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Featured Shop: Dollybird

Jul 9, 2014

by Katie Johansson

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

My name is Katie Johansson and I’m the creator, metalsmith artist and designer for Dollybird. I just relocated my studio from the big city lights of Chicago, Illinois to a small, tree-lined town nearby called Barrington.

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Dollybird is about rare ornaments to cherish – works to be collected in a hunt for the genuine. My jewelry is for anyone looking for a one-of-a-kind statement, or for the collector with a creative mind that is dissatisfied with today’s mass-produced society. It’s about timeless design, made for those who take pride in each piece being as genuine as the personality that wears it.

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My process as a metalsmith has been built with tons of obsessive practice and perseverance. It begins with a hunt to find something special for my customer, which can be an ardent design from my own imagination, or a rare gem. From that point, each piece is made by hand – built and framed from sterling sheet and bezel wire, then hand-fitted, filed, soldered, torched and buffed for the grand finale of a finished piece. None of my pieces are cast.

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I’m not afraid of hard work and change; I believe hard work and ambition feeds your dreams. I got into metalsmithing when I was looking to transition out of my interior design career and find something more to do with fashion. I landed a new job drafting and spec’ing jewelry for a wholesale company, and my architectural skills quickly transformed into fashion as a trend designer. Frustrated with mass production of inexpensive jewelry, I enrolled in classes for basic metalsmithing. It didn’t take long before I realized that I had found something I would never tire of. It’s been over 10 years with Dollybird and I’m still going strong. There’s always something new to learn and a fire to create something greater than before.

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For me, Etsy represents the ethos of the American dream: an opportunity for prosperity and success that is achieved through a sense of freedom and hard work. It also means getting the chance to be global with my business. Because of Etsy, I have a fan base all over the world and in every corner of the U.S. I would like to send a heartfelt thank you to my customers and loyal collectors that have made Dollybird a true symbol of an eclectic independent brand surviving all these years. In the future, I’d love for Dollybird to keep growing strong with quality, one-of-a-kind jewelry that stands out from the crowd.

Follow Dollybird on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter.

All photographs by Dollybird.

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Cats Eye Nephrite Jade Statement Ring
Cats Eye Nephrite Jade Statement Ring
dollybirddesign
$325.00 USD
Dollybird Warrior Ring Natural Laguna Lace Statement Ring
Dollybird Warrior Ring Natural Laguna Lace Statement Ring
dollybirddesign
$385.00 USD
Dollybird Raw Black rainbow Fire Opal Station Necklace
Dollybird Raw Black rainbow Fire Opal Station Necklace
dollybirddesign
$325.00 USD
Jasper Ombre Studs
Jasper Ombre Studs
dollybirddesign
$185.00 USD
Moonwalker Collar
Moonwalker Collar
dollybirddesign
$750.00 USD
Summer Sage Necklace Gary Green Petrified Bog Wood
Summer Sage Necklace Gary Green Petrified Bog Wood
dollybirddesign
$450.00 USD
Pools Of Light Ring Raw Rainbow Fire Opal
Pools Of Light Ring Raw Rainbow Fire Opal
dollybirddesign
$185.00 USD
Dollybird Fossil Crinoid Sterling Ring Rare Fossil Shell
Dollybird Fossil Crinoid Sterling Ring Rare Fossil Shell
dollybirddesign
$250.00 USD
Dollybird Rainbow Fire Opal Ring Raw Opal
Dollybird Rainbow Fire Opal Ring Raw Opal
dollybirddesign
$285.00 USD
Australian Opal Studs
Australian Opal Studs
dollybirddesign
$185.00 USD
Transparent Agate Necklace Rare Collector Chromatography Agate
Transparent Agate Necklace Rare Collector Chromatography Agate
dollybirddesign
$425.00 USD
Purple Passion Crystal Center Pendant Rare Collector Agate Ultra Violet
Purple Passion Crystal Center Pendant Rare Collector Agate Ultra Violet
dollybirddesign
$225.00 USD
Dollybird Robin Egg Ring Carico Lake American Turquoise Sterling Rare All Natural Color
Dollybird Robin Egg Ring Carico Lake American Turquoise Sterling Rare All Natural Color
dollybirddesign
$525.00 USD
Dollybird Raw Rainbow Fire Opal Ring
Dollybird Raw Rainbow Fire Opal Ring
dollybirddesign
$250.00 USD
Sundrenched Pendant Rare Yellow Banded Fluorite All Natural
Sundrenched Pendant Rare Yellow Banded Fluorite All Natural
dollybirddesign
$425.00 USD
Dollybird Green Blossom Ring Curved Gemstone Sterling Silver
Dollybird Green Blossom Ring Curved Gemstone Sterling Silver
dollybirddesign
$245.00 USD
Pink Flash Ring Sz 6
Pink Flash Ring Sz 6
dollybirddesign
$185.00 USD
Statement American Turquoise and Silver Ring Morenci Turquoise Summer Jewelry
Statement American Turquoise and Silver Ring Morenci Turquoise Summer Jewelry
dollybirddesign
$265.00 USD
Grounded Ring Raw Hematite Shimmer
Grounded Ring Raw Hematite Shimmer
dollybirddesign
$185.00 USD
Natural Lepidolite Ring
Natural Lepidolite Ring
dollybirddesign
$275.00 USD
Chlorite In Quartz Ring Faceted Included Crystal Quartz Collector Green Quartz
Chlorite In Quartz Ring Faceted Included Crystal Quartz Collector Green Quartz
dollybirddesign
$285.00 USD
Dollybird Passage Ring Crystallized Drusy Lace Agate Sterling Silver
Dollybird Passage Ring Crystallized Drusy Lace Agate Sterling Silver
dollybirddesign
$275.00 USD
Wild Garden Ring Chrysocolla Mineral Ring
Wild Garden Ring Chrysocolla Mineral Ring
dollybirddesign
$285.00 USD
Dollybird Turquoise Ruin Ring
Dollybird Turquoise Ruin Ring
dollybirddesign
$275.00 USD
Red Raw Rainbow Fire Opal Pendant
Red Raw Rainbow Fire Opal Pendant
dollybirddesign
$275.00 USD
Variscite Button Stud Statement Earrings
Variscite Button Stud Statement Earrings
dollybirddesign
$225.00 USD
Fossil Chalcedony Colus Agate Ring Rare Drusy Pocket
Fossil Chalcedony Colus Agate Ring Rare Drusy Pocket
dollybirddesign
$275.00 USD
Transparent Opal Raw Fire Opal Necklace
Transparent Opal Raw Fire Opal Necklace
dollybirddesign
$185.00 USD
Whispering Tree Ring Fossil Fern Wood Sz 6
Whispering Tree Ring Fossil Fern Wood Sz 6
dollybirddesign
$185.00 USD
Dollybird Pink Opal Kite Ring
Dollybird Pink Opal Kite Ring
dollybirddesign
$225.00 USD
The Copper Stone Ring
The Copper Stone Ring
dollybirddesign
$95.00 USD
Abstract Bird Pendant
Abstract Bird Pendant
dollybirddesign
$350.00 USD
Sunny Ocean Ring Drusy Ocean Jasper
Sunny Ocean Ring Drusy Ocean Jasper
dollybirddesign
$250.00 USD
Dollybird Raw Rainbow Fire Opal Ring Raw Opal
Dollybird Raw Rainbow Fire Opal Ring Raw Opal
dollybirddesign
$385.00 USD
Pink Rhodochrosite Spiral Studs Rare
Pink Rhodochrosite Spiral Studs Rare
dollybirddesign
$185.00 USD
Vision Ring Statement Jasper
Vision Ring Statement Jasper
dollybirddesign
$250.00 USD
Dollybird Preserved Spider Web Ring 2 inch
Dollybird Preserved Spider Web Ring 2 inch
dollybirddesign
$385.00 USD
Prevernal Necklace White Plume Collector Agate and Red Polka Dot Agate
Prevernal Necklace White Plume Collector Agate and Red Polka Dot Agate
dollybirddesign
$850.00 USD
Raw Fire Orange Rainbow Opal Statement Ring
Raw Fire Orange Rainbow Opal Statement Ring
dollybirddesign
$325.00 USD
Pyrite Sun Pendant Shinning Pyrite Trapped in Quartz
Pyrite Sun Pendant Shinning Pyrite Trapped in Quartz
dollybirddesign
$385.00 USD
Pink Sublunary Moon Ring Royal Imperial Jasper Statement Ring
Pink Sublunary Moon Ring Royal Imperial Jasper Statement Ring
dollybirddesign
$275.00 USD
Spring Blossom Ring White Plume Agate
Spring Blossom Ring White Plume Agate
dollybirddesign
$325.00 USD
Dollybird Peach Fire Opal Ring Raw Opal Sz 6
Dollybird Peach Fire Opal Ring Raw Opal Sz 6
dollybirddesign
$185.00 USD
Bright White Inclusion Quartz Crystal Ring
Bright White Inclusion Quartz Crystal Ring
dollybirddesign
$225.00 USD
Blue Hue Ring American Morenci Turquoise
Blue Hue Ring American Morenci Turquoise
dollybirddesign
$185.00 USD
Gold Rush Ring Cubed Pyrite Trapped in Quartz Rare Cubed Inclusions
Gold Rush Ring Cubed Pyrite Trapped in Quartz Rare Cubed Inclusions
dollybirddesign
$450.00 USD
Rhodochrosite Pink Bullseye Studs Valentine's Gift
Rhodochrosite Pink Bullseye Studs Valentine's Gift
dollybirddesign
$185.00 USD
Cumulus Cloud Ring Rare Plume Agate and Onyx
Cumulus Cloud Ring Rare Plume Agate and Onyx
dollybirddesign
$350.00 USD
Dollybird Ultra Violet Raw Fire Opal Ring
Dollybird Ultra Violet Raw Fire Opal Ring
dollybirddesign
$375.00 USD
Maritime Ring
Maritime Ring
dollybirddesign
$350.00 USD
Dollybird Pink Waves Ocean Jasper Ring
Dollybird Pink Waves Ocean Jasper Ring
dollybirddesign
$245.00 USD
Dollybird Lavender Mist Raw Fire Opal Ring
Dollybird Lavender Mist Raw Fire Opal Ring
dollybirddesign
$250.00 USD
Awakening Ring Rare Brookite Included Quartz With Interior Growth
Awakening Ring Rare Brookite Included Quartz With Interior Growth
dollybirddesign
$325.00 USD
Pink and Pyrite Included Studs Rhodonite
Pink and Pyrite Included Studs Rhodonite
dollybirddesign
$150.00 USD
Fallen from the Sky Asymetrical Studs- Russian Meteorite
Fallen from the Sky Asymetrical Studs- Russian Meteorite
dollybirddesign
$85.00 USD
Hidden Gem Statement Ring Collector Crystallized Drusy Sz 9
Hidden Gem Statement Ring Collector Crystallized Drusy Sz 9
dollybirddesign
$425.00 USD
Raw Rainbow Fire Opal Marquis Statement Pendant
Raw Rainbow Fire Opal Marquis Statement Pendant
dollybirddesign
$385.00 USD
Dollybird Lucky Eye Ring Turquoise and Agate
Dollybird Lucky Eye Ring Turquoise and Agate
dollybirddesign
$485.00 USD
Drusy Chrysocolla Cavern Necklace
Drusy Chrysocolla Cavern Necklace
dollybirddesign
$185.00 USD
Sunny Retreat Ring
Sunny Retreat Ring
dollybirddesign
$225.00 USD

2 Featured Comments

  • TexturesofLife

    Lori McDonald from CharmHouse said 4 years ago Featured

    As a Dollybird Collector for the past three years; I often come back to see what new treasures Katie has created. All of my pieces are even better in person. The craftsmanship and care for each design shines through. When something catches your eye, snap it up quick! I still think about the two Dollybirds that got away. Cheers to the curious whimsy and earthly beauty found in this wonderful artists Etsy Shop!

  • LastingImpressionsco

    Catherine Gravitt from LastingImpressionsco said 4 years ago Featured

    I met Katie in Tuscon one year. As a fellow metalsmith, I know all the work she puts into each piece. She has always been an idol of mine. Even my metalsmithing teacher in college couldn't figure out how to replicate her perfect soldering techniques. Her work is truly unsurpassed

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