I had a chance to talk with jewelry artist DeAnna Cochran, after she had just gotten an invitation to a TV interview on ABC for a show called Good Morning Texas. Tomorrow’s morning show will highlight her jewelry line and her focus on “making a difference”.
DeAnna Cochran was my role model to start my own company, and she designed our signature Spread Sunshine charity necklace, benefiting Hope International, a non-profit adoption organization.
Katja: When did you know you wanted to be a jewelry designer?
DeAnna: I’ve had a love for jewelry since I was a child playing with my grandmother’s collection of vintage costume pieces. I studied Jewelry Design and Metal Work in college but it wasn’t until the birth and loss of my first son Jackson that I pursued a life as a Jewelry Artist.
Katja: I am so sorry for you loss, tell us more about your son.
DeAnna: Jackson was born in 2004. He was born 4 months premature and we lost him shortly after his 3-week birthday. We were blessed with another son, Christian. He is 20 months now and a true joy.
Katja: What inspired you to start your own line?
DeAnna: Jackson was my inspiration to pursue my life long dream. I was touched by the people who assisted us during the weeks leading up to the bleak afternoon when we removed him from life support. Knowing that people come to work every day to care for these babies and probably dread the day they may be the one in the room, the day the parent has to make a hard choice, made an incredible impression on me. I will never forget how little Jackson, who never moved from his tiny isolette, could touch so many people in a positive way. If Jackson could do this in a few short weeks, imagine what I could do in a lifetime. I knew I needed to find a way to “make a difference” in the world.
Katja: (after using a box of tissues) I am just so touched by your story. What kind of legacy would you like to leave behind?
DeAnna: That it doesn’t take a lifetime to make a difference in this world. That one single random act of kindness can change a life and they may pass that kindness along to someone else. This alone is proof that Jackson’s short life had meaning and God’s plan in perfect. I hope to leave the legacy of a “giving sprit”.
Katja: How are you making a difference?
DeAnna: I work with a social worker at my local hospital to donate items from the proceeds of my business.The families with premature babies deal with large medical bills and while some have insurance benefits others struggle to pay these expenses. For those who are fortunate to bring home their babies some have little money left for necessities. My idea is to identify deserving families and provide items like car seats, safe cribs, required monitoring devices, or clothing for these tiny angels.
Katja: Where do you get ideas for your designs? You have a really unique style, which has been described as “delicately earthy” in the media.
DeAnna: I get ideas from everywhere! For example from world travels, or clothing. Mainly my influences come from nature and the beauty of the small things we tend to take for granted – as you can see in my leaf collection. I love to push the envelope and try things no one else has tried.
Katja: What kind of process is involved in making some of your desings?
DeAnna: The process and materials I use in my current collection is very new in jewelry. I hand form pure silver and gold. Very few jewelry artists do what I do and I love the fact that I am helping to pave the way and discover new techniques. It takes several steps to create the design from micro-particles of pure silver to a finished piece of jewelry. Once the piece is carved and dried, a kiln is used to fire the piece at a very high temperature. It depends on the piece, how many steps are needed, like adding the stones or polishing the piece to bring out the details. Some of the pieces take several days to complete a process.
Katja: What is the most important event for you so far in your business?
DeAnna: It was the NBC interview last year. It was an unbelievable feeling to receive a call from such a respected reporter, so early in my career. The show was a North Texan Making a Difference. It was so surreal to know so many were affected by my story and it was also healing to tell it to such a large audience. The emails that poured in were so touching.
Katja: And now you are going to be on ABC’s Good Morning show, airing next week?
DeAnna: Yes, I’m excited about the upcoming TV interview on a show called Good Morning Texas.
Katja: That is awesome DeAnna! I can see you next in Oprah! Where do you see yourself in ten years?
DeAnna: Enjoying my 15 year anniversary with my husband, celebrating my son entering 5th grade, and designing jewelry in my studio with a view of a fabulous garden.
Katja: Sounds great. One more quick question, we all want to know… What are this winter’s jewelry trend must-haves?
DeAnna: Cuff bracelets, bold necklaces, or an interesting ring. Clothing is all about black, winter white, platinum, gun metal, and grey tones. Jewelry follows with aged silver and black tones to compliment. Silver makes a big comeback in Fall. This is one of the first seasons in a long time where anything goes. Plan on seeing 40’s flare, modern lines, glammed up rock’n roll, and more of the 80’s punk rock meets proper schoolgirl. One must have is a touch of red or hot pink in a single accessory.
Katja: Thank you so much for your time DeAnna, and good luck on your TV interview! Say hi to your family and see you next time we visit Texas.
DeAnna: Thank you – it was fun! Hope to see you guys in Texas soon!
The ABC’s Good Morning Texas show will be airing on TUESDAY 28th AUGUST at 9-10 in Dallas/ Fort Worth area.
DeAnna’s designs are available at www.deannacochranjewelry.com and she has designed some exclusive pieces sold only at www.skimbaco.com.