Kate Texada Kirven, the local mastermind behind the Willa Jean Vintage Jewelry & Design line, believes jewelry should be as interesting and unique as the individuals wearing it.
"I strive to create meaningful pieces that stand out, spark interesting conversations, and continue on to become a part of new and celebrated traditions," she says.
Each Willa Jean piece is original, designed and handcrafted by Kate in her Nashville home studio. This bold, distinctive jewelry features antique and vintage heirlooms and treasures. Her collections incorporate natural, high-quality elements that include 14-karat gold, semi-precious stones and cowhide leather, ethically sourced in the United States.
She says the names of her jewelry are inspired by all things Nashville.
"We particularly like to pay homage to country and local indie musicians, as well as historical and significant places around town," she adds.
Being raised in the South, Kate grew up on stories of those who came before her. She has many fond memories of long summer days spent sitting outside under the shade of live oaks, laughing with her family as they shared stories of their childhood and old family traditions. She became fascinated with the idea that people's belongings can become caretakers for these stories, as well as stewards of history and heritage for future generations.
"There's something magical in realizing the experiences and memories these pieces carry with them, and how they only get better and more special with time," she says.
Kate has been collecting jewelry all of her life. As a child she developed a knack for collecting pieces from antique shows, and boutique and vintage stores. Kate created Willa Jean to celebrate her passion for family history and her love of meaningful heirlooms. Inheriting her grandmother’s antique jewelry collection inspired her to create beautiful new jewelry out of old but meaningful treasures. Kate has since spent many years curating her own collection of vintage and antique pieces.
"I love that Willa Jean allows me to continue on their stories in a way that helps others feel beautiful and celebrated," she says.
Willa Jean jewelry can be purchased from Nashville boutiques such as Aly & Sy, directly on Instagram @willajeanjewelry, regular trunk shows and pop-up shops, custom requests from direct messages and online.
Additionally, Willa Jean purchases provide support for Book ‘em, a local charitable organization that works toward a more literate Nashville, because Kate partners with the group to provide a book for each piece of her sold jewelry. Book 'em helps economically disadvantaged children, from birth through high school, discover the joy and value of reading through book ownership and enthusiastic volunteers.
Kate Texada Kirven's signature jewelry are one-of-a-kind pieces that she personally sources and curates. Each piece is made to capture the soul and essence of an antique piece. It's not unusual for Kate to sell pieces of jewelry that she's actually wearing while out and about.