This is the story of how I fell in love. I didn’t expect it to happen like this, but it is love and it is real and I cannot contain myself.
I’m so infatuated with The Urban Smith jewelry line that I want to shout it from the rooftops and sing it a love song.
It was love at first click. A picture of one of the engraved nameplate necklaces made its way into my internet viewing field of vision for the day, and I simply had to know more. And now that I do, I’m telling you too.
The Urban Smith line consists of necklaces, rings, and bracelets in simple shapes, most of which have a word or a phrase engraved on them. The available words, phrases, and images are fantastic on their own, but I absolutely love that everything is also customizable.
Maybe it’s because I was never able to find my name on any of the jewelry or souvenirs or trinkets that seemed to be so cool when I was little, but I love anything customizable. The Urban Smith also engraves using your own handwriting, making these items personal and sentimental with an aesthetic that’s slightly more sophisticated than Things Remembered.
You can commemorate a special location with its coordinates, or get all classy and mark a significant date in Roman numerals, say something in Morse code, or sport a constellation to mark your Astrological sign (that’s Taurus above).
So in love was I that I contacted the line’s creator for more information. Molly Cruit is the actual Urban Smith, having studied metal-smithing and blacksmithing. She told me, “Each gold bar is hand cut and each piece is all hand assembled in San Francisco, and being American Made is a badge of honor that The Urban Smith rocks proudly. No bar ordered is exactly the same, and the sky is the limit on what you want to say.”
Despite being completely handmade, standard item order turnaround time is only 3-5 days, although personal handwriting pieces may take a little longer, and understandably so.
Molly combines old-school techniques with new-school emoji and other such silliness to create pieces that are as fun as you want them to be. You can get a romantic and sincere piece for yourself or someone dear to you, and also let the world know that you like to cuss.
Each necklace comes in a descriptive little pouch with impeccable design of its own, which just happens to be the element that galvanized what the line could be for Molly. She explained:
“When The Urban Smith began, it was a table at a flea market. At one of the shows, the nameplate necklaces I had made (I think 100 of them), had tangled into a large indistinguishable ball. After hours of trying to untangle, I figured there had to be a better way--sometimes an idea lightbulb is a tangled mess of chains. I decided to hang my wordy nameplate necklaces on a card, then into an envelope, then when it all came together, the envelope completed the necklace. It was a merging of so many things that I had learned; metal-smithing, graphic design, and product design, and that became The Urban Smith.”
The line includes bracelets, rings, and earrings as well, and necklaces made with stones and charms for those who like a more traditional yet still awesomely individual piece.
The Urban Smith line makes fantastic gift options, and Molly told me that one of her favorite designs was a personalized wedding gift from a group of guys to their friend from college. They came together to mark the date on a gold nameplate with an arrow and latitude/longitude design. When I asked what her favorite empowering word that appears on one of her pieces is, Molly couldn’t decide:
“I think my favorite right now is ‘FEARLESS’ or ‘FIERCE.’ I do love the ‘BAD ASS,’ and I consider my word nameplate necklaces as my mini mantras for the day. Whatever mood they day brings, one of my nameplates can help to put your own little stamp on the moment. I want the person wearing my product to feel empowered and proud of the story behind what they are wearing. I always tell my customers to be prepared to answer the question “what does your necklace say?” It’s a way to make your mark in the world, and even spark a conversation.”
Any and everything we adorn ourselves with can be empowering, and I adore the simplicity of the design as juxtaposed with the depth of some of the sentiments and what they can mean to us, as well as the contrast of the delicate designs with less-than-delicate engravings. For my first Urban Smith piece, I chose a “NO REGRETS” nameplate, because it was the one that kinda scared me the most.
With the other designs, I had such strong reactions of delight (“FUCK”), aesthetic appreciation (the stones and constellations), or giggles (“SPANK ME”), but no regrets? That shook me. I have regrets. Some of them are choices I’ve made that you can read about on this very site that I work hard to functionally process and leave in the past. Some haunt me. And they are all useless. I can’t say I have “no regrets” with 100% conviction just yet, but my necklace can. And one day, I will.
I said I chose that necklace as “my first” Urban Smith piece because I hope to be able to buy a piece for every mood. I love rings, so that “FUCK” ring might have to be next. In a size big enough to fit my middle finger, of course.