Dragonflies and butterflies flutter, while a colorful flower sways. No, this isn’t a garden in summertime. They are just some of the designs that adorn the ears, wrists, necks and hearts of the clients of Ann Carol Designs.
For owner Janet Schroeder, it all started when she answered a newspaper classified ad. Armed with a history degree from Nyack College in New York, she was unsure where he life was headed as she flipped through the “Jobs” section. It was there she saw an ad for an Assistant at Ann Carol Designs in Carol Baretz’s Nyack studio.
“I began experimenting with jewelry making in my early teens and had managed a bead shop in college,” Schroeder stated. “When I started at Ann Carol Designs in 1999, I began doing small tasks and learning the trade.”
She soon realized that she’d discovered an untapped talent—creating lively works of wearable art with resin and sterling silver.
When Baretz retired in 2008 after 22 years, Schroeder took over the business, moving it to Bound Brook, New Jersey, where it continues to thrive.
“I kept the name ‘Ann Carol Designs‘, out of respect for everything that she taught me,” she said, “how to successfully run a small business and master a unique artistic skill.”
To create her jewelry, Schroeder has developed a method using resin in four different consistencies ranging from thin to extra hard. Vibrant colors are created by mixing more than a dozen different hues, which are then applied to a canvas of sterling silver. The result is a truly one-of-a-kind fashion statement—delicate and feminine with a contemporary edge.
The future looks bright for Schroeder, both with her work and her studio. Currently she is branching out from jewelry making and working on a line of mirror and card cases. But don’t expect her to shy away from brilliant color. “In a world with so many talented craft artists, I’m always trying to push the boundaries and design something that really stands out.”