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716 S. Los Angeles St.
Los Angeles, CA

(310) 489-3763

Kristen Dorsey Designs, LLC was founded in 2011 by Kristen Dorsey, an award-winning Chickasaw metalsmith living and working in Huntington Beach, CA. For Kristen, jewelry goes beyond ornamental adornment; it is a medium with which she has forged her cultural identity as a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, a Native American tribe originally from the southeast.  Utilizing natural gemstones, precious metals, and other materials, her handcrafted jewelry pieces are a unique mix of Chickasaw visual traditions infused with inspiration drawn from the beauty of the California Coast.  Dorsey’s philosophy is that “jewelry is a sacred narrative; it captures moments of significance for the wearer such as transitions in life, relationships with one another, and with one’s community, cultural identity, and spirituality.”




The significance of the Yaupon Earrings & Pendant

Kristen Dorsey

Of course, my Chickasaw heritage is always present in my work. The culture and experience of my people are a part of all I do. In this new collection, I’m inspired by several plants which are an important part of daily life for my tribe.

Yaupon is the only indigenous plant in North America containing caffeine and was traditionally used for tea.  Ancestors of modern day Southeastern tribes harvested and processed Yaupon because it was a valuable trade commodity. As a coffee addict, I was excited to learn that my people have used caffeine for thousands of years! The vibrant colored stones in my Yaupon designs symbolize energy, as well as the plant’s red berries.

Other plants, such as Possum Grapes and Price’s Potato Bean are a part of the inspiration for this collection as well. These plants are not only beautifully shaped, they’ve been staple foods of my people for generations.

I live and work in the historic core neighborhood of Downtown Los Angeles. Many of the buildings in this area were built in the 1920’s.The geometric Art Deco lines  balanced with sculpted plant life seemed a perfect fit for my work. 

By blending elements of my heritage with all things Art Deco, I’ve created sexy new pieces I love to wear. I’m confident you’ll love them too.

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