My Name is Chris Ritchie
and I am a designer and jeweler
I'M NOT A TYPICAL JEWELRY COMPANY.
AND YOU WON'T FIND ME IN A TYPICAL STORE.
I operate a one man shop in my hometown of Amarillo, Texas. Running my business this way means I don't spend my energy and income managing a traditional storefront.
Instead, I get to design and create.
And the introvert in me loves to play a good audio book while doing just that.
Since starting Chris Ritchie Creations in 2011, I've had the honor of making hundreds of pieces of jewelry, for clients from Alaska to Afghanistan. And, years later, I still get just as excited about the creation process as I did for my very first piece.
GOOD DESIGN IS THE FOUNDATION OF CHRIS RITCHIE CREATIONS.
And here's what good design means to me:
GOOD DESIGN IS IMPORTANT.
Jewelry design isn't about status or sales. It's about making the best pieces possible. I know we've done that when both you and I are proud of the end result.
GOOD DESIGN IS MEANINGFUL.
It means a lot that you used your grandmother's diamond. Or told a story. That you smile when you wear it. Or that someone thoughtfully gave it to you.
GOOD DESIGN IS HOLISTIC.
Your piece deserves to be designed from every angle. Most people will never see those extra details, but I see it. And you see it. So it matters.
GOOD DESIGN IS QUALITY.
The best materials. The best techniques. Your piece will stand the test of time, in design and durability.
THE RING THAT CHANGED MY LIFE
Like many great stories, this all started with a girl.
Back in 2008 I was in the middle of architecture school at Texas A&M University, dating the girl of my dreams. I designed a simple, silver ring for her using her initials. But, being a poor college student, I didn't have the money to have it made.
After going to several different jewelry stores, one jeweler took pity on me and gave me a block of wax. He told me that if I could carve the ring myself and it was high enough quality to be cast, then he would finish it for me. I think he was just as shocked as I was when, a couple weeks later, I brought it back a usable wax model. He finished the ring, and offered me an apprenticeship.
A short time later, the owner of the store learned that I had a talent for drawing, and encouraged me to flex my design muscles by drawing custom pieces for his clients. And a short time after that, I was given the opportunity to learn a jewelry CAD (computer aided design) program and incorporated computer modeling into the custom design process.
The rest, as we say, is history. In a whirlwind summer, I worked my way from apprentice to lead custom designer. I finished my architecture degree, but I knew I had found my true passion elsewhere. So after graduation, I continued doing the work I loved - designing jewelry.
And for those who may be wondering, my girlfriend loved the ring. Soon I found myself designing her another ring - this time of the diamond variety. We were married in 2009 and now have the fluffiest little dog and the happiest little boy.