My Story


Welcome to The Elegant Muse - the home of one-of-a-kind heirloom jewelry created with antique & vintage treasures!

My adventure to becoming a jewelry designer was two faceted–and both paths involved sparkle! When I was a young girl, I loved venturing to antique shops with my Mom, always being drawn to the shimmering brooches, necklaces, and earrings displayed inside the glass cases.

Once I grew older, I enjoyed a career as a professional ballet dancer and loved wearing the magnificent, jewel-studded costumes. I longed to capture that sense of elegance in my everyday life, so would sometimes wear jewelry passed down to me by the women in my family-a sparkling brooch or a pair of once-loved rhinestone earrings. But the outdated treasures mostly stayed tucked away in a drawer.

Until one day I tried on a string of my grandmother’s pearls.

The imitation pearl strand wasn’t especially extraordinary, but the clasp was exquisite! I used the clasp to create a pendant and hand-stitched the pearls into a more contemporary style. The Elegant Muse was born. 

Since 2016 I’ve collected once-loved treasures from around the world and created hundreds of pieces of jewelry with them–each holding the memory of being worn by a mother, grandmother, daughter, sister or sweet friend.  Recapturing past treasures and transforming them into a new, timeless style to enjoy for years to come–that’s what The Elegant Muse jewelry is all about.

Suzanne W. Paynter

Jewelry Artist