From Georgia to Oprah


Published:

Kristen Baird’s Splash Cuff made a big splash on Oprah, but that’s just the beginning of her story.

You know you’ve arrived when Oprah Winfrey wears one of your designs, and Kristen Baird has arrived. Oprah wore one of Baird’s “Splash Cuff” bracelets — an organically textured, silver band with a gemstone at each terminal — on the air multiple times. It has come to be known as the “Oprah Cuff.”

That notoriety has not changed Baird much. She designs and produces her collections and custom pieces in a studio off the dining room of her midtown Savannah home. “We make everything using traditional metalsmithing tools,” she explains. “I’m very much a tool nerd.” Gizmos and gadgets line the walls of her small but bright workspace. “It’s top-of-the-industry machinery right here in our little studio.”

Baird remains true to values that helped her get off the ground — sustainability, ethical practices and giving back to her community. She uses eco-friendly and recycled materials as much as she can, and works hard to find vendors that follow international standards for ethically sourced metals and gemstones.

Baird gives part of her profits to a charity close to her heart — the SD Gunner Fund — which donates service dogs to veterans and disabled children. She says, “I wanted my business to stand for something. Britnee Kinard founded the fund, and there was something about her I really liked. She’s a small nonprofit. I’m a small business. We’re both women in business in different ways, so I reached out to partner with her.”

Now, her business has grown to the point where she can support two staff and “pay it forward,” as she says — a point of pride for Baird. She regularly mentors young women entrepreneurs and remains involved at the Savannah College of Art and Design where she completed her education. “A lot of people ask to pick my brain, and of course, I ask ‘Can I pick your brain?’ all the time. Building a business takes a village.”

If there’s anyone she’s competitive with, it’s herself. Baird has big goals for the future — selling her designs in all 50 states, growing to the point where she can fully fund a service dog for SD Gunner Fund, and moving toward more custom pieces and heirloom redesigns in addition to her regular collections.

“I’m constantly trying to grow what I offer, but I still want to maintain that small feel where my customers know their piece was designed and handled by me.”

She shows off a necklace she recently completed for a client with a spray of vintage diamonds set in a silver pendant. Baird explains the process; “We were able to turn it into one single piece that she can wear with diamonds from her mom, her grandma, her aunt and her sister. I’m very passionate about helping my clients when other jewelry stores can’t or won’t. If you see something you like, I can size it to you. With my heirloom redesigns, I can put the thought and care into it that my clients want with these precious pieces of family history. I want people to have a very tailored experience.”

“There’s nothing like a good story to get people’s attention,” she says of her heirloom pieces. The same could be said when your design bedecks Oprah’s wrist, but that’s just the beginning of the story for Baird.

Baird’s designs can be found on her website and in Kessler Collection hotel boutiques, as well as in select stores and galleries throughout the region. Kristenbaird.com

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Greatest Kids 2019

Nominate your kid this year and tell us why he or she has to be the winner of our South's Greatest Kids contest. Don't be shy — this could be your year!

Greatest Chefs 2019

Behind every good meal is a great chef; they are the invisible artists, working behind the scenes. Nominate your favorite chef for South magazine’s Greatest Chefs contest!
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Events Calendar

  • Eastman Gun Show

    Aug 24, 2019
    9:00 AM - 5:00 PM @ Savann Civic Center

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  • Forsyth Farmer's Market

    Jun 29, 2019
    9:00 AM - 1:00 PM @ South end of Forsyth Park

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  • SS Savannah (1819-2019)

    May 23, 2019
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM @ Ships of the Sea Museum

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  • "Portrait of the Artist" Exhibition at Telfair Museums

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    12:00 PM - 12:00 PM @ Jepson Center

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  • Southern Roots Fest

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  • MAGNUM OPUS - 2019 ARTS ON THE COAST ANNUAL EXHIBIT

    Jun 27, 2019
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  • French Moderns: Monet to Matisse, 1850-1950

    Jun 15, 2019
    All Day @ Consumer Museum of Art and Garden

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  • "Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable"

    Aug 25, 2019
    7:00 PM - 9:00 AM @ Tybee Post Theater

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  • Oak Island Farmers and Artisans' Market

    Jul 15, 2019
    8:00 AM - 1:00 PM @ Middleton Park, Oak Island

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  • Encourage Health Series

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    11:30 AM - 1:30 PM @ Charles H. Morris Center

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  • Author Visit: R.J. Lee

    Aug 28, 2019
    11:00 AM - 12:00 PM @ Islands Library

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  • Refinery29’s 29Rooms: Expand Your Reality Experience

    Aug 29, 2019
    10:30 AM - 10:00 PM @ The Works

    Refinery29 is bringing the iconic, immersive art installation 29Rooms: Expand Your Reality to Atlanta for an 11-day pop-up event from Thursday,...

  • Friday Concert Series

    May 03, 2019
    7:00 PM - 12:00 AM @ Historic Courthouse, Downtown Blairsville on the S

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  • Our Salute to Southern Rock

    Aug 30, 2019
    8:00 PM - 10:00 PM @ Tybee Post Theater

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  • Annual Oak Island Art Guild Arts & Craft Festival

    Aug 31, 2019
    8:00 AM - 5:00 PM @ Middleton Park, Oak Island

    Come explore over 100 artists and craft vendors at the Annual Oak Island Art Guild Arts & Crafts Festival! Handmade treasures like fine art,...

  • WhasSUP Yogis? Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga with Biza Mabry

    Aug 31, 2019
    10:30 AM - 11:45 AM @ Wymberly Dock, Isle of Hope

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  • Collin's Barefoot Comedy w/Mike Lester

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    8:00 PM - 9:00 PM @ Tybee Post Theater

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  • Beverly Willett Book Launch

    Sep 05, 2019
    6:00 PM - 8:00 PM @ 24e

    Join us at 24E on East Broughton from 6-8pm for the launch of Beverly Willett's memoir, Disassembly Required. Willett will have a reading as...

  • Date Night: "Gone With the Wind"

    Sep 05, 2019
    7:00 PM - 10:00 AM @ Tybee Post Theater

    Gather your gal pals and make plans for a long night swooning over the greatest romance ever told.  “Gone with the Wind,”...

  • Abbey Road 50th Anniversary Celebration

    Sep 06, 2019
    8:00 PM - 10:00 AM @ Tybee Post Theater

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Scenes of the South

August Brews for a Cause at Husk

Brews for a Cause at Husk, August 22, was truly an unforgettable night, featuring live music by Thomas Claxton and some fantastic craft beer by Southern Eagle — along with the top-notch cuisine of Chris Hathcock. A variety of incredible auction items benefited the Royce Learning Center and the Chatham Academy, including a pearl necklace from International Diamond and several rounds on the Bacon Park Golf Course!

Leopold's Ice Cream's 100 Year Birthday Block Party

Leopold’s celebrated its 100th anniversary on Saturday, August 17, throwing a birthday block party to commemorate the event.

Savannah Downtown Business Association Luncheon

The Savannah Downtown Business Association held its monthly luncheon on Aug. 14

Bohemian Hotel 10th Anniversary

The Bohemian Hotel celebrated their 10th year in business with an incredible night of cocktails and appetizers. Guests ventured up to the stunning rooftop deck overlooking the Savannah River to celebrate the hotel's decennial anniversary — reveling in the scenery with a glass of champagne.

Stonewall50 - A Legendary Block Party

The Stonewall 50 block party, held on June 28th outside the LGBTQ Center on Bull Street, commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Protest — one of the most important moments in LGBTQ history and the catalyst for the gay rights movement.

Pelindaba Lavender Savannah Grand Opening

Pelindaba Lavender Grand Opening was this past Thursday, June 28th! This fun night included ribbon cutting, product sampling, lavender refreshments and special prizes! During this festive evening 10% of sales benefitted the good work of Coastal Pet Rescue. Stop by the store at 112 E Broughton St, Savannah, Ga to see the many products they offer!

Sonja Griffin Evans Gullah Art Exhibit

The Sonja Griffin Evans Gullah Art Event in Hilton Head displayed several paintings featuring the culture and heritage of the African-American Lowcountry. Sonja Griffin Evans paints with bright vibrant colors — while also incorporating materials such as tin and wood — to emphasize the traditional Gullah style, evoking an emotional response by bringing to life historical and cultural events.

JCB MudRun 2019

Participants hit the ground running at this year's JCB Mud Fest, climbing through tough obstacles in either the 5k or the 5 mile run. At the end of the race was a long slide where, upon finishing, contestants found themselves in the Party Pit. Winners from various age groups were presented with trophies, and all the proceeds from the JCB Mud Fest benefited the Lady Bamford Center for Early Childhood Development.

Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum's 200th Anniversary!

This past Wednesday, May 22, we celebrated with Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum for for the 200th anniversary of the SS Savannah's historic trans-Atlantic crossing — the WORLD'S FIRST oceanic voyage under steam! On this year's Maritime Day, Ships of the Sea celebrated the Savannah's 200th anniversary with a commemorative ceremony provided by the PROPELLER CLUB, where Robert Morris unveiled two eight-foot paintings. The evening also included an amazing performance by the Parris Island MARINE BAND, complimentary hors d'oeuvres and celebratory beverages!

Brews For A Cause at Top Deck

This past Tuesday, May 21 we celebrated another successful Brews for a Cause at Top Deck Bar! We joined up with Southern Eagle and a great group of like minded people to benefit Two Hundred Club of the Coastal Empire in their efforts to provide financial assistance to the surviving families of local law enforcement officers and firefighters who lose their lives in the line of duty. It was another memorable night in the South filled with great people and even greater crafted beer! This month's Featured Craft Beer: Island Coastal Lager Sponsors: Island Coastal Lager, Two Hundred Club of the Coastal Empire, Southern Eagle, South Magazine