Margaret Ellis Design
"I feel very secure here."
When Margaret and Fred Ellis moved Margaret's studio to the third floor of Cummins Station in 1995, they could see rows of square concrete columns extending for two city blocks, all the way to the end of the building. Though the lower floors had become well populated, Margaret and Fred were among the first tenants above street level, and things were wide open.
That's one reason why the studio retains a spare, loft-like feel, with an industrial "foreman's office" in front and sounds of pinging on metal in back, where three master craftspeople forge Margaret's designs into pieces that will be sold in exclusive stores from New York to London and Tokyo. The space, which subtly brings to mind another time, is a reminder that Margaret's jewelry aims to be timeless.
For someone whose creations have been showcased in Sex and the City and The Devil Wears Prada, Margaret, like her space, seems free of affectation. Where does she find inspiration for her designs? "It's not some big woo-woo, clouds-parting thing," she says with a smiling, soft Alabama inflection. "I just sit down and see what happens."
Often, it starts with finding material like the radiant turquoise she'd recently received from Arizona... "as blue as blue can get..." or her favorite medium, 22 carat gold. But what really drives her, as with many artists, is the challenge of something new. It's what led her to begin making jewelry after 18 years of teaching art. More recently, it's what led her to learn digital photography. Now she's both the designer and photographer of the jewelry that bears her name. "It's good for you to learn new stuff," she says.
But the yen for new creative horizons hasn't led her to look for new surroundings. "I feel very secure here," Margaret says (no small consideration for someone selling expensive jewelry). "We're eight minutes from our house, and I don't have to get on the interstate."
When she's traveling to trunk shows or to New York, she misses Pinky, the four-year-old whippet who accompanies her to work each day. She misses the comfort of her studio. Cummins Station is where she feels at home.
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The Cummins Station Neighborhood is now LEED ND Gold Certified by the United States Green Building Council!