Pamela Tuohy-Novinsky is a jewelry designer who, along with her husband, artist Edward Thomas Novinsky, produces a line of artisanal quality jewelry. Incorporating original artwork framed in handcrafted settings featuring period antiques, reclaimed precious metals and ethically-sourced stones, Pamela & Edward’s jewelry line, 2ETN, is a stand-out in a sea of same. Their mission is simple: to redefine the concept of “precious & luxury” jewelry.
In less than two years of production, 2ETN (the name comes from the phonetic pronunciation of Tuohy combined with Edward’s initials) has received sparkling international acclaim, and with it, a worldwide following of collectors. Yet, local coverage of Pamela Tuohy and her jewelry has been dismally dim. Last year Tuohy-Novinsky received a call from a not-to-be-named local magazine informing her that her business wasn’t big enough to merit a feature in its pages; on the same day she got word that her work would appear in the prestigious Women’s Wear Daily. Since then, 2ETN has been featured in Lucky, Vibe, and WMagazine, and was recently proclaimed “Best Jewelry” in Sacramento Magazine’s ‘Best of 2010’ issue. Here, her first local interview….
MM: You and your family are Sacramento residents and your design studio is located in Land Park. How does living in Sacramento flavor your work?
Tuohy-Novinsky: For us, Sacramento created an opportunity where we can work and live our values. My husband is from here. I grew up in the Bay Area, but [I] now consider Sacramento home. We’re both from working class backgrounds and we value living within our means, and Sacramento offers the opportunity to do just that.
Sacramento is a place where we can grow our own food, ride our bikes, shop locally, and get to an airport quickly. Plus, we have easy access to the natural beauty of Northern California. Living in Sacramento allows us to do these things, this way.
Our inspirations are fairly consistent: an awe of Nature, a love of history, an appreciation for slow processes, and craftsmanship. We admire Native American philosophy and we’re inspired by the pre-photography art of miniatures, especially Mourning and Memory jewelry from the late 1800s.
You sell your jewelry in showrooms located across the U.S: New York, Dallas, and Los Angeles, to name a few. Where are your busiest showrooms?
That’s a difficult question to answer. Presently, we’re in negotiations with some new galleries for our one-of-a-kind pieces. We’ve recently decided to do away with limited editions, and now produce singular, one-of-a-kind jewelry. For instance, we are now available at Grange Hall in Dallas which has a huge collection of unique objects d’art.. You can find us online at Project Artisan and, ANYONE can order a custom piece from us directly. As we speak, we are working on some new retail locations, which we hope to announce on our website by Christmas.
On your website, it notes that a percentage of your profits go to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Adopt-A-Buffalo Campaign. What influenced your decision to dedicate yourself and your proceeds towards this cause?
My husband and I are both influenced by Native American philosophy. …Native Americans were the first indigenous people to live on this continent, and we want to honor that. We know we’re lucky to live and benefit from this country’s rich resources. By contributing to the revival of this Native industry, we are giving back to the land that sustains us.
You know the old saying: give a man a fish and he eats for a day; teach him to fish and he eats for a lifetime? Well, for the Native Americans, that fish equals the Buffalo. So we support a traditional industry that delivers to the Native American community a valued skill-set and a pride of identity.
Where do you want to go next?
So many places! Right now, we are looking to collaborate with members of the American Indian community, for sourcing materials, like bone and buffalo hide, and for an opportunity to work with their craftspeople.
What would you consider 2ETN’s greatest achievement so far?
Our proudest achievement is that we’ve been able to stay true to our values and still be able to create our work. I am proud that we’ve never mass-produced anything, and that we source all our materials responsibly. Our jewelry line is 100% produced in the USA, down to our boxes, which are USA manufactured by a family owned company.
For more info see http://pamelatuohyjewelry.com or call (916) 995-1629