Dawn Hill


Job: Jewelry Buyer

Spends her work days: looking at beautiful things and interacting with creative people.

Favorite meal: Risotto

The book she rereads periodically: The Island at the Center of the World

Perfect Vacation: walking a new city and discovering its treasures.

Best surprise: a weekend birthday trip to France.

Favorite quote: "We have art in order not to die of the truth." (Nietzsche)

One of my favorite Appalachian Spring items: My Gabriel Ofiesh diamond ring. Sometimes I just stare at it in the sunlight....

Posts by Dawn:

Jewelry Inspired By Architecture

As a jewelry buyer, I am drawn to bold color and clean lines.  This photo of the JFK TWA terminal shouts “Good Design!”


I’m also a fanatic about laser cut designs in any medium.  Kathleen Dautel of Spark Metal Studio creates laser cut stainless steel that is hand finished and hand colored with epoxy resin.  The forms are both architecturally based and drawn from nature with a linear graphic quality.

fizz necklace

Fizz Necklace

Kathleen has always had artistic influences in her life.  Her father was a printmaker, painter and art professor.  While at the University of Oregon, she took her first metalsmithing class and loved it.  After graduating, she returned to the U of O to receive a BFA in Metalsmithing.

Stem Necklace - Model

Kathleen moved to Portland, Oregon in 1994, and the city, its buildings and environment inspired her to pursue architecture.  She continued her education at NC State, earning a Masters in Architecture.  Since graduating, she has had the opportunity to work as a project designer for architecture firms in the area, winning several design awards for many of the projects, but her love for metalsmithing has always been in the back of her mind.  In the fall of 2009 Kathleen launched her own jewelry and metalsmithing line, Spark Metal Studio.

Kathleen Dautel

Kathleen Dautel

Holiday Bling

Even jewelry buyers have their favorite jewelers!

Infinite Universe Booth at NY NOW!

Infinite Universe Booth at NY NOW!

Infinite Universe is an elegant, eco-friendly accessories and lifestyle brand inspired by nature. The pieces are simply like nothing else I’ve ever seen in the jewelry world – gorgeous mother-of-pearl combined with 14K gold leaf and set in vermeil. Many are accented with white sapphires.  Absolutely mouth-watering!

Model Shot Kauri Wood

Meeting the jewelers behind all of this creativity is a highlight of my job. The world of handmade is truly a special place to be!

My Little Black Dress

Fall is the time of year when we receive all the fantastic new jewelry we’ve bought at NY NOW!  It arrives daily and we ooh and ahh over it before sending it to our stores.  It’s a feast for the eyes!

One of my favorite new jewelry studios is Original Hardware.  I’m particularly drawn to these dramatic mixed metal earrings.


This Original Hardware piece is perfect for my little black dress…
Original Hardware Lifestyle Shot

NYC, I hardly knew you and look forward to our next rendezvous!

NYC skyline

Eye Candy

My world revolves around what I call “eye candy.” It might be a photo, a piece of art or a landscape – I’m surrounded by beautiful things every day.

A beautiful small town scene with colorful buildings…

Kinsale, Ireland

Kinsale, Ireland

A gorgeous piece of wall art by my calligrapher friend Denis

Art by Denis Brown

Art by Denis Brown

And last but never least, new jewelry designs arriving every day! New designs came today from one of my favorite jewelers, Alicia Van Fleteren.  Alicia’s metals and gemstones are colorful and striking. I couldn’t resist and already bought a piece! What fun!

Alicia Van Fleteren Garnet

Alicia Van Fleteren Garnet

End of Summer Fun

hibiscus lilies

Ahh, the colors of late summer! A walk around my neighborhood yields bright flashes of brilliant red giant hibiscus flowers and gleaming white lillies.

Glorious sunset on the dock, wearing my favorite Crono necklace and my colorful Ann Carol earrings. Summer may end but Appalachian Spring jewelry lives on!

  crono  Ann

Pull Up A Chair

Artisan Chairs as Personal Adornment

One of my friends Joel D’Orazio recently had a show at the Katzen Center in Washington, DC.  Joel has a brilliant sense of design and I love sharing ideas about art and architecture with him – it helps me be a better jewelry buyer.  These are some of Joel’s many chairs and paintings, and this black & white chair is my favorite – Joel calls it the “Formal Attire Chair.”  Joel’s website is a feast for the eyes:    http://joeldorazio.com/

dawn marimekko

Washington DC is a cornucopia of good design.  We have world-class museums featuring well-known artists as well as lesser known exhibits, all at our fingertips and mostly for free.   My latest favorite exhibit was the Marimekko exhibit at the Finnish Embassy:  Marimekko’s Unikko: 50 years of flower power.  Unikko’s red-and-white poppy pattern’s continued popularity has proven that well-designed products are timeless, just like Appalachian Spring’s jewelry.  The Finnish Embassy has an awesome website with impeccable design:  http://us.marimekko.com/news/blog

dawn marimekko2

Shades of Blue

Everywhere I look this season, I see the color blue in all its many lovely hues. Whether it’s clothing, seasonal decorations, or furniture, this perennial favorite is making a statement for Summer 2015!  This is from one of my favorite blogs, Apartment Zero.


Ice Blue Collection by Anna Balkan

Balkan necklace

Jeweler Anna Balkan’s new line in sterling combines the deep hues of London Blue topaz with chalcedony and faceted labradorite. The pieces are versatile because of the neutral tones she has incorporated with the juicy greens and blues. This new collection is available in all of our stores as well as on our website so be sure to take a look!

More Evidence of the “Blue Invasion”

The gorgeous hand-lettering in this downtown Washington DC restaurant sign is highlighted in shades of blue. It stopped me in my tracks!

Jewelry Inspired by Textile Techniques

Jewelry Inspired by Textile Techniques

I find jewelers at various points in their lives. Each one is on a personal journey, as we all are, and their jewelry designs oftentimes reflect this.

Meghan Patrice Riley’s star is rising. Her latest jewelry collection was created with the runway in mind, as she was racing off to Paris just after I saw her to participate in the fashion shows. She was excited, and both her facial expression and her jewelry were full of inspiration at having been invited to this major fashion event. Being able to share in these pivotal moments is one of the best parts of my job.

Shimmering Freeform Necklace


This kinetic necklace is my favorite new Meghan Riley piece of jewelry. I love the asymmetry and the way the small sterling beads and uncut stones shimmer against the black nylon-coated stainless steel. I have to buy this – it will go with everything I own and I can wear it with t-shirts or a dress. The jewelers are the best – they really have their eyes on the fashion pulse!

Floating Pearl Earrings

Riley Kylie

Playing a game in the sun with friends and my Meghan Riley earrings…
I love the contrast of the cascading pearls with the gold filled metal.


Hot Off the Press – Art By Any Means

A highlight for our small office staff is when Vanessa’s jewelry arrives – we’ve been waiting for it for months and it never disappoints! Which earrings shall I choose – these? No, those… wait, I think I love this pair the most and can’t wait to wear them. Maybe I’ll even buy a new dress to match…Vanessa earrings

Vanessa’s jewelry display is always appealing and reflects her creativity and unique approach to jewelry design. She makes all of the display pieces herself and they are the perfect backdrop to her earrings and necklaces.

Vanessa display

This stunning necklace is my personal favorite. The large center faux turquoise is surrounded by London blue topaz, pyrite, and crystal. Vanessa always finds amazing stones and creates each piece of jewelry using her gemstones as inspiration.cropped 2


Breathing in Good Design

In my travels, I sometimes have the pleasure of seeing jewelry that knocks my socks off. The geometry and architecture of Petra Meiren pieces remind me that good design is all around me if I just breathe it in.

meiren display
The earrings and necklaces are crafted with clean lines encompassing a contemporary sensibility. Petra uses textured gold and silver in simple shapes with subtle curves, and the result is wearable art that makes a strong statement.

.. a simple but striking home reminds me that folks all over the world take pride in craftsmanship and satisfying design.

I admired this home on a trip to Sweden’s North Sea coast. One of the things that struck me in this small town was the care and consideration to detail in gardens and homes alike. Many of these houses have been in their families for years, and great attention is paid to creating something handcrafted and beautiful that lasts for generations.

On a quick trip to Portland, Oregon last May, I admired these magnificent peonies at the Portland Farmer’s Market. Ahhh, good design in glorious color.