New Designer Gallery artist, Susan Highsmith, has a very intriguing personal hero: a man named Richard Nickel, who was her dad’s cousin. In her own words, “He devoted his life to salvaging and preserving Chicago’s architecture. In 1972, he died tragically when the trading room floor collapsed on him. He was attempting to save pieces from the demolition of the old Chicago Stock Exchange building, designed by Adler and Sullivan.” Susan, who, oddly enough for a jewelry designer, does not have her ears pierced, brings a dreamy homage to old architecture in her 18k gold collection.

JA New York: The first thing I ever designed was...

Susan Highsmith: A scarf that I sewed for my childhood dog for her to wear on Thanksgiving.

JA New York: Every morning I…

SH: Revisit my dreams from the night before or try to remember them.

JA New York: My Style Icon is…

SH: A toss up between Mia Farrow and Michelle Williams.

JA New York: I never leave the house without…

SH: My keys

JA New York: I have my breakfast…

SH: Usually walking around my kitchen while feeding my dog and making coffee.

JA New York: Jewelry is all about…

SH: Wearing something that speaks to you until it becomes a part of you.

JA New York: One thing I wear every day is…

SH: A custom made pendant of my dog Mable that was gifted to me when she passed away.

JA New York: I don’t eat…

SH: Pineapple. Sadly I’ve become allergic to it.

JA New York: I am a maniac about…

SH: Creating jewelry designs in my head and, of course, my dog Mia.

JA New York: My obsession of the moment is…

SH: Listening to true crime podcasts

JA New York: I’m currently reading…

SH: “They All Fall Down” by Richard Cahan

JA New York: I’m currently listening to…

SH: “Bedtime Stories,” a creepy and fascinating podcast

JA New York: My trade show uniform is…

SH: Understated and classy

JA New York: My greatest accomplishment so far is…

SH: Authentically pursuing my passions