“We met online.” It’s a tale as old as time. Errr I guess it’s a tale as old as like, 2010. But meeting friends and lovers online rather than IRL feels ubiquitous these days. While my husband and I met the old fashioned way (drunk at a bar in the Lower East Side at 2am on a Monday *shrug emoji*), many of my adult friendships have started on the interwebs. There are even women who I consider friends who I’ve never met in person. But that’s the beauty of social media: it brings like-minded folks together in weird and wonderful ways.
And this is exactly how I connected with Kristi Frank, the brilliant designer behind Salt Grass Jewelry (and honestly the raddest person on the planet who I really want to be friends with IRL). Salt Grass is an eco-conscious jewelry line inspired by the natural world and influenced by Kristi’s memories of the Southwest, where she spent her childhood. I love the way her pieces evoke a tactile sense of emotion—and discovering her line before we drove through the Southwest on our roadtrip was serendipitous. To see the landscapes which influence Kristi’s jewelry before my own eyes was truly sensational.
Kristi studied sculpture and metalsmithing in San Francsico at the Academy of Art, which naturally led her to jewelry making. After college she moved to New York (oh hey, I know this post college west coast to east coast move quite well!) and worked for a number of independent jewelry companies where she learned the nuts and bolts of production work. “I worked long hours alongside some amazing women who taught me a ton about female entrepreneurship,” she describes. In 2016 she escaped (her word, not mine, wink*) New York for Portland, Maine, where she launched Salt Grass.
I find Kristi’s pieces somewhat androgynous while still remaining feminine, and almost sensual. I think because so much of her work is drawn from the natural world—landscapes, textures, and abstract silhouettes—her jewelry is incredibly wearable and versatile. For example, the earrings I’m wearing below work just as well with a simple white tee shirt and jeans, as they do with an evening gown.
Salt Grass Jewelry is made from recycled metals and locally sourced gems, and their packaging is made from 100% recycled material. Feeling good about the good-doing of the brands I wear makes me feel even better when I wear them. Well, that was a weird sentence. But I think you get my point.
I asked Kristi if she could choose anyone, dead or alive, to wear her pieces. Her answer: “Queen Georgia comes to mind immediately. Georgia O’Keefe was so ahead of her time. She really embodied both the masculine and feminine spirit. I would die if she would have worn a piece of Salt Grass Jewelry.” If that doesn’t give you an idea of how badass Kristi and her line are, I don’t know what will.