Growing up in Yorktown Heights, Kathleen Carragher always loved jewelry. “I used to go into my mom’s jewelry box and prance around the house playing dress-up,” she says. Armed with a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Oneonta and an associate’s degree in fashion buying and merchandising from the Fashion Institute of Technology, she spent the next 20 years as an executive in the fashion industry. “Working in fashion, I was always wearing and buying jewelry,” she says. “I loved figuring out how jewelry could change a look. So I thought, ‘I’ll learn to make my own.’” From her first class a decade ago, Carragher was enthralled. “Creating jewelry soon became a meditation where I could escape my extremely stressful career and bring some balance back into my life,” she says.
Carragher’s KMC Jewelry Designs—primarily necklaces and earrings with some bracelets—are handcrafted in sterling silver or 10- to 18-karat gold vermeil over sterling silver. Timeless and colorful, they feature precious stones like emeralds and sapphires; gemstones such as labradorite (“People put it on and see such a great blue fire to it”), amethyst, and turquoise; and Swarovski crystals. Her favorite pieces are pendant necklaces and wire-wrapped jeweled chains. “I love the color combinations I can create,” she says. The collection is available locally at Beehive Designer Collective in Mount Kisco and online at etsy.com/shop/kmcjewelrydesigns. Prices range from $59 to $275, with custom design offered.