Aide-mémoire Jewelry is an all-inclusive, queer woman-owned small business in Seattle, Washington (the home of the Coast Salish people), founded by designer, Aran Galligan. We focus on handmade, eco-friendly, and conflict-free everyday fine jewelry, wedding bands, and engagement rings. Our mission is to create future heirlooms in a socially and environmentally responsible way, which we hope will become a part of your family story.
How We Make that Happen
Here at Aide-mémoire Jewelry, we only obtain our materials and products from limited-supply, ethical and eco-friendly sources, so you know that the beautiful piece that you are purchasing can be worn with joy and a clear conscience. All pieces listed as "Designed by Aran Galligan" are created by us and carefully handled in-house, and available for purchase on our website or through private consultation in our showroom. We are proud to sell directly to our customers, eliminating the high markups of middlemen, and thereby, keeping prices low. We believe that high-quality craftsmanship, and a sharp focus on an ethically-minded process produces the greatest value that will be treasured for years to come.
Each bespoke piece of jewelry is custom made to order. Our techniques merge tradition with the latest technology – utilizing everything from time honored metalworking skills to computer-aided design, and at times collaborating with local master stone-setters and engravers to ensure the highest quality.
All pieces sold by Aide-mémoire Jewelry are crafted from 100% recycled precious metals—with the exception of some chain components, which may not contain 100% recycled metal. We use ethical conflict-free diamonds (natural recycled, Canadian or Australian, and lab-grown) and ethical fair-trade gemstones. We go beyond the Kimberley Process in sourcing our diamonds to ensure that they truly are conflict-free, as relying on the Kimberley Process alone does not consistently prove that a diamond is conflict-free. Find out more about the diamonds that we work with on our blog post about ethical diamonds. Additionally, all packing materials are reused and reusable, recyclable and compostable, with a minimal use of plastic. We will be using some dead stock mailers for our face masks.
Additionally, Aran regularly volunteers with various non-profit organizations, and Aide-mémoire Jewelry makes monthly contributions to the following organizations:
- Lambda Legal - whose legal, education, and advocacy work touches nearly every aspect of life for lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people, and everyone living with HIV.
- Higher Heights - who are creating an environment for Black women to run, win, and lead in political offices.
- And we pay rent to the Duwamish Tribal Services whose land we are living on, and they are the stewards of this city.
Aran Galligan is inspired both by principles of modern design (functionality and truth to materials) and by beauty through simplicity. Her aesthetic philosophy can be explained through what the Japanese call ‘wabi-sabi,’ where beauty often lies in the imperfect mark of the hand or a celebration of the slight imperfections of nature.
A Seattle transplant from the East Coast, Aran received a BFA in Craft/Material Studies with a focus in jewelry from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2000, and her MFA in Metal from SUNY New Paltz in 2012. Previous to her MFA she completed a two-year fellowship at Penland School of Crafts, Penland, North Carolina. She has taught jewelry workshops and college classes nationally, and is an on the planning committee for the Seattle Metals Guild's annual Jewelry & Metal Symposium.
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