This week we would like you to meet Susie Saltzman, jewelry designer and owner of Susie Saltzman Fine Jewelry.
What was the inspiration behind becoming a creator? What do you enjoy most about the creative process?
My inspiration behind becoming a creator was my love for creative expression. I have always been artistically inclined, and jewelry helped me actualize my creativity by physically making something three dimensional. What I enjoy most about the creative process is seeing the idea come to fruition. The completion of each ring still brings such joy and excitement to me…it never gets old.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about your work?
The biggest misconception about my work is that all “custom” is the same. We use a very specialized method for creating each and every engagement ring so that the setting is custom built around the exact dimensions of the specific center stone. The word “custom” is used very loosely in the jewelry industry… but we are the only designer we know of in the domestic U.S. that actually CADs each and every ring we make. It gives us creative control over every detail, and we love that! It’s not the fastest, nor the most cost effective way to build a ring, but it is the most accurate and precise way to design and also gives you endless creative options… which is what we strive for!
When did you first become aware of copyright and why?
I became aware of copyright through a client of mine, who is a remarkably talented IP attorney. Unfortunately, unique work is very often replicated in the jewelry industry. So, trying to protect proprietary designs is something I have been aware of for years.
Have you experienced copyright infringement and, if so, how has it affected you personally and financially?
It is very common for jewelry designs to be knocked off, like in fashion. One or two designers usually set the trends or looks and a slew of others follow. It’s very emotional to see original, unique designs replicated, and I see my original work replicated everywhere these days. It can be frustrating and disheartening. It is an emotionally complex feeling.
What is the best piece of advice that you would give to other creators in your field about copyright and how to protect themselves?
I would advise designers entering fine jewelry or any creative field for that matter, to educate him/herself so she can protect herself and also respect others’ work.
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