A gemstone necklace, one mile at a time.

Sara F. | mother - runner - gem hunter | Oregon

Sara at the finish line
Sara's Sign


Sara's Season


Sara's Gemstone


Sara's Style Inspiration

Audrey Hepburn meets Woodstock

“The end is nothing; the road is all” – Willa Cather

Sara's completed gemstone necklace using her collected gemstones

Sara On Her Gems

What is the story behind your collection of gems?

I started collecting gemstones when I was maybe 15 or 16. My grandmother had an incredible jewelry collection. Ninety-nine percent of it was costume, because she didn't have a lot of money, but some of my fondest memories were being a little girl and getting to go into her absolutely massive jewelry case. So, I grew up with that and always had a fascination and a love for jewelry. And because of that, my parents would take me to gem fairs and gem shows.

Part of what draws me to jewelry is the color story of a piece, the energy of a gem. I do believe that, you know, minerals and things from the earth carry a vibration and a healing power...I've always had it in my head that someday I would learn to be a jeweler and learn how to put these pieces in place, but life has taken me in a different direction. I'm a narrative director and mostly write and tell stories with visuals. The visual, more tactile art of jewelry making has always intrigued me...so I just started accumulating [gems] in sets...imagining them in pieces, sketching some stuff out myself.

So you can imagine that when I found Spur I thought, “Oh wow, this is sort of that in-between space of still feeling like I get to create jewelry without having the very deep skill that it requires to actually do it.” So, it felt like a beautiful way to marry the pictures in my head that I have of jewelry when I buy these pieces and someone’s skill and know-how to bring [those pictures] to life.

A close up of Sara's necklace

"The difference between a gem and a pebble is the cultural significance that we have put on it, the labor that it takes to mine and then of course, cut. But they're all from the earth, and if you believe that there is something sacred and beautiful about something the Earth creates, which I hope we all do...whether it's a pebble or ruby, there’s something special there.”

Sara On Running

What inspired this project?

I have been a runner since I joined the track team [when] I was fourteen and I’ve run a number of races – 10Ks, 5 K's, even a few half marathons – but I had never done a full marathon. Part of it was just this idea that “that’s too long, that’s too hard, I can't really handle that, it takes so much time.” Excuses! And excuses that are real; if a marathon was super easy and fun we'd all get up and run one each day. They're hard, and there's a reason they feel like a big accomplishment. But, I always sort of was in my own way.

I have two small children, a five year old and a two- year old and carrying them and bringing them earth- side has been a really life-altering experience for me, because I’ve experienced the capabilities of my body in a way that I never had before. You are pushed in a very physical way when you are pregnant and bringing a baby to the world. I just started thinking to myself: “I am capable of so much more than I give myself credit for...and what would happen if I gave myself permission to be as big and as strong as possible?” I pushed myself and gave myself permission to try – and maybe fail, but try – and the idea of a necklace came to me.

When you train for a marathon, you are doing it incrementally. You start by creating a base, getting your body used to running 3 to 5 times a week, and then you start gradually adding miles. I would start to see each mile as its own milestone. So, when a run was particularly hard, I would think: “Okay, don't even worry about the eighteen miles today, just think about mile twelve, just think about mile fifteen, etc.”

That mindset mirrored some of the pieces I've seen Spur do with almost this stepping stone effect where there would be a gem, bezel set, a little bit of chain, and then [another gem] bezel set – and it kind of reminded me of river rocks you would hop to and that kind of mirrored how I would approach really long and hard runs. Some days I was running in the snow, and pushing myself to not think too much about the end result but to think about what you're doing in the moment was huge for me. Willa Cather, an American novelist, has a quote: “The destination {sic} is nothing, the road is all.” And that's really what this symbolized for me: one thing at a time.

“If you run, you’re a runner. If you put on your shoes, and go around the block, and you jogged it – now you’re a runner. And that's what's so special about a necklace like this for me. Every single mile, every single small achievement within that greater achievement is just as special as the whole...”

Sara On Spur

What was it like working with Spur?

[ My first Spur project was ] a really beautiful experience because I expressed the inspiration behind why I wanted to get this ring done and talked them through my emotional attachment to the idea of the ring and then they kind of came up with how to envision that. Seeing the process, all the beautiful drawings, really sparked something in me and let me know that you could sort of play...in a way that I hadn't thought of being able to play with jewelry design before. Working with Spur that first-time opened up the possibility of what could be when you're creating jewelry.
Sara enjoying her necklace

“Beautiful things that make you happy shouldn't have to live in a box just because they’re expensive. I think that you deserve to honor yourself, whether it's because you're celebrating a race...or just because you saw a gorgeous pair of earrings and they made you smile. They shouldn't be locked away; you deserve that celebration of yourself for a daily occurrence if that's what is going to make you happy.”