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When you ask Samara Christian, artist and co-owner of Samara Jewelry Designs, what's behind her passion for creating fine jewelry, she answers simply "It's just inside of me." When she lays her eyes on a precious stone, she sees the jewelry design she wants to create around it. "When I buy a new outfit, I see the piece of jewelry I want to design to go with it. When I see a beautiful piece of furniture, I'll be inspired to create a new clasp." Inspiration is everywhere for her, and she and husband Greg Christian have turned their love of jewelry into a successful business that is a must-stop shop for residents and visitors alike. Samara Christian at her shop on Sturgeon Bay's Third Avenue Samara grew up in Sturgeon Bay and was introduced to art as a young girl. "My mother would take us three girls on 'gallery tour' days in the summer. I remember going into Gerhardt Miller's gallery and talking to him, and visiting Abe and Ginka Cohn at the Potter's Wheel. I even remember buying my first ceramic cup there with my own money," she laughs. Growing up with an artistic mother amidst the creative atmosphere of Door County rubbed off on Samara, and soon she was studying painting and drawing and pursuing an art teaching degree. "Then I discovered jewelry," she says. At first, she thought she would teach during the school year and then make and sell jewelry in the summers. "But pretty soon I realized I wanted to be making jewelry all the time." Samara sees her work as pushing the boundaries at the "leading edge" of jewelry design. Currently, she's interested in pink and green tourmalines as well as rose cut diamonds which she says have an "organic, natural element that intrigues me." And her clientele is intrigued too. "We have a faithful clientele here that we've built over the years, primarily through word of mouth." Bridal rings are an important part of the business, but customers celebrate all kinds of special occasions, including birthdays, anniversaries and "second" wedding rings," she says. Greeting customers behind the gleaming jewelry case Everyone who walks into Samara Jewelry Designs receives the same warm welcome from Samara and her staff. Whether you are looking for a diamond engagement ring, a custom necklace or bracelet, or a piece of silver jewelry from the "Door County Jewelry" line that features trilliums, cherries, and trees, you'll find a something special at Samara jewelry. The gallery is open year-round, Monday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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