Hi there! I’m Valerie Simonelli Hildenbrand, the artist behind Grove Avenue Design. I started making jewelry in college and received my BFA in Jewelry and Metalsmithing up in snowy Edinboro, PA. My hubby and I moved to Grove Avenue in Ross Township back in the ’90s and have come to love our little end of the street with the woods and birds so close by.
Right out of school, starting a jewelry business was out of reach for me, so I worked in retail jewelry stores before earning a second degree in Graphic Design from La Roche College. Design work gave me a more creative career path, but I missed the interaction with materials and just getting in there and getting my hands dirty!
In 2015, a new opportunity presented itself that allowed me to tie my love of making jewelry with design software that I used in my graphics work. One design led to another, wood and stone found a home together, and my body of work grew.
Over the last six years, I found the more I worked with wood, the more I appreciated the material for its humble beauty and warmth, comfy as hiking boots and jeans (and my jewelry looks great with them). I’m endlessly inspired by nature, abstract art, and Mid-Century Modern design. My original designs start with hand-finished wood shapes, woven with stone, glass, and tagua beads, and combined with stainless steel findings (no polishing). The newest styles use gold leaf or inlaid wire for a bright contrast. My take on jewelry is casual, pleasingly tactile, and has a pop of color. I strive to make jewelry with a quiet, grounding simplicity that is easy to care for and classic in a casual way.