Welcome to my Etsy shop! My name is Summer McDowell, I'm married to my best friend, a KCFD firefighter, and the best husband & Dad in the world. We're the very proud parents of a 17, 18, and 21 year old. I'm a full-time metalsmith and jewelry designer in Kansas City, Missouri. I've been designing and making jewelry for 30+ years. Dakota Designs is my line of personalized gifts and handmade jewelry that I make here in the heart of America, Missouri. I named my shop after our daughter, Dakota, in 2004. I strive to use only American made, local products, local ethically sourced leather, American mined gemstones, and recycled packaging. We are a 100% handcrafted-American-made business.
I fell in love with working with metals and designing jewelry in 1st grade when I saved up and spent all of my allowance on a little jewelry making kit. I was seriously hooked and I've been sawing on metal, designing with beads and playing with tools ever since. Fast forward to 2009, a friend introduced me to Etsy and helped me open my own Etsy jewelry shop. I was taking college classes, private silversmithing classes, working part-time making jewelry for a local jewelry company, and raising my family. In 2012, my Etsy shop literally took off, thank you Etsy!! I ended up outgrowing two different studios my hubby set up for me in our home. All 3 kids were helping make and package orders, brand leather, assemble snaps, my husband was stamping bracelets, carving wax, running all over getting supplies, even our extended family was helping with packaging orders during busy seasons. My Etsy shop completely took over our home! In 2015, my hubby designed and built me my own workshop on our land. BEST husband ever!
Designing and creating jewelry and gifts with meaning to others brings me joy. I put my heart into each piece, I say a prayer for each recipient of the memorial pieces I make. I love making something that brings a little smile, joy, or comfort to the person wearing it, it's my passion. Getting to use my own two hands to do that and playing with fire and metal means that I love going to work every day.
My designs have been featured in Seventeen Magazine, worn by Gina Rodriguez, as Jane Villanueva on Jane The Virgin, and worn by Juliana Harkavy, as Dinah Drake on CW's Arrow, twice!!
A few of my favorite things are… spending time with my family and my dogs, cooking, gardening, sunshine, nature, hardware stores, my tools and workshop, reading real books with real pages that turn, road trips, sunsets, and of course... making jewelry! Thanks for listening! Feel free to send me a convo to say hi or for special requests. :)
Thank you for all of your support in buying handmade in the USA. A portion of my sales goes to support www.RendedHeart.org
an organization that supports and provides shelter, medical and legal advocacy, and aftercare for victims of human trafficking. Your support of my handmade jewelry is helping make a difference in the world right now! You are helping survivors find hope and empowerment in their new lives.
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