This weekend is Richard Schmidt’s 9th trunk show at The Gypsy Wagon. I discovered my love for Richard Schmidt Jewelry Designs while searching for artists to feature in my first store in 2007. I met Richard and his wife, Janet, at their booth in Round Top at Texas Antiques Week. His work captivated me; it had an alluring quality, something hard to put in words, but I could feel, touch, and see the story behind each piece. Enchanted by my findings, I asked Richard and Janet if I could sell his work at my new, unheard of, store in Dallas. They said yes. This was my first clue that the Schmidts were the nicest people of the planet.
What happened next is a business relationship that would fast become a friendship. As The Gypsy Wagon grew and evolved, the Schmidts became my cheerleaders, my support system, and my sounding board. But at the core of it all was a love and appreciation of Richard's work.
Still to this day, when a new piece is revealed or a collection is created, it is like seeing his jewelry for the first time again. That has got to be the ultimate reward for an artist and the hardest thing to pull off: to stay ahead of your customer’s dreams. He is gifted.
I can unequivocally say that I would not be where I am today without the guidance, the support, and the friendship of Richard and Janet Schmidt. When I walked into that booth in Round Top, there was no way to know that I was meeting people who would change my life. -Carley Seale
Read on to learn more about Richard Schmidt's inspirations and how he got his start.
How did you get into the jewelry business? My minor was art so that is when I really started making jewelry. Our family had a jewelry store so that kind of led me to it. The materials were easily accessible. I made some jewelry in college but didn’t make it again for about 15-20 years. I got married and Janet and I had small children. I wanted to raise his kids in a small town and give them the life I had. My parents, Milton and Betty Schmidt, owned the jewelry store. It was a regular jewelry store when we bought it then we brought in other artisans. My dad taught me and refreshed a lot of my basic knowledge to be able to start.
How do you come up with your designs? From inspiration and that’s from everything like the landscape the colors of the sky and the sunset.
Does your childhood play a role in your jewelry? My grandparents came over from Germany, I am a fourth generation Texan. The roughness and the rawness in the look of my design come from my Texas Heritage.
Do any celebrities wear your jewelry? Mary Emmerling, Steven Tyler, Miranda Lambert, Kacey Musgraves, Mike Wolfe from American Pickers, Domenico Dolce of Dolce and Gabbana, and Sheryl Crow are a few of them.
How would you describe your lifestyle? I don’t like things really structured but I do like a good routine. With my work I like to have a place to go at a round about certain time. I like to have one space to live my life and one space to do my work.
What are your values? God is very important to me, my family is important to me and the things that I collect. I have collected the same things all my life. Each item holds a memory. I love the memories that are attached to those things. A chair that we bought somewhere… Native American pottery. I know the time and the effort it takes to make something. A lot of it is done by artisans. The doors of our home are from Europe and Mexico. The design and the house everything in it has been collected over time.
What are your life long goals? To be comfortable and happy in life. You want to have a well-balanced life in everything.
What is your greatest accomplishment in life? It's not a material thing for me. Being happy with your friends and family and where you are. The path of life is always changing.
Have you encountered any hard times in your life? Sometimes life is awful and you just have to not be so serious because no matter what you will get through it. It depends on what time of my life and which obstacle. My family and God help me through those things.
Do you consider yourself successful? Yes, but there is that part of you that always wants to do something better and different. When someone is happy they are successful. I love what I do every day. I am so blessed to be able to do what I love.
(Interview done by guest contributor Allison Frerichs)