Brooklyn-based jewellery designer Aaron Ruff actually started out studying furniture design at the prestigious Parsons school in New York. And while he had also worked as a carpenter and cabinetmaker, it was when he took a course in jewellery making that he found his passion. Since launching his own brand Digby & Iona in 2006, he has created six collections, and sells his designs in more than 20 cities across the globe. While his work is available online, it's also stocked by Dobry Den in Sydney's Surry Hills.
Which five words best describe you? (I only need four) Dumpster diving fancy hobo.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I started as a woodworker and had a small jewellery station set up in my woodshop. As much as I loved woodworking, I was craving to do something more personal and combined with a few nasty accidents on the tablesaw I decided it was time for a transition to preserve my fingers. We were losing our space in the woodshop and it seemed like the ideal time to make a go of it.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Never worry about the marketability of a design and just go for it. My most successful designs are always the ones I make to entertain myself and never intend to actually sell.
What’s your proudest career achievement? Seeing strangers on the street wear wearing my jewellery.
What’s been your best decision? Coming to New York young and starting my own business, I can't imagine where I'd be be now otherwise.
Who inspires you? It's a lot more what than who. Almost all my designs are rooted in my childhood. Anything that interested me as a kid seems to bubble up to the surface in my designs.
What are you passionate about? Nostalgia, old things.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Serge Gainsbourg.
What dream do you still want to fulfill? If I get to do this for the rest of my life I'll be very happy.
What are you reading? Good Omens by Neil Gaima.
images courtesy of digby & iona