Jewelry Designer Joan Goodman Creates Works of Art with PONO

Joan Goodman with Costume Designer Dan Lawson

Jewelry designer Joan Goodman has outfitted several celebrities in her PONO brand. The brand, designed in New York City, is comprised of eclectic and unique designs. A creative and calming presence, Goodman sets her designs apart with the individual attention she gives to each and every one of her designs. We spoke with the designer about her brand and her vision.

What drew you to jewelry design in the first place? 

I had been working with these amazing factories and incredible people in the button world for over 20 years. I loved the people, the materials, and the creativity. When I saw the button business changing and transplanting to Asia (we specialized in European & domestic buttons)and I know I wanted to do something that would keep me working in Italy.

PONO is a Hawaiin word. How does Hawaii shape the identity of the brand?

PONO means righteousness in Hawaiian. When I lived there I was very immersed in Hawaiian culture, the spirit of Hawaii and the integrity of the people. Aloha means love and compassion. Mother Nature, who is powerful and magnificent throughout the islands. All of these things shaped the kind of brand we wanted to create.

What is the thought process when you first set out to design a piece? Is it the design or the materials that first start the creative process?

The process can be either or both! Sometimes I have a design and then I come upon a new and unique material and it changes. Sometimes the material totally inspires the piece, and sometimes we make materials do things we never knew they could do!

Where do you find the most inspiration for your work? 

I draw inspiration from so many places. I think most often it comes from Mother Nature: shapes, colors, and textures that blow me away and inspire a necklace. It’s amazing! But it is also art, music, ballet, meditation practice and sometimes something more literal, like a person I might see walking down the street or on the subway. I am very open in that way.

Since this is a magazine about inspiring women, what do you think makes an inspirational woman? 

I think anyone who has a positive effect on another human being, the planet or their own circle is inspiring. Anyone who expands our mind in any way or gives us the support we need to do something we did not think we could do is inspiring. If we allow it, most people and experiences in our lives are our teachers and hopefully they inspire us to learn and grow.

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