We all have a passion in life. As the Founder and Creative Director of Auburn Jewelry, and the proud “mom” of two kitties, I actually have two passions —jewelry design and animals. It’s when I decided to combine the two that I came up with Auburn Jewelry’s most popular (and most doggone adorable) collection, and more importantly, found a way to give back to others—those with and without fur!
I’ve been passionate about creating jewelry since I was 14-years-old, when I walked into my high school’s metal studio and picked up my first blowtorch. In 2012, I turned my hobby into a career and launched Auburn Jewelry—an exquisite line of handcrafted custom accessories. But even before my love for jewelry making came my huge love for animals. I adore all animals and grew up in a house surrounded by pets of all kinds—dogs, cats, horses, rats, hedgehogs, and even a tarantula. (Yes, really!)
As an animal lover, I’ve always followed a ton of adorably famous animals on Instagram. (Doesn’t everyone do that?!) One of my favorite accounts, @dexterthedogster, posted a photo one day of Dexter the French Bulldog posing head on for the camera. Of course, my first thought was, “The silhouette of his ears would make such a cute pendant!” So I reached out to Dexter’s “fur-mom” about collaborating—she loved the idea, and as soon as she posted a photo of the finished pendant on Instagram, I was receiving orders from other dog owners within minutes. Just like that, the “Where’s Dexter?” collection was born. (My awesome dad thought of the name – since you could only see his ears it’s like he’s playing hide-and-seek.)
One of my favorite stories comes from a “Where’s Dexter?” order placed by the owner of a French Bulldog named Beignet. After receiving her finished pendant, she posted a photo on social media of Beignet standing next to a tower of Tiffany & Co jewelry boxes, with the one Auburn Jewelry box on his paw. Her caption read, that while all the blue boxes were very important to her, the one Auburn box meant the most. I was so thrilled she loved her pendant, and even more ecstatic that Auburn was being compared to my all-time favorite jewelry company!
About a quarter of all “Where’s Dexter?” orders are memorial pieces for pets who have passed on—while I know how sad it is to lose a beloved pet, I’m happy that I can create something for the grieving owner that lets her always carry a piece of her pet and wear it close to her heart. Recently, the owner of a Pomeranian named Lily ordered “Where’s Dexter?” pendants and cufflinks featuring her custom ears and paw prints. After I mentioned how cute her pup was, she told me she had the pieces made because sadly Lily was in heart failure—she couldn’t thank me enough for creating a wearable piece of art to commemorate her pup during this difficult time.
The success of Auburn Jewelry’s “Where’s Dexter?” collection is more than I could have ever dreamed of—the line has since expanded to include custom paw prints, bracelets, cufflinks, and now features all dog breeds, cats and horses too. As another way to give back, we recently participated in a French Bulldog Rescue Network charity auction by donating a pendant and have also given a portion of “Where’s Dexter?” proceeds to the organization. Additionally, we’ve designed pendants to benefit the local SPCA shelter where I adopted my cats, Bug and Luke.
But what’s my favorite part of all? It’s knowing that my work puts smiles on the faces of so many animal lovers like myself. I also love that every single Dexter piece we make looks different and extra special. Auburn Jewelry takes pride in handcrafting and working with each client on a made-to-order basis—plus, it doesn’t get more custom than wearing a replica of your own pet’s ears! To personalize each piece even more, they’re available in 18 gorgeous colors, as well as sterling silver and 14k gold.
We love a good challenge and can’t wait to add other species as well—so if you want a pendant featuring the ears of your pet bunny or giraffe (giraffes can be pets, right?), place your custom order at www.auburn-jewelry.com!