Jessica Kagan Cushman

Jessica grew up in a house brimming with creativity – her father was renowned furniture designer Vladimir Kagan and her mother, the Grand Dame of needlework Erica Wilson. Jessica’s interest in jewelry design blossomed at an early age stringing shells and bits of flotsam and jetsam into necklaces on the beach in Nantucket, where Jessica spent her summers.  By the time Jessica was in her mid-20s she had developed a full-blown obsession with fashion and jewelry. After operating a successful jewelry company, Jessica is translating her love of art into functional architectural hardware.

For reasons she still doesn’t fully understand, Jessica opted for a career in management consulting over a carefree life of design and art! But even while working in the corporate world, designing jewelry was never far from her consciousness. Jessica combed flea markets and tag sales on weekends for vintage jewelry and interesting objects which she re-combined into whimsical creations and sold to her friends. It was during one of these scavenger hunts that the idea for her iconic scrimshaw phrase bracelets was born. Inspired by an engraved ivory napkin ring found in a box of kitchen gadgets, Jessica began transforming Fossilized Woolly Mammoth ivory bangles into armloads of wearable messages.

As the success of the bangles grew, Jessica was able finally to leave the corporate world to do what she loved: design jewelry and accessories. She focused full-time on creating her scrimshaw bracelets. Part bumper sticker and part tattoo (but without the commitment), the bracelets were introduced at Barneys New York, moss and Colette in Paris.  

Jessica continues to expand her fine jewelry line. Consisting of playful combinations of precious and semi-precious stones, diamonds, pearls, exotic woods and offbeat cameos depicting skulls, hands, dog heads and more, the whimsical line is a perfect outlet for Jessica’s unorthodox sense of fashion and design.

Jessica’s work is frequently featured in the fashion press and was included in Ruth Pelatson’s beautiful “Living Jewels” book, published by Vendome. Currently, Jessica has added hardware designer to her repertoire, introducing a line of custom cabinet hardware at ICFF in May of 2016, JKC&D - essentially uniquely personalized jewelry for the home produced entirely in the US. 

Jessica graduated from Smith College with a BA in Art History. She has studied jewelry making at the Jewelry Arts Institute in New York and the Silvermine Guild in Connecticut.

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