Kate Davis Jewelry and A GIVEAWAY!

Jun 28 2013

by Holly Phillips

Kate Davis Jewelry

Charleston, South Carolina




What is your training?

Well, making jewelry was not the original path I set out on. I actually went to school for an undergrad in Marine Biology.
I have been playing around with jewelry making since I was a teenager and in my twenties I taught scuba diving & marine biology on sailboats where I would travel around with bags of stones & cord….as well as dive equipment!!. Putting together, necklaces and bracelets with my goodies was something fun to do in the downtime, when I wasn’t teaching. I would also pick up random bits of coral and shell from the different islands we visited and add them into what I was already making. When I moved to Charleston, SC I found that people actually were interested in buying the stuff I was creating. Crazy!!. My skills were limited so I began reading everything I could get my hands on and probably watched hundreds of hours of online tutorials. About 6 years ago I did a 3 month apprenticeship with a designer in Toronto, Canada and she taught me all of my metal working and stone setting skills. That literally changed my life and opened me up creatively to some very cool ideas I had been playing around with on paper…but didn’t know how to achieve technically. I still challenge myself everyday and actually really enjoy when customers ask me for custom pieces. It encourages me creatively to keep an open mind and try new things.

Unknown Object

What inspires you and your designs?


I tend to draw from the environment around me and I am most connected to myself when I am in or near the water. The colors & textures I discover while walking along the beach or exploring underwater primarily influence my work. I taught scuba diving and marine biology for about 12 years and had an amazing opportunity to travel the world and dive in dream destinations. Those experiences have shaped me creatively. Color combinations and designs only make sense to me if they have an organic nature.

What is your favorite piece?


Screen Shot 2013-06-25 at 10.24.40 PM

I am in love with the ZULA cuff. Hands down it is my favorite. The large cuff is a huge ancient Megladon shark tooth fossil and the smaller one is a large Mako tooth fossil. We have acquired quite an inventory of these teeth and I love the fact that they are found in the South. I have established a great relationship with an insane man who dives in remote and dark rivers for these teeth. He is quite secretive about the locations of where he finds them but they all originate from North Carolina.

How has the south influenced your work?

When I was first starting off as a designer, the first two collections of jewelry I created were titled “Dusk” and “Moss”.
I basically created two whole collections of jewelry revolving around silhouettes and sunsets at Folly Beach and a compilation of southern photographs by Sally Mann.
I am not so literal these days. Thank god! My inspiration now is a lot looser and it comes from the everyday experiences; taking my son out to surf , playing around in tide pools, and walking along the beach searching for shells.
I do love to incorporate close to home finds like the sharks teeth in all of our necklaces that are sourced from the south and working with suppliers that are based out of SC or NC. Some of my greatest inspirations actually come from meeting up with my southern ‘fossil hound’ suppliers and discussing design ideas! They can be quite creative!

What is your favorite restaurant in Charleston?


Wow that is a hard question! Charleston has some amazing, world renowned chefs! My first go to is always FIG. Chef Lata always incorporates seasonal ingredients and I die for his sweetbreads. Not always on the menu, but you can ask, and I suggest you do!


But my last date night with my husband was at The MacIntosh and I would lay down and die for their beet salad. Seriously, beets done three ways! Who does that?

What is your favorite cocktail?


Summertime in Charleston is insanely hot. To beat this heat I am a Pina Colada lady all the way! With fresh pineapple in the mix!!! I like it pineapple heavy and ice chunky.

How do you balance personal life and work?

I am still trying to figure that out! I am open to suggestions or good advice! In all honesty, my family is my main priority. I am fortunate to be married to my husband who is an amazing father and is also a creative person with his own goals. It helps that he completely understands me and is a big part of my business. Right now, we kind of run an ‘in home circus’ and try to balance each other. At the end of the day, we are both aware of each others dreams, and we just try to support each other.

Dream trip?


Without a doubt…Indonesia! Diving and Surfing have to be possible in any dream trip that we plan! I want to cruise with sharks and stingrays in crystal clear water and have my family playing on fun waves.

Dream commission?

Well, this would be way down the road. But I always imagine my son coming to me when he is older and asking me to design a wedding ring for his love.

Your favorite hostess gift?


I love giving gifts and I always try to keep them relevant to the occasion. I tend to overdo it a lot of times…but for me it is fun to put together a basket of fun goodies. Presentation is everything and I try to think of the persons personality. I really enjoy putting together a “theme” gift and cooking or cocktails is something that I think everyone enjoys. I love choosing a favorite cookbook or cocktail handbook and including the ingredients with funky utensils in a neat basket or container to bring it together.

Who is your style icon?

This is such a funny question. Does my mom count? My mom was the ultimate “fashionable” hippie and I have suede fringe dresses and moccasin boots that I stole straight out of her closet. I love the feel of that era and am drawn to women who embody it or can capture it.



Sienna Miller Boho

I think Lauren Hutton is a big one for me….sexy and slightly off….! In this generation…I think Kate Moss and Sienna Miller have pretty much nailed the vibe I identify with. They do “retro” so elegantly and then put their own contemporary touch to it. It’s perfect!

Your favorite up and coming artist/designer/ jewelry designer?


One of my favorite up and coming designers is Megan Huntz from Atlanta, GA. She sources one of a kind silk remnants from Italy and hand dyes her own silk fabrics. I am in love with her pieces and admire her color combinations and designs. They are exquisite and you feel like a goddess in them.

What is your most treasured possession?

A carved ivory Buddha my dads father brought back for my grandmother when he came home from the Korean war and a carved bone lariat necklace that belonged to my moms mother. I feel like things from the past were made with so much more patience and love. The attention to detail in both these pieces is breathtaking and keeps me captivated.

What are you reading?

BAD MONKEY by Carl Hiaasen

I am a voracious reader. I typically have about 6 books stacked up by my bedside table. I have been threatened with a Kindle for Christmas or my birthday and remain loyal to paperbacks. Right now, I am in the middle of BAD MONKEY by Carl Hiaasen. It’s a fun, light read for getting out of your mind at the end of the day. Hiaasen always has an underlying message of greed and corruption ( in south Florida ) throughout all of his books…but …in the past .. has created some insanely funny and unforgettable characters. Loving it!

What are you listening to?


I work all day in a studio by myself…music is a constant companion. Just downloaded “Thievery Corporation – Radio Retaliation” which, I guess is considered Electronic? Whatever…it has a Reggae, World Music, vibe to it. I am working like a monster listening to it!!!

Favorite Fashion / Design Blogs?

goldfish-kiss-header2 copy

I really love www.goldfishkiss.com . I follow her blog and she is amazing for the beach babe! I have had the opportunity to work with Rebekah and love the images she posts. She is one of those people you wish the world was made up of more creative peeps like her.
Close to home I love www.looklingerlove.com . I only wish I had my stuff together like Chassity. She always has something interesting going on. Her blog is creative and fun and has introduced me to some wonderful ideas, designers, and artists.
Here are a few of my favorites…besides the INCREDIBLE ZULU NECKLACE. I am shark tooth obsessed these days. I want them all layered around my neck.
Sea Spray Wrap Necklace
Amulet Necklace
Channel Washout Necklace


Sama Cuff


Ibis Cuff


Del Mar Drops




Exuma Drops


Be sure to go and check out her website. You can also win this AWESOME Cruz necklace that Kate has graciously offered to my readers.

The winner will be announced on July 5th.


here’s how to win…

1) visit Kate Davis Jewelry site and take a look around.

2) leave a comment HERE with a link to your favorite item!

extra chances to win (make sure to leave it in your comment)…

3) Like Kate Davis Jewelry and The English Room on Facebook for an extra entry

4) Subscribe to The English Room Blog

Please feel free to share with your friends.

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One response on “Kate Davis Jewelry and A GIVEAWAY!

  1. thesoutherncoterie

    Awesome post, Holly! LOVE her jewelry! Y’all go follow instructions to win and share with your friends!

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