The Gem-Stoned Road that Led Jewelry Artist Keaton Sanders to Seraphine Design
Posted on February 14 2019
While other girls were collecting Barbies, Keaton Sanders was collecting rocks. Enamored by gems and minerals from an early age, Keaton has been a jewelry designer in some form or fashion since as long as she can remember. This is the story of how a native Georgian moved to Nashville in 2011 and turner her Pyrite passions into a successful jewelry design partnership at Seraphine Design.
Art and jewelry is in the Sanders blood. Keaton’s grandmother is Betty Foy Sanders, the 74th First Lady of Georgia and wife of Gov. Carl Sanders. During her tenure as First Lady (1963-1967), Betty Foy Sanders was a change agent for art in Georgia, dedicating her efforts towards the construction of several Fine Arts buildings in the University System of Georgia. One of those was the betty Betty Foy Sanders department of Fine Arts building on Georgia Southern's campus, named for her father.
For Keaton, Betty Foy was not an important founder, icon, or diplomat - she was just “Mema” and source of inspiration. Keaton’s earliest memories of her grandmother are tagging along at trade shows in Atlanta and Tucson, where Betty Foy helped to foster Keaton’s love for the marriage of raw stones and art.
“Mema knew everyone. Everyone loved her. Between her oversized personality and equally big tortoise shell bamboo glasses - she lit up the room,” Keaton recalls.
She fondly remembers watching Betty Foy use special glue to adhere stones to her own paintings. Keaton learned quickly the harmony among art and the natural beauty of gemstones.
Keaton continued her passion for creating into college at Augusta University where she graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Arts and a minor in Photography in 2012. Out of college, as most graduates do, Keaton found herself struggling to find her footing. She moved to Nashville in search of new opportunities.
Working jobs in retail, Keaton was determined to make creating jewelry a viable career. She started making her own designs and focused on elaborate beadwork and metal work. Keaton incorporated lots of natural components such as megalodon teeth, snake vertebrae, and raw gemstones into her pieces.
Ready to fine tune her craft, Keaton enrolled in the New Approach School for Jewelers with a concentration in diamond setting. After graduating, Keaton continued to create and work to sustain her dream as an artist.
Flash forward a few years to Christmas 2014. Keaton was at a casual holiday gathering wearing a recent, and coveted, gift from her brother: the Pyrite Origin Collar Necklace by Seraphine Design. Brooke’s husband’s best friend noticed the necklace and started up a conversation. One thing led to another and Keaton found herself in the Seraphine design studio.
“Our partnership is effortless. We really even each other out,” says Keaton. “When we design together we agree on shape, stones, and overall aesthetic. We both honor the natural beauty of the gemstone and that’s really important to our work”.
Brooke and Keaton’s seamless partnership is felt in their beautiful hand crafted pieces and in their plans for the future. These stone-setting sisters are just getting started. Look for a bridal and pieces for the home in the near future as well as the addition of precious metals in their work.
We questioned Keaton on her best advice for artists and business: “Don’t second guess yourself and always trust your instincts.” We couldn’t agree more.
Have a question for Keaton or Brooke? Leave it in the comments. As always, thanks for reading!
The Seraphine Family