Here's the Backstory

For a long time I'd been trying to come up with a Big Idea, something I could turn into a business. I thought about what I really loved and the answer was simple: Jewelry. I've loved jewelry as much as I’ve loved anything and I have loved it my entire life. Like when I got my first real ring, a gold band with a round topaz set into it (my birthstone), and how I cried for a week after I lost it while jumping in a pile of leaves one fall day. Or the necklace I made after I extracted a pearl from an oyster I fished out of a water tank on a trip to San Francisco. The time I raked my hand through a bin of gold charms at a flea market until I found the one I wanted. You get the idea.

Evelyn "Evie" Swimmer, photographed in 1998 in Charleston, South Carolina.
Photo by H. Todd Swimmer

It was my mother who introduced me to the interesting stuff. Not so much precious stones but more so hand-crafted beauties of every ilk: wood, copper, Bakelite, beads and a bounty of Native American pieces. My mother loved to travel and she was drawn to artisans who made beautiful things. I walked through many a far-flung bazaar or dusty roadside shop with her, and Oh the treasures we discovered.

When my mother died in 2003, her things became my things. I found in her stash a trio of necklaces—bold, sculptural, saturated in color—and I started wearing them. All. The. Time. "Where did you get that?" women would ask me while I schlepped through Paris/Los Angeles/Miami/Stockholm/New York/Madrid. It was a drumbeat, I tell you, so I decided to make something inspired by them.

This is my business. It's just me, creating something I love, from a memory that's very sweet.

Psst: About The Name 

Evie Marques is named after my mother. Evie, short for Evelyn, was her nickname. Because I'm starting a business by recreating one of my mother's necklaces, I feel she's leaving her mark on all of us. Or, Marques, because I'm a sucker for a French spin.