KRISTIN CHRISTOPHER: Our (Short) Story ... Kristin & Chris Cooper
Chris and I met in college while majoring in jewelry design and metalsmithing. We married shortly after graduating and traveled the country selling our handmade pieces at art fairs, galleries and boutiques. Today, we enjoy making creative, fun, artistic jewelry to be worn every day, (like your favorite pair of jeans) from our studio in Lenexa, KS. We take great pride in making each one-of-a-kind piece by hand, with every saw cut, hammer strike, and hand-textured pattern we create. We love connecting with the people who collect our work at our shows and online. We hope our jewelry brings a sense of fun, individuality, as well as peace and comfort to each person who wears it. We are so grateful to be able to do what we love and have others appreciate it. It’s hard to put into words, but it is the coolest feeling in the world to create something with our hands from our hearts and souls that others appreciate and want to wear on their bodies or give to someone they care about ... incredibly satisfying and inspiring!
ABOUT Kristin Cooper
I find great joy, challenge, peace, and inspiration making jewelry with my hands. It is absolutely what I am meant to do. As an 8-year-old growing up in the country outside of Iowa City, I designed jewelry collections out of clay and displayed them on a tray for my mom to “buy.” I’d spend hours playing in her jewelry box, studying silver pieces she cast in art school and beaded treasures she collected in Japan and the Philippines. Dressing my Barbies in wildly creative outfits sewn by my aunt gave me the perspective that dressing (and walking) to your own drum beat is a positive thing. The reality “I can make anything I imagine that no one else will have” inspired me to sew outfits and prom dresses and make jewelry in high school, cementing my passion for individual self-expression through fashion and accessories. This same passion drives me to make jewelry today, and Chris and I both love creating opportunities for individuality and self-expression for the people who wear our work.
I attended the University of Kansas on a diving scholarship and competed until devastating shoulder injuries ended my diving career. Luckily, I took a jewelry class and found my calling, funneling my athletic drive and focus into making jewelry. I spent two magical, life-changing summers as an assistant at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, and one as an assistant at Penland School of Crafts in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina … and soon after I met Chris …
ABOUT Chris Cooper
Chris’s brain works in mysterious and wonderful ways – he’s a true artist, natural comedian, self-taught programmer, and nature-loving free-spirit. While growing up in Wichita, KS, his parents recognized his talents for drawing early on and enrolled him in lessons. At 15 he taught himself to program an animation on his dad’s computer, writing dozens of pages of code. When Chris started at The University of Kansas his interests were computer science and illustration. Mid-way through college, a summer adventure working in Aspen turned into a whole year. When he returned to KU, deciding to major in jewelry design and metalsmithing, he walked into jewelry class and met me. We instantly connected and became creative competitors and allies, inspiring each other to excel, and benefiting us in many ways including several scholarship awards for each. To this day, Chris continually challenges me to push the limits and try to out-do him in sterling silver. I’m often blown away by the jewelry he creates, and I am grateful to work so closely with someone I admire, and grateful we’re able to put our two minds, two styles, and two passions together to create our Kristin Christopher lines.
One of the best parts of doing what we love is sharing our creative adventures with our two boys (alongside our three rescue dogs, Ditto, Frizzb & Jax). When we’re not making jewelry, on a hike with the family, or cheering on our boys’ at their events, I’m most likely teaching yoga or writing, and Chris might be sketching, taking photos, designing games with the boys or sending them into fits of giggles.
Enjoy perusing our site! Please contact me if you have questions about our work or would like to share comments or suggestions. Chris and I would love to hear from you!
Kristin & Chris