My Journey as a jeweler started at Bowman Technical School in Lancaster PA.
BTS was one of the original Jewelry, Watch and Clock making schools in the United States. After graduating in 1983 and apprenticing with several different jewelers, I landed at Brent L Miller Jewelers and Goldsmiths in my hometown Lancaster, PA. I worked alongside three master jewelers and goldsmiths and honed my craft. During my thirteen years there I was doing everything from basic to complex repairs and restorations, diamond and gemstone sales and specialized in custom designing. I love working with customers doing custom design. Guiding a client through the spectacular world of diamonds and gemstones and discovering together which gems both thrilled them and would hold up to their lifestyle in a solid design remains to be my specialty. In 1992 my first child was born and I cut back to part-time employment. I set up a bench in my home, working during babies' naptimes and evenings, meeting clients at the store on weekends. By 1997 it was time break out on my own and Maggie Lee Designs was established. I had designs of my own that I was anxious to create and sell.
My first collection was my Signature Collection; recognized by the mix of yellow gold and platinum, clean lines and casual elegance. In 1999 I received status as a juried member of the prestigious Pennsylvania Guild of Designer Craftsmen and began exhibiting at Fine Craft Shows. At these shows, where many of other designers’ jewelry were often designs that are pretty wild and bulky, patrons would come to my booth and often exclaim that my jewelry was ”Jewelry I can wear all the time, a it has a "casual elegance"! I love beautiful gems and diamonds and this collection showcases them so well in designs that are comfortable and durable, elegant in their simplicity and originality.
A few years later my Caribbean Dreams Collection began. I can still recall how working with these warm-tone turquoise gems and pearls reminded me of the Caribbean and warmed me during a long, dreary, cold season. This line is so soothing and organic… nothing better to sooth you than the feel of lustrous pearls and the colors of sea and sky.
In 2007 I started my Compass Rose Collection and once again I was enraptured with a new design. I took this highly symbolic icon and created it in pieces that offer my trademark casual sophistication alongside "wearability”. What makes it extra rewarding for me is all the sentiment that is represented for so many of my clients with this symbol, captured in a piece of jewelry. The stories I hear of what the Compass Rose means in their lives and why someone is either buying to wear themselves or giving as a gift are heartwarming. I love that my craft allows me to be a cog in the wheel of my clients’ expression of love and passions.
My Compass Rose Collection has added a wonderful twist in my business, and life, of exhibiting at Boat shows. These exciting events not only feed my inspiration but bring me in contact with great people who share my passion for being on the water. Many wonderful relationships have been built at these shows. Each year it's wonderful to see familiar faces and catch up on their adventures.
My collections continue to develop and evolve, as well as my client base, all the while I have made hundreds of custom pieces. Art and Boat show exposure and “word of mouth” from happy clients have grown my business to what it is today. When I first started Maggie Lee Designs a dear old mentor of mine from the diamond business told me that each pleased client would turn into many generations of clients, one referring the next and so on, his word has come true.
My now thirty-plus years at the bench have made me very familiar with the intricacies of jewelry design- allowing me to create solid designs that are elegant and long lasting... heirloom quality.
More of our team…
Always a cheerful smile and a song in her voice, Denise is an important part of Maggie Lee Designs.
Her love of jewelry and fine crafts led her to offer her time to assist Maggie at her shows back in 2003. She was such a great fit that when circumstances allowed she came to work in the studio as well. She has grown into an important part of Maggie Lee Designs, progressively taking over many of the duties that go into running a business so Maggie can stay at the designing bench! You know all those beautiful newsletters you receive? Well, those are one of many products of Denise’s fine work. Denise adds a wonderful perspective to the business and is an important asset in the decision making process of Maggie Lee Designs having a great understanding of our mission.