Hello! Jess Gebauer, here, the owner of Hammer + Gem and Jessica Allison Jewelry.

I have always loved and respected the jewelry world, but many people are so mystified by this awesome industry, it’s heart breaking. So I’ve made it my mission to demystify the jewelry business for consumers in as honest and helpful a way as possible. Let me tell you a bit more about myself: I attended Savannah College of Art and Design where I studied metalsmithing and jewelry design and received my bachelors in Fine Art from The College of New Jersey. My first experience with jewelry was quite a long time ago in a high school jewelry class where I worked with metal, soldering, sawing, designing, and doing super-basic stone settings. I was a girl in love within only a few weeks. I had always been artistically inclined but hadn’t yet found that one thing I was passionate about until I took that class. From then on, jewelry fabrication and design was the life for me—I was hooked.

I have now been working in the jewelry industry for twelve years. I started off my career with an angel on my shoulder when I landed my first job as a jeweler working for a high-end jewelry store near my hometown in central New Jersey. At the time, I was determined enough to get the job but not quite skilled enough. I had a lot to learn but was hard-working and dedicated, and within a few months, I’d proved myself. Of course, I’ve continued to learn and grow every day, even now. I have since worked for several other jewelers—some very high-end, some not—and have taken away lessons and skills from all of them.

jess and tom

Jess and Tom

While I have always been a jeweler and have honed my skills throughout the years, I have also held many other positions in the industry, giving me a unique and valuable perspective. The well-rounded and in-depth knowledge I have acquired has helped make me the best jeweler, guide, and teacher I can be. My experience and expertise ranges from casting, laser welding, jewelry repair, machine engraving, and stone setting to jewelry design, custom jewelry creation, and hand fabrication. I also have experience in client services, vendor relations, manufacturing, 3-D printing, CAD, watches, sales, and shop management.

From the very start, I have had the distinct pleasure of working with industry professionals who hold high standards in both client services and deliverable products. It takes integrity to uphold standards in any industry, and I was fortunate to learn what it takes to be a darn good jeweler, in every sense, right from the get go. My “true north,” so to speak, seems to be coming to fruition through Hammer + Gem, where I can combine all of my knowledge and deliver it to the public for the betterment—and enjoyment!—of both consumers and industry professionals alike.

Through all these years (and jobs!), I am fortunate to have had family and friends supporting me. My husband, Tom, and I have been together since we were seventeen years old. We both attended the same high school and colleges, following each other up and down the east coast as life took us on a ride we hadn’t expected. After several moves, we now live in Jersey City where I design jewelry for my own line, Jessica Allison Jewelry, and operate Hammer + Gem. We have two dogs; a Greyhound named Bella, who sleeps a lot, and her tiny sidekick, a Chihuahua/Boston terrier mix, Dorie.

On another note, I’m a Jimmy Buffet fan, love Harry Potter, a good craft brew and food of all cuisines. Thus, my love of cooking and baking comes as no surprise! I’m a diehard fan of extreme heavy metal music (ironic, I know), enjoy blues, jazz, rock, and a variety of strange music that has never touched a top 40 station. I also love a good podcast, “This American Life” and “How Stuff Works,” being two of my choice programs. My favorite place in the whole world is Hatteras, NC, where perhaps home is, even though I have never lived there.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you’ll tell me a little bit about yourself and how we can better serve you through our Q&A section!

Cheers,

Jess the Jeweler