Designed and Made
in Castro Valley, California
© 2022 Vicki L. Hughes
Handcrafted Jewelry Designer Based in the San Francisco/Bay Area
The love of jewelry and color runs in my blood. My first pieces of jewelry were gold hoops and a gold bangle that I wore starting at the age of three. I remember wanting to wear my mother's jewelry as I grew up. As an optometrist, I was exposed to so many different patients and cultures. As I examined them, I was amazed at the interesting jewelry they wore. It inspired me to learn to design and make unique jewelry of my own. I love to travel and shop for different jewelry, beads and items to create one of a kind pieces. It became a form of relaxation, as well as a stress relief to an otherwise routine work day. My friends, co-workers and patients got a kick out of my creations. I would make my inspired version of their jewelry as well as designers and persons I admired and found interesting.
My initial jewelry designs were creations I hand painted on paper. I sold some in boutiques in Oakland and Paris! Some were worn by musicians like Terri Lynne Carrington, a jazz drummer. I then learned to bead and took classes from a notable designer, the late Helen Dietz. Her technique was widely renowned by bead jewelers.
I made an opalescence necklace that I wore to Maya Angelou's 80th birthday party and received compliments on it from Oprah as well as other prominent guests. I coveted a gold Ilias Lalaounis cross my best friend, Denise had. I took classes in 3D printing, metal casting and lapidary so I could design and craft my own versions of jewelry I admired. It was less expensive than flying to Athens, Greece to purchase one cross and other jewelry I desired.
I was recently at a jazz concert and my attention to details was drawn to a ring the singer and Grammy winner, Cecile McLorin Salvant was wearing. I happened to go to a craft shop and figured I would make my own version of the ring she wore. Once I started working in this lucite medium, I incorporated other materials-gem stones, pearls, shells, leather to compliment my designs to include bracelets, necklaces and earrings.
Since recently retiring from optometry after 40 years, I decided to focus on creating jewelry designs to share with others.
A boyfriend had suggested the name of my company. Since I was an optometrist and liked to make sure my name was spelled correctly, he came up with Vicki with an "eye." Thus, Vicki with an Eye was created.