The handmade bronze traditional Sailor Chain Bracelet elevates is a timeless classic and instantly elevates any outfit. Inspired by the vintage designs of Cartier, this piece was designed in Chicago and made in a workshop in Cuernavaca, Mexico, in which women from poor backgrounds are taught to make jewelry to raise themselves out of poverty.Read the brand story
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- 7" in length
- Made in Mexico
Made by Hand
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The Brand Story
With more than 10 years of design experience under her belt, Winifred Grace Gundeck is not afraid to evolve. “When I first started, I was doing a lot of one-of-a-kind pieces, working with vintage materials,” she says. “People would come to me with heirloom beads, and I’d transform them into something. I quickly learned that was a difficult way to grow a business. After a while I reduced it to four collections a year, and now I do two to three collections a year.” After a stint as a graphic designer during which she honed her amazing flair for color theory and scale, the Chicago-based entrepreneur went out on her own—and the results are extraordinary.
While her gorgeous and incredibly wearable designs speak for themselves (you can literally sleep in some of her pieces), what’s equally fascinating about Winifred Grace’s jewelry is its source. A Spanish major in college, she discovered a workshop in Cuernavaca, Mexico, in which women from very poor backgrounds were taught to make jewelry and thereby create their first source of reliable income.
Founded by Laura Brito, an American, in 2008, the workshop has become the exclusive source for Winifred Grace’s metalsmithing. “The finishing happens here in Chicago,” she says. “But the soldering or hammering or patterns we are putting on the surfaces—that is all happening in this workshop.”
Among her design influences, the rising jewelry-smith cites interior design, antique textiles and architecture. But one of her primary influences nowadays is her 1-year-old son. After his birth, “My entire life changed. In every aspect of my life I found I was seeking simplification,” she says. “I started seeking inspiration from clean lines, simple geometric shapes.” Her materials, which before had been sourced from all over the world, were reduced to one metal: bronze. “Whereas my pieces before were more involved and definitely a true accessory to an outfit, these pieces are more like ‘put them on, and you’ve had them your entire life and you never want to take them off.’”