Deanna Dazzles with Custom Designs
It only takes a few minutes with J. F. Kruse custom jewelry designer Deanna Hennen to realize she has a passion for her work. Her eyes sparkle as brightly as the diamonds on her fingers when she talks about the creative process and the joy of delivering a finished piece to a customer.
“I’ve always been a creative spirit—some of us are just born with a need to be creating” she said. “I’m thrilled to be able to channel this creativity into a career I so thoroughly enjoy.”
Deanna’s path to J. F. Kruse began back in 2007 when she brought her daughter to the showroom to look for an alternative to a class ring. Deanna excused herself and left to take a phone call about a potential job offer. When she walked back in, the sales associate asked if she was looking for a job. “I was familiar with J. F. Kruse as a customer and had tremendous respect for the integrity and professionalism the business was founded on. So I nodded, filled out an application, and the rest is history,” said Hennen.
Today, we have the privilege of talking with Deanna about her enthusiasm for creating custom jewelry for J. F. Kruse customers.
How did you first develop your talent for jewelry design?
I actually took jewelry design classes in high school where I gained a real appreciation for the jewelry creation process. I honed my skills by working with industry experts in jewelry rendering and wax model carving. There’s something about carving that is innately gratifying for me—I can get lost for hours while carving a model. It’s pretty amazing to participate in an art form that can be traced back thousands of years.
What’s the process you use to bring a customer’s vision to life?
The process usually begins with a customer contacting me about a project. It may be designing an engagement ring, creating a memorial pendant, or reworking an heirloom piece. The sky’s the limit when it comes to custom jewelry!
Some customers know exactly what they want while others haven't got a clue. It’s my privilege to work with them to explore and develop ideas. Once we’ve nailed down a design, I’ll build a three-dimensional wax model – either by hand or with a 3-D printer – for the customer to view and try on. We can make adjustments to the carving before sending it to our goldsmith who creates the actual piece. He’ll cast using the customer’s choice of precious metal and set each diamond or gemstone to turn the concept into reality. The process culminates when I get to present the customer with an heirloom-quality piece that reflects their unique story, personality and style.
Do you have a favorite part of the design process?
While I always enjoy the actual carving of the wax, the best part for me is delivering a piece that exceeds the customer’s expectations. You know you’ve hit the mark when you get hugs (sometimes even tears) of appreciation. There’s no better feeling than knowing you’ve given a person or a family something that will be treasured and passed down for generations.
You’ve helped customers by creating hundreds of pieces over the years. Is there a particular project that stands out?
I don’t think it is possible to pick just one. I always find tremendous satisfaction in helping customers recreate heirloom pieces. It’s an honor to take a piece of family history and redesign it into another piece, while honoring its original integrity.
Click here to watch a video of how we helped one special customer create a stunning, one-of-a-kind mothers ring.
Have you encountered any misconceptions about custom designing jewelry?
I think the biggest misconception is that custom pieces are unaffordable for the average person. Our custom pieces are actually more affordable than people expect them to be. We don’t ask customers for a deposit until we’ve worked through the design concept, provided a detailed estimate, and they are ready to move forward to create the wax model and start the creation process. We can create designer-looks for a fraction of the prices. Our prices vary depending on many factors, including complexity, metal type and quality of the gemstones selected.
You mentioned you’ve had an upswing in custom jewelry orders in recent months. What makes custom design services at J. F. Kruse so popular?
I believe it stems from our team approach and our commitment to customer service. We can create a custom piece in-house from concept to finished product. During the process, our customers can meet the people who are doing the work. They can ask questions of our artisans, goldsmiths and diamond setters who meticulously craft these fine pieces. Our customer service shines every step of the way!
If you’ve ever considered investing in fine custom jewelry, call or stop in to meet Deanna today. Custom jewelry design is her passion. She’ll work with you and your budget to design a one-of-a-kind piece that brings joy for generations.
When It’s Forever - J. F. Kruse Fine and Custom Jewelers
HONORED to be YOUR family jeweler.