Denver Designer Margery Hirschey on Unpolished Gems and Unconventional Styles



If you visited the Design Center at JCK Las Vegas, you probably stopped to moon over moonstones, sigh over sapphires, and gaze lovingly at labradorites at ­Margery Hirschey’s booth. (And don’t get us started on the opals!) In just five years, Hirschey has cultivated quite a following with her organic, one-of-a-kind designs and her wonderfully imperfect stones—set in blackened silver and recycled 18k and 22k gold. The Denver-based designer describes her newest ­collection as “a little bohème.” To which we reply: Viva la vie bohème!

Hirschey’s sapphire, tourmaline, and vessonite earrings

Age: Old enough to appreciate life, young enough to live it

Number of years in the biz: 5

Number of employees you oversee: 1

Family and pets: My husband, Steven; two ­beautiful daughters, Rachel and Paige; and my other baby, a 12-year-old bichon frise, Harley

Describe your personal style: Super simple, clean lines…pretty much anything in black, white or gray. I like to switch out accessories but keep the clothes simple.

Harley the bichon

First piece you ever designed: A long, elegant pair of cage earrings with tiny sapphire briolettes on the bottom

The single piece of jewelry you’re most proud of: That very same pair of earrings I first designed…­timeless and they go with everything.

Best piece of advice you ever received: “Just do it.”

Worst piece of advice: I can’t remember—I don’t pay much attention to bad advice.

Cage earrings with sapphire briolettes

First job ever: I was the very first waitress at a little family-owned Greek restaurant. Restaurant is still there—I moved on.

How did you get started designing jewelry? I’ve been designing jewelry for as long as I can remember. I painted rocks, collected shells, and took apart ­vintage ­jewelry and incorporated the parts to make my own designs. More recently, I took a class at a Denver ­­jewelry school and I was hooked.

If you weren’t designing jewelry, what would you be doing? I would either be designing interiors or designing clothes. I love doing both.

“Super-long” opal,
tourmaline, and apatite earrings

Favorite gemstone(s)? I love opals, moonstones, and labradorites right now. Anything with fire and play of color.

Jewelry you’re wearing right now: My wedding rings, and a big gold unpolished boulder opal ring, and some mixed stone, super-long earrings

Five items on your desk right now: My computer, my printer, camera, zip drive, and assorted writing utensils

Five songs on your playlist: I don’t know the names of any songs. I do have a lot of Michael Franti, Corinne Bailey Rae, and the American Songbook by Rod Stewart. Usually I just listen to the radio.

Douglas Mason/Getty Images
Michael Franti

Exercise regimen: I love martial arts and did it for years. Most recently I did Krav Maga, which is a system of self-defense developed by the Israeli military, but I suffered so many injuries, the last of which was a back injury, that I had to stop. I really miss it. Now I do TapouT XT.

What did you have for breakfast? Greek yogurt and honey

Guilty pleasure: Ice cream

Drink (daytime/evening): Coffee/water/red wine

Wireimage/Getty Images
Maggie Gyllenhaal

First website you check every day (not your own!): Facebook

Scent: None

How do you unwind? Go out for a lovely dinner and enjoy a glass of wine.

How does Colorado influence/inspire your work? I would love to say the mountains and nature, but ­honestly, I’m a city girl at heart and I love ­watching ­people and their street style, which in Colorado is pretty laid-back but still chic, which I guess is reflected a bit in my jewelry.

Superstitious? Not much

Preferred news source: CNN

Main means of transportation: A big ol’ Toyota van. I was thinking of downsizing, but you never know when you might find some treasure at a garage sale or the side of the road and you have to haul it home.

Favorite movie: A quirky old (1992) movie called Strictly Ballroom directed by Baz Luhrmann

Who would play you in your life story? Oh, I don’t know…Maggie Gyllenhaal, maybe.

Personal motto: “Don’t worry, be happy!”