Born & raised in the idyllic northern California beach town of Santa Cruz...
Brooke DeDiego grew up building forts, climbing trees, and “enjoying the freedom of having space to run and play.” An artist at heart, sewing, card making, and painting were always central to her creative spirit. Given her line of work, that's not entirely a surprise, right?
But as with most things in life, the road from here to there took a few twists and turns. After college, jewelry wasn’t even in the picture as Brooke headed cross-country to New York to join the proverbial “rat race”. Armed with a job in finance and a microscopic apartment that mocked the notion of her spacious upbringing on a daily basis, she learned to navigate the mean streets of Manhattan.
(Ed. Note: Born + raised on those same streets.)
West meets east. Meets west again.
"My time in NYC made me a little tougher and assertive", Brooke says. "It also inspired me to follow my heart." Which is why, after six long years crunching numbers, Brooke devised a heartfelt exit strategy in the form of a silversmith class at the School of Visual Arts.
And then another...and another… until soon, her tiny bedroom included a workbench, tools, and the realization “I could make beautiful things that people would want to wear.”
Two years after that first class, Brooke quit finance and Porter Gulch was born. Leaving her steady income behind wasn't easy at first, but the gamble has more than paid off. "I find that I am most creative when my life is balanced."
Speaking of balance, last year Brooke and her husband relocated to San Francisco. “This city is so beautiful, it's easy to love", she says. "We can still walk to restaurants and bars, but also easily hop in the car for a trip to the beach or redwoods.”
We… hesitate. Brooke smiles patiently, but stands her ground. “You'll understand once you get there.”