If you are a longtime friend of Etsy, then you are more than likely familiar with our featured local artist, Debi Dean. If not, then you absolutely should because all of Dean’s work is hand-made and made to order for a truly unique piece of jewelry. Born and raised in Ocean City, MD, you will instantly notice the subtle hints of the beach life featured in Dean’s work. What began as a small jewelry venture in 2009, has no doubt grown into a big business with over 3,300 sales and 600+ five-star reviews on Etsy.
Some of Dean’s customers say:
“So pretty and a perfect gift for new homeowners! I don’t know if I can wait until Christmas to give it to them. Thank-you.”
“Very high quality and lovely items! The seller was terrific to work with. I am so pleased with the finished product.”
“This is a gorgeous piece of jewelry! It arrived quickly and was shipped with a sweet little box and note that put a smile on my face!”
So, what was Dean’s attraction to hand-stamped jewelry? “I love my family and the first time I saw a piece of jewelry with names on it, I knew I had to have one. Then I thought, other people would love this just as much as I do. Plus, I love words! I’m always gathering words and jotting them down,” replied Dean.
Working out of her studio in downtown Ocean City, Dean stamps various materials that include pewter, copper, gold, sterling silver, brass and aluminum. “Pewter is by far the easiest to stamp, but if I had to choose my favorite, I would pick sterling silver every time. It’s not the most forgiving material to work with, but it is definitely the prettiest,” replied Dean when asked her preference. Also, important to note: Dean always dips her copper and brass jewelry to maintain the beauty and lasting results of these personal pieces.
Dean’s talents don’t begin and end with hand-stamped jewelry. Her work over the years has encompassed leather cuffs, crocheted bracelets and necklaces, earrings, Christmas ornaments, sea glass jewelry, and so much more. For a business devoted to personalization, the possibilities truly are endless and Dean will work one-on-one with you to ensure that your order is just how you envisioned it. You can also find hand-painted mugs and cute little barrettes that are only featured at Heart Of Gold Kids on Main Street, in Berlin, MD by Debi Dean.
We asked Dean where she finds most of her materials and she shared with us that she saves a bulk of her shopping for Beadfest, which is hosted in Philadelphia each year. Imagine a giant conference center filled with all things craft and beads? Sounds like a dream come true to us! Through the years, Dean has become part of a tight-knit crafting group that has become much like family to her, even though she has never met any of them personally. This group also works together to scour the country for new materials at the best prices from like vendors. She also likes to keep her shopping close to home… you never know, those items you just donated to the local thrift shop could very well become part of the next Debi Dean collection!
The evolution of Debi Dean really began in Costa Rica. While on a trip to this small country in Central America, Dean was surrounded in unfamiliar territory: dirt roads, unreliable electricity, and the great unknown. Completely venturing out of her comfort zone, Dean thought “I can’t do this. How can I stay here for two weeks?” Then, she slowly became accustomed to this beautiful country and traveled back home feeling completely empowered. Dean told us “I knew I could do it. I have always loved crafts and I finally found the courage to put myself out there, not knowing if anyone would like my work. It’s a scary thing, but that trip really was the push that I needed.”
In addition to Etsy, you can also find Dean at the local craft fairs on the Eastern Shore where you can meet Dean in person. When you do get to meet Dean, please don’t be shy to ask questions about her pieces. She loves to talk about how she creates her line, but she loves even more to hear about how you envision your next keepsake.