designer bio : environment : giving back : customer testimonials
About our Handmade Designer Jewelry
Joy O Designs creates handmade designer necklaces, earrings and bracelets that combine
luxurious simplicity with edgy innovation. Modern, minimal and effortlessly
chic, Joy O brings an element of handcrafted beauty into everyday life.
San Francisco-based jeweler Joy Opfer finds inspiration in the materials she
works with: the raw beauty of a Herkimer diamond, the rich texture of hammered
silver, and the sensuous luster of hand-forged gold. The poetic “humanity”
of her designer jewelry—the ongoing life of the piece—is also a driving force
behind her work. “After a piece leaves my store, it becomes something
else because of the way it’s worn—the things it touches, actions
that get it nicked—and I think that’s gorgeous. The jewelry starts
out with me, but it doesn’t end with me,” says Joy.
Joy began designing her heirloom-quality designer jewelry when she couldn’t find
exactly what she was looking for. Instead of lifeless jewelry manufactured by
a machine, Joy wanted the imperfect beauty and sensual feel found in designer jewelry
that has been handcrafted. The result was Joy O Designs—modern, delicate,
one-of-a-kind jewelry that is simple enough to pair with jeans, but special enough
to wear with an evening gown.
Designing her jewelry is an intricate art—while Joy lets the materials
guide her, her meticulous workmanship is also architecturally influenced: “Modern
architecture is all about minimalism, details and the transition point where
materials meet. That’s what my work is about too, on a small and intimate
physical scale. When you get into minimal work, clean connections actually become
part of the design.”
Joy O Designs has caught the attention of the press, and has been featured in
national magazines such as InStyle, Lucky, Star, OK!, Women’s Health, Fitness and
Brides, and seen on celebrities such as Anne Hathaway, Eva Longoria, and Emily Deschanel.
Joy O Designs is available at online at www.joyodesigns.com, and at select boutiques nationwide.
Joy's passion for jewelry-making was sparked in the unlikely surroundings of
a high school Geology class, where Mrs. Higginbotham used half of the semester
to teach her students how to cut, polish, and set stones, as well as create
pieces cast in metal. For Joy, a lifelong hobby was established.
A fine arts degree from Penn State further cultivated Joy's creativity, and
after receiving her master's degree in graphic communication from San Francisco
State University, she rode the dot com rollercoaster as a graphic designer.
Her true talents as a jewelry designer continued to shine through however, and
friends and family began requesting custom pieces as Joy developed a signature
After a successful trunk show, she decided to turn her hobby into a full-fledged
business, and Joy O Designs as a livelihood was born. In 2006, an online web
store was launched, and in 2007, she moved into Studio 3759, a fabulous shared
storefront in the Mission District of San Francisco.
When creating her unique handmade designer jewelry, Joy finds inspiration from the materials
she uses, from nature, and from the ongoing life of her jewelry. Her pieces
have an organic aesthetic, as Joy allows the materials to guide her design.
Using sterling silver, gold fill and vermeil along with precious and semi-precious
stones ensures the durability and heirloom quality of all of the pieces.
Joy credits the support of her amazing family and friends, and the love and
influence of her wonderful husband for the continued success of Joy O Designs.
These days, going green is no longer an option- it’s obligatory. Joy O reflects the spirit of natural inspiration not only in her raw, organic designs, but also in her practices such as using ethical and eco-conscious sources and materials that are earth-friendly and ecologically responsible.
Joy O jewelry is made from suppliers that provide recycled sterling silver and 14K gold fill, using stones that are raw, naturally found, and chemical-free. Diamonds used in Joy O jewelry are purchased in the US and subject to the Kimberley Certified Conflict Free Diamonds process. Endangered products such as ivory are never used, and all materials are sourced in the US. All Joy O products meet Fair Trade standards; everything is supplied and created domestically.
Joy O jewelry is handmade by the designer herself and locally trained metalsmiths in a green workplace environment that recognizes reusable items and where waste is either recycled or composted, under San Francisco's incredibly robust municipal programs. The shop, office, and jewelry studio is a resource shared with other local designers, and is lit by CFL bulbs, and is primarily warmed by passive solar heating, and uses no air conditioning systems. Our location is easily accessible to pedestrians and public transportation services, receiving a walk score of 94 out of 100 - a "walker's paradise" - from walkscore.com.
You can expect to receive Joy O Designs products in reusable, recyclable, and chemical-free packaging. Jewelry gift boxes are unlabeled, and pack flat for space saving efficiency so that they can be used again, cleaning cloths are chemical free cotton, and shipping boxes are certified by cradle-to-cradle.
Joy O supports charitable causes such as women's heart health, breast cancer awareness and research, and alleviating hunger in the US. A percentage of all profits is donated to the charities below. They all accept donations online, so if you feel moved to do so, please share our support. Feel good as you do good - every purchase you make from Joy O is helping to make a difference!
WomenHeart : The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease
WomenHeart offers a range of support services to help women heart disease survivors live healthier, fuller lives.
Heart Health Awareness month is February! To honor this month, Joy O Designs will be donating 20% of profits received to WomenHeart.
Learn more about the organization at: http://www.womenheart.org/
The National Breast Cancer Foundation
NBCF is committed to spreading knowledge and fostering hope in the fight against breast cancer by funding free mammograms for women and supporting research programs in leading facilities across the country.
In honor of the NBCF Pink Ribbon Challenge, Joy O Designs will donate 20% of all profits from rose gold jewelry received during the month of October to help fund free mammograms for women fighting breast cancer.
Learn more about the organization at: http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/
SF Food Bank
San Francisco Food Bank collects millions of pounds of food from growers, packers, processors, manufacturers, the USDA, and grocery stores and delivers food to over 600 community food programs to help those in need.
June 2nd, 2009 is National Hunger Awareness Day. On this day Joy O Designs will donate 50% of all profits received to SF Food Bank!
Learn more about the organization at: http://www.sffoodbank.org/
Meals On Wheels
The Meals On Wheels Association of America provides nutritious meals and other nutrition services to men and women who are elderly, homebound, disabled, frail, or at risk.
Learn more about the organization at: http://www.mowaa.org/
"I wear my necklace almost every day. It goes with everything and is so wearable, just like my favorite pair of jeans. I would say that a joy o necklace makes a great gift, but so far I've ended up keeping them all! Sorry mom, maybe for Christmas..." - Sandy A., customer
"I have to tell you how I feel about my simple rose gold cuff. I love wearing it because it is light and delicate and makes me feel dainty. The simplicity of the design is lovely and I have received dozens of compliments from customers and strangers." - Jenny Klowden, founder + partner, Candystore
"Joy's jewelry wonderfully combines material richness and modern minimalism, resulting in natural, timeless and incredibly wearable designs."
- Kathy H., customer
"As a graphic designer I was first attracted to the spare and graphic elegance of Joy's designs. The pieces are refined while retaining a handcrafted feel--easy to wear dressed up or down. Through impeccable detail Joy achieves a sublime balance within each piece." - Michi T., customer
"Joys jewelry's real appeal is in its simplicity and thoughtful execution. Her jewelry hangs beautifully and is clever. Her mix of metals highlights her designs, which are very fashionable without being trendy... They are pieces that you will wear and love for years." - Anne Marie Lawson, jewelry designer and fashion stylist
"Joy's jewelry was an instant success for us at Lavish. Our customers immediately gravitated towards her designs and the demand hasn't slowed down. Her work has a way of completing an outfit, and perhaps even more so, starting the outfit." - Elizabeth Leu, founder + owner, Lavish
"I love the designs. Joy has the ability to translate simple materials into elegant designs. It's the little details that matter - Joy's pieces manage to make bold statements while still being reserved. I always wear my thin hoop earrings when I have my hair up. The long lines frame my face and look elegant, even when I'm wearing a t-shirt! The handmade quality is important to me - the different textures and the way light plays off of the hammered surface is beautiful and makes each piece special." - Anna V., customer
"We love the natural simplicity of joy's work because her designs really make women feel beautiful. At a time when there is so much over-saturation in the accessories market, joy o designs is streamlined, organic, and true. her designs are something that you can wear everyday and feel confident that the quality will hold up over time." - Kelly Sperbeck, founder + partner, Relish at Home
"I love the sleek sophistication and urban elegance. Friends of mine are always asking where I got my jewelry, and I am proud to tell them it's all hand-made, original work. The craftsmanship is meticulous, and the materials Joy chooses to work with are lovely to start with, and beautifully finished. Her eye for detail is obvious when you look closely at her 'simple' designs -- as it is the simplest looking designs that are actually the most difficult to create!" - Christa A., customer
"I absolutely love the texture on your thin hoops which makes them completely different than all the other hoops out there. I have been searching for the perfect hoops for years, that can be worn with anything, dressed up or down - I've finally found them!" - Maxine Siu, founder + owner, Stem
"I love joy o jewelry because of its subtle beauty and because you can, and will want to, wear her pieces every day! Wearing her jewelry makes you feel and look pretty without looking like you are trying to. The pieces are effortlessly elegant." - Rae D., customer
"When I wear one of Joy's designs, the unique detailing and elegant proportions of the materials remind me of the importance of the handcrafted object in the manufactured world. There is a hand tooled quality in the design of my favorite ring that is a clear signature the artist. I don't think of it as an accessory but as a work of art I get to wear every day." - Susan B., customer
"I really like how simple they are. How they don't try to be elaborate for it's own sake. They are beautifully made - the variation from piece to piece in how they are crafted is a great counterpoint to the machine made sameness one sees everywhere." - Kent C., customer
"I have a feeling I'll be ordering from the website again real soon. Between Joy O's beautiful, unique pieces and top notch customer service and friendliness, I can't go wrong!" - Amy R., customer