As a sixth grader in Austin, Texas, Katia Davidson received a necklace as a gift, and she didn’t like it. So, she dug out her dad’s pliers and rearranged the bead and the chain. “For as long as I can remember, I’ve been making things for myself to wear because I used to be so picky,” says the designer, a self-described tomboy. “I had a very specific style of what I wanted in my head, and I couldn’t find anything that really fit.”
Katia’s penchant for tinkering and her aesthetics inclinations led her to study architecture at the University of Texas at Austin. There, she honed her metalworking skills and spent time on construction sites, familiarizing herself with basic welding techniques. But working on building projects was frustrating for her. “You spend years on a single project. Most of that time is drafting,” she explains. So, once more, she reached for the pliers: After her workday was through, she began hammering, soldering, and casting brass into simple necklaces and rings, adorned with pyrite and resin. Last February, she officially unveiled her work as a line, Palomarie—the name comes from her mother’s and her own middle names, Paloma and Marie.
Though her path from architecture to jewelry seems natural, Katia admits that there once was a time when the idea of her making necklaces would have been laughable. “It was hard enough to get me to wear the girls’ uniform to school,” she jokes. “I think I just wanted to dress like my brothers —their friends in school would always say hi to me because I had the same pair of black Jordans that all the older boys wore—at least in my head I thought that was the reason!” —blythe sheldon