Town Square’s iconic elk antler arch soaks up the sunlit glow of a spring afternoon, and goggle tanned skiers saunter through it as if entering the pearly gates to après heaven. Look a little closer around Town Square and you’ll begin to spot elk antlers everywhere- woven into wine racks, embossed onto cards and stationary, and cast in a pretty little gold silhouette delicately strung around the neck of one of Jackson’s most popular jewelry designers.
The effortlessly put together Padgett Hoke is a jewelry designer, real estate broker, true Jackson native, and all around outdoorsy gal. She is also one of those motivated, questionably sane people you see running on the side of the road when the ground is frozen over and the snow banks are higher than an SUV, charmingly devoted to the sport she loves so much. “One time, my eyelashes were freezing,” Padgett laughs, “So I wore ski goggles. Hey, they work for skiing, so I thought, why not? This year I made a pact to not go if it’s below zero.”
Padgett is just the kind of person who finds something she loves and goes all in. While studying economics and small business administration at Montana State University, she serendipitously walked into a bead store one afternoon and left overwhelmed with the possibilities emanating from each bin of beads.
Her creative cogs began to turn, and over the next few months she made simple necklaces and earrings for her friends, blown away by the newfound ability to take pieces she liked and craft them into her own finished designs. “I come from a really creative family,” Padgett explains, “and my parents put us in all sorts of arts programs… I was always creating.” She even took a metal working class as a high school student, unaware that one day her jewelry designs would sell all over the country.
Jackson Hole eventually drew Padgett home for good, and the shapes and colors of summer days spent running and rafting have continued to inspire her collections. She designs for herself, her friends, and for the every woman, aiming to create pieces that could be worn taking a brazen plunge into Delta Lake and then getting married at the elegant Diamond Cross Ranch that same weekend. Padgett affirms, “Active people can also be glamorous people.”
Padgett’s necklaces featuring the silhouette of elk antlers and of the Teton range are her most recognizable, and the eye catching antler necklace was even worn by Scarlett on the hit TV show Nashville, catapulting Padgett’s line into mainstream popularity. Her 2017 Spring Collection is her most versatile yet, and our favorites include the timeless Howlite necklace in colors reminiscent of a hidden glacial lake, and the gold antler ear climbers, a fresh, trendy take on her classic design.
Brides often call on Padgett to design custom pieces for their weddings and bridal parties, but this summer Padgett will be playing the part of the bride and marrying her longtime love at her parents’ house among family, friends, and epic jewelry, of course. We have to wonder, what does a jewelry designer’s perfect engagement ring look like?
Padgett’s rock is actually 105 years old and belonged to her great great grandmother. The piece is as dainty and delicate as it is sentimental, so she plans on wearing it for special occasions and designing an everyday ring herself.
The busy bride-to-be is just as excited about designing her own ring as she is about creating a bra for the upcoming local charity “Bras for a Cause,” a creative fashion show event that raises money for St John’s Women’s Health Care Fund. Whatever Padgett creates is sure to stun, and if elk antler bras are involved, sign us up.
To see more of Padgett’s stunning work, or to order some for yourself, visit her website. Alternatively, swing into local store MADE and check out her latest designs for a beautiful gift or a lovely souvenir.