas. When the groom comes to me, it’s all about figuring out the bride’s style and personality. I don’t know if it’s the ring or the experience or the memory-building of the experience that I like the best.
I like the intricate details involved in the design, and every project is completely different because all the designs are different from each other.
Besides designing new pieces, my favorite part of my business is redesigning. When someone comes to me with several pieces of inherited jewelry, redesigning and combining several pieces into one piece is what I love to do.
Q: Talk about your other business — Borrow for Tomorrow, a jewelry rental business.
A: The business started the first of this year. Clients can rent jewelry for a special event rather than spending thousands of dollars for a one-time thing.
The jewelry comes from different designers that I’ve met over the years. The pieces are from all over the U.S., but there’s even a designer from India.
The cost of renting the jewelry is 91 percent off the retail value of the jewelry, and you can rent it by the week or the month.
If You Go
• What: Sidewalk Arts Festival
• When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday
• Where: Downtown on Main and Dakota avenues
• Admission: Free
• Vendors: 225 vendors from more than 10 states
• Activities: Food court, activities for kids, live entertainment
• Purpose: Fundraiser for the Washington Pavilion’s Visual Arts Center
- Tags: Events
- Ambrosia Slothower