Sometimes you leap before you look. At least, that’s what Paige Pauley did.
The Fort Worth-based artisan jeweler had no plan, but she knew it was time for a change after 16 years of working at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
“I didn’t know what I was going to do,” said Paige. “I just knew I had to do something different.”
With that in mind, Paige confidently walked into her supervisor’s office and announced her retirement five years ago. While driving home, anxiety stepped in.
“I pulled over and took several deep breathes,” she said. “Ironically, I had stopped in the parking lot of a jewelry store.”
At this point, Paige had only taken a few jewelry classes as a hobby, but that didn’t deter her. She walked in and announced, “I’m a silversmith.” She left with five jobs.
Paige supported her new career doing bench work at Jared’s in the North East Mall.
“Those guys are amazing,” she said. “They resize 200 rings a day!”
And she quickly signed up for several jewelry courses. Her favorite was a week-long workshop taught by Blaine Lewis in Tennessee at the New Approach School for Jewelers.
“He knows his stuff,” Paige said. “He explained soldering like nobody ever explained it to me. You have to understand the physics of how heat and metal work, and understand that you will fail more than you exceed.”
Her first art show was Funky Finds, located in Fort Worth.
One perk of discovering a second career is the ability to combine all your previous skill sets. Paige uses her sales experience on the show floor and her graphic design proficiency while creating her jewelry. She loves circles, squares, and lines. Sometimes, she starts a design with a sketch, but she often trusts her gut and assembles while in the flow. She adds stones, beads, turquoise, moonstone, and pearl.
Paige Pauley Jewelry Studio currently offers two lines: Contemporary and southwestern. She marvels at how her silver-smithing skills have grown and has returned to Tennessee several times.
“When I was selling advertising, I was helping people, and that felt good,” said Paige. “But no one hugged me after they purchased an item. When they try a piece of my jewelry on and smile, it’s magic. I get to create magic.”
Paige can be found at many local art markets, including Funky Finds and the Urban Artist Market. For more information, follow her on Facebook or email her.