The 2021 winner of our annual March Bridal Madness contest is Brittany Pata, a custom jewelry designer at Zachary’s Jewelers in Annapolis, MD!
I had the honor of speaking with Brittany and asking her some questions about her design journey, as well as her personal life! Learn more about Brittany and her winning March Bridal Madness design below.
Congratulations, Brittany, on being crowned the 12th annual March Bridal Madness champion! Before we get into the design, tell us a little bit about yourself!
I got married in May 2019 to my husband, Nick. Nick is a D.C. Firefighter who also volunteers in his spare time. We have two dogs, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Husky. We are a fun outdoorsy family, but we also just love to snuggle up on the couch with the pups and watch a movie.
A little about my background. I went to Florida State University (Go Seminoles!) and graduated with a BFA in Graphic Design. I have always been very artistic and my ability to draw and paint was an amazing gift I was given. When I was in grade school, I actually won a few art contests and dreamed about one day becoming a muralist, but fell into graphic design and loved it. After graduating, I realized there was something huge missing from my life and my career, and that was people. Sitting behind a computer designing just wasn’t enough for me.
That’s so interesting! How did your background get you into the jewelry industry?
This is a really good story! My mom is a philanthropist and has been on the Hospice Gala board for many years, and three years ago asked me if I would help volunteer at their annual Hospice Gala Event. When I got there, employees from Zachary’s Jewelers were there giving away a big-ticket item they were donating, and they needed help selling the raffle tickets. I stepped in, and Evangeline, the owner’s sister, and Constance, who is our COO, were impressed with the way I was selling and handling the raffle ticket purchases and told me that if they had a position open at the store, I would be the first person they called. Not even 6 months later I get a call for an interview, and the rest is history!
That’s an awesome story. I can tell you are passionate about what you do! Tell me, what is the story behind the winning design?
A young man came in and wanted to propose to his girlfriend, and luckily had acquired a beautiful family stone, a round brilliant diamond. Even though I have only been in jewelry for a couple years, I have always been able to see people well, and this young man was the first young man I had sat with that I could feel the loved he felt for her just seeping from every part of him. I could tell this young man truly just could not wait to start his life with her.
He wanted to create something special, so we landed on doing a fun and unique starburst halo style setting, and I was able to send him a few ideas using different shaped diamonds in different patterns, and he chose the winning design that you see here! He put all his trust in me, and together with Zachary’s Jewelers, we created a beautiful one-of-a-kind setting that she absolutely adores! When I handed the finished piece to my customer, we both teared up and it was such a beautiful moment.
It’s truly wonderful, the moments jewelers get to experience with customers, especially for occasions of this magnitude! Did you have any inspiration for the design?
A couple weeks prior to meeting my customer, Stuller had some website banners showcasing their new starburst style halo rings, and the ring I designed pulled some characteristics from one of those styles! When he came in and said he wanted to do something a little playful and fun, I knew exactly the direction to go based on the inspiration I had seen from visiting the Stuller website.
I think the starburst-style rings are becoming really popular, and rightfully so. They are beautiful! Can you tell me about the design process of this ring?
The process started off by me as the designer coming up with different drawn ideas to showcase his family’s stone. I have attached a photo of this. Then he chose the one he liked best, and after the estimate was approved, the CAD render images were sent to him for approval. He was very excited to move onto the next step!
After that, we met once more for me to show him the WAX, which we created for him to look at and approve before the ring went to casting and setting. He ended up being thrilled with the wax and loved every step of the process. When the finished product was completed, I took it outside, like I always do for all my custom designs, and took a few nicely lit images and videos of the ring to send to him with a text saying, “It’s HERE! And it’s Beautiful!”.
I’m sure he LOVED it, I know I did. You just might have to design my engagement ring! Outside of work, what are some of your interests or hobbies?
I am an avid dog lover, Peloton Spinner, scuba-diver, Netflix binger, sunset lover, crafter, and boat day enthusiast. I also love having a cocktail downtown Annapolis with friends on a warm summer day.
Thanks so much for sharing Brittany! We here at Stuller are so thrilled with your design. We are sure you made one lucky lady very happy. Be sure to check out Zachary’s Jewelers if you’re in the Annapolis area, and be sure to keep up with them on their Facebook and Instagram.
Additionally, follow Brittany’s personal design page on Instagram here to keep up with her journey in the industry as a jewelry designer.
Want to learn about last year’s March Bridal Madness winner? Check out our feature of the 2020 champion here!