Cheryl Dufault Trunk Show at SeeSaw Boutique
By Abby Montanez and Victoria Keenan
With no formal background in design or jewelry craftsmanship, Cheryl Dufault set out to do one thing: create pieces that carry a story within them. Combining her American-Indian background with an earthy and organic aesthetic, each piece of jewelry is manufactured in the United States and is composed of various materials found around the world, the likes of Thailand, Nepal, India, and Africa. From incorporating 100 year old African wedding rings and medicine pouches, to deer antlers from a Cherokee tribe in Oklahoma, Dufault’s designs highlight and respect the beauty of tradition and preservation.
Dufault herself is based in Huntington Beach, California, but her products can be found in boutiques and stores across the U.S., as well as internationally in Australia, Canada, Greece, Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the UK. They are also available online through her website, Cheryl Dufault Designs. Locally, she sells her pieces at SeeSaw Boutique in Tenafly, where she recently had a trunk show showcasing necklaces, rings, bracelets, and home jewelry, which can be laid out around books, mirrors, in the center of tablescapes, etc. At the trunk show, Dufault gave VUE an inside look at her pieces and the passion she has for her company.
“I didn’t really like any of the jewelry that was in the industry so I started going to the flea market and quickly became a flea market junkie. I would just take these pieces that I bought and redo them. I started by wiring raw stones onto sterling rings, hand-tearing leather and making chokers, and I’ve really gotten back to that with this collection. It’s been a truly spiritual journey,” said Dufault. “This whole experience has made me very centered. Our jewelry isn’t trendy, and it’s not for everyone, but I really believe that some of these pieces you can wear forever. My clientele really is 8-80.”
In order to create these one-of-a-kind pieces, all of the materials are hand-delivered to Dufault’s home by her pickers. “My pickers are from all over world; some I’ve worked with for over 15 years. I have three men that I work with in Africa, and some of the best stuff that I have is from a man in Afghanistan who goes into Southeast Asia and the Hills tribes. That’s where you get those really beautiful, old, historical pieces,” Dufault explained. The versatility of the materials is another aspect of what makes Dufault’s jewelry so special, the fact that no two pieces are the same or share the same history. Everything is meant to be multifunctional and lends itself to layering. Neither VUE nor Dufault could pick just one favorite piece, and the reason for that, she believes, is because: “Everything is personal to me. It’s very spiritual and I like to think that we represent everybody.”
When asked why Dufault chose to use materials from places such as Africa and India, she explained that she has always been fascinated by earthy colors and the sourcing of raw materials. “I tend to be more organic than girly in my designs and I just feel that the history of the pieces is meant to be passed on. You get a chance to continue someone’s journey.” Dufault’s designs allow her clients the unique opportunity to connect to the history and people within a specific culture, on both a spiritual and physical level, and by wearing one of her pieces, you can have a part of history around your neck or wrist, and carry on a story for many years to come.