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Why jewelry designer Cathy Williams says she creates bold pieces for risk-takers

Why jewelry designer Cathy Williams says she creates bold pieces for risk-takers
March 2022

Moon-Seed’s colorful Caribbean-inspired earrings

Cathy Williams creates colorful, art-inspired earrings.

When Cathy Williams made her first pair of earrings late one night during grad school, she had no idea that “seed planted beneath the moonlight” would grow into a buzzing local business offering “art for your ears.”

Williams began making head-turning earrings for herself using scrap wood and laser-cutting techniques during a book-design class while getting her MFA from Florida Atlantic University. In 2018, she moved to Charleston with her husband, launching an Etsy shop for Moon-Seed as a creative outlet while job hunting. Williams was able to focus on creative packaging and “answering every single DM,” establishing a good online reputation. “For me, the business exploded in a way that was amazing,” she says, despite COVID limiting retail opportunities the following year.

Williams sketches out shapes on her iPad, transferring finished designs to the computer and cutting the patterns out of wood or acrylic with a hobbyist laser. “A lot of mainstream jewelry is more on the safe, dainty size,” she says, describing her line as fun and “just a little risky,” featuring bold colors, Caribbean patterns, and Art-Deco-inspired shapes, like her favorite pair inspired by French painter Henri Matisse.

Moving forward, Williams plans to expand into homewares made from jesmonite, an eco-friendly alternative to resin or plaster. Moon-Seed can be found online at Etsy and, as well as in local shops including The Tiny Tassel, Old Whaling Company, and True Lucia.