“I didn’t set a stone ’till I was 55,” says Susan Lister Locke, who owns the eponymous gallery on Nantucket (https://susanlisterlocke.com/) and was voted Best Jeweler on Nantucket from 2017-2020. “Real estate had slowed to a crawl. I had been there for the booming years. But it wasn’t working and I didn’t see it coming back.” Metalsmithing had been a passion which Susan had explored in schools and workshops in the States and Italy.  She had a studio at home and when the real estate dried up, a great location for a shop came up, and she decided to take the leap. “I didn’t have a lot of money so I let the big boys do diamonds,” she says. “The first stone I bought was a colored stone. I worked with pearls and Australian bolder opals. I wasn’t a gemologist.” What Locke especially loves about the engagement and wedding rings she creates: “Those are heirlooms; they get passed down….You’re part of their story.” Her advice for those trying to make the leap from corporate to art:” Be prepared for greatness. I wasn’t.”

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