Weekly Business Profile
Type of business:
101 Amherst SE
Albuquerque NM 87106
Number of Employees:
What does IMEC stand for?
International Metalsmith Exhibition Center.
Tell me about the history of IMEC.
IMEC was established in 1999 after realizing that our region was lacking a place where local, progressive artist could be represented. I wanted to bring jewelers who were known for their groundbreaking designs, techniques and unconventional material use. One of our artists, Amy Faust, has been working with recycled Coke bottle glass for over 20 years. George Sawyer works with an ancient Japanese technique called mokume gane, the same technique that samurai swords are made from. And Steven Kretchmer is one of the pioneers of the “tension setting”, where a stone is secured through tension, giving the illusion that the stone is floating. The Oropopo team is doing some amazing work with leather.
You sound like a jeweler.
I am. I studied Fine Arts at UNM and took as many jewelry classes as the university offered. It became my passion. I realized that jewelry was “wearable sculpture.” Running IMEC takes most of my time but I’m currently working on my own line that I plan to debut in 2015.
Your store isn’t like every other jewelry store, is it?
I hope not! You’ll find beautiful objects made from recycled stop signs, tempered glass, raw diamonds, felt and leather. Some are mixed with precious materials like gold and diamonds. People have compared my store to a gallery or a museum in NYC or Europe. I like that comparison.
Who is your customer these days?
I see a variety of people being here in Nob Hill. Tourist, families enjoying the day together and people who have been referred to us from other costumers and online services like Yelp. I see the cycle of a relationship; for example a customer has just met someone and they want to get them something special, then they get an engagement ring, followed by a wedding band, soon the “Push” gift and an anniversary gift. That’s the nice thing about my job; IMEC has become the family jeweler.
I bet a lot of brides and grooms visit your shop.
Plenty of weddings these days! I’m working with a lot of brides and grooms. IMEC offers alternative and unique engagement rings and wedding bands. I work with grooms and brides to ensure the ring is what they want and that the size and fit is correct and within their budget.
What’s is in the future for IMEC?
A couple of things are in the horizon. I am planning to expand our brand concept to products, design and fine art. I’m very interested in working with local and national artists outside of jewelry, like ceramicists, painters … basically anyone who is pushing the boundaries of design and art. I am working on our website, as well, and I’m going to push IMEC’s presence online and in social media. The future looks great.
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