About

Inspired Designs

 

Life has always been an adventure for me.

As a young girl, my primary passion in the early 1970s became “rockhounding,” the art of hunting, identifying and collecting interesting rocks, minerals and fossils.  I felt the most at home outdoors with my family while exploring the gorgeous hills, forests and creeks of Western Pennsylvania.

My “treasure hunts” continued throughout the 70s and well into the 1980s along with my new love affairs with fitness (through gymnastics), Disco, Funk, Rock and Roll, and Rhythm & Blues.  

We didn’t need the internet.  We communicated with rotary dial landline telephones, handwritten notes passed in class, high fives, and face-to-face spoken word.  We were on top of the world.   We loved turning it up and we were truly tuned in.

My first love never left me.  My passion for gemstones took me to Santa Monica, where I would obtain a Graduate Gemologist degree in 1987 at the famed Gemological Institute of America (“GIA”).  The days were long and the curriculum was tough.  At night, we would venture into Los Angeles, moving with the music and dancing the nights away. 

After graduating from GIA, I began my long and rewarding career in the jewelry industry. My roles have varied from buyer, to designer, to traveling sales rep, to grader of fine gems like diamonds and rubies, to store manager, to high-end fine jewelry store owner, to funky boutique owner and now back to designer.

The 1990s blessed me with a beautiful daughter and tremendous personal growth.  I spent many years in Pittsburgh, PA, an area reputed for its industrial strength yet flush with spectacular natural beauty.  The 2000s brought me success, heartbreak, failure, redemption, success again and new love. 

We moved to the beautiful South Carolina Lowcountry in 2005.  In 2016, my husband Bill and I, along with our brave and trusty Chihuahua Bowser made a lifestyle move and followed our singer-songwriter daughter to Tennessee.

The learning and growth for me haven’t stopped.  They never will.

Through the years, my visits and trips with friends and family across the USA, to Italy, France, Belgium, Spain, the UK, Mexico, Curacao, Switzerland, Austria, and the Netherlands have inspired me in ways that sometimes I can only explain through my jewelry designs.

I don’t believe that any one or sole style is deserving of being considered “the best.”  I believe in personal strength and individual empowerment.  Your style is your own.  I believe in a beauty that is unique and within us.  This beauty that we possess individually is what makes us strong.  I refer not to physical beauty.  I am referring to the beauty of spirit.  Our inner strength.  Our inner peace.

For me, the most beautiful jewelry includes natural materials and is designed in ways that enhances but doesn’t overpower an individual’s appearance.  Jewelry is a deeply personal form of expression.  Even though beautiful jewelry is inspired art, it shouldn’t always require you to spend a fortune for excellent quality. 

When you wear my signature jewelry designs, I want you to feel fantastic about who you are.  Express yourself with confidence and joy.  Embrace life and your own adventure.

 

Aura Lee

Franklin, TN

(Near Nashville - Music City, USA)

 

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