We’ll forever hold our aspirational breakfast dates with Tiffany & Co. and Cartier, but when it comes to sprucing up our limbs — and our Instagram feeds — it’s the indie artisans who keep us in gold, chains, gemstones and stacking inspiration. These smaller brands make it easier (and oftentimes more economically feasible) to liven up our wall-mounted manzanita jewelry holders or score antique rings we never would’ve tracked down on our own. Plus, for those in search of a deal, any made-with-love piece will last a heck of a lot longer than the costume jewelry sold at fast-fashion outlets.
As for finding these up-and-coming talents and fashion set favorites, Instagram is the way to go. A quick look at who the It girls and high-profile editors are following will yield several repeat handles: @mociun, @janes8103, @inezstodel_jewelry, to name just a few. What makes a jewelry company generate organic buzz? Above all, we credit talent, taste and a strong aesthetic — all of which our increasingly ad-heavy, algorithm-ruled feeds could use a little more of. On that note, click through the slideshow above to get the lowdown on 12 follow-worthy jewelry designers and shop a few shining examples of their work.