Meet Our Designers: Anne Wipf & Whitney Corum
At Peyote Bird, Anne Wipf and Whitney Corum have been on our design team for over ten years, and are two of the driving forces behind defining the Peyote Bird aesthetic. As jewelry designers, they focus on different parts of the process: Anne primarily through materials and beading techniques, while Whitney specializes in illustration.
The pair has worked closely together to develop unique and distinct lines for Peyote Bird, including Nomad, the Peyote Bird men’s line, the Mr. Porter line, and multiple private lines for our wholesale clients. They know one another well, which makes them a very effective team.
“We both have very specific skills, so it’s nice to be able to lean on each others’ strengths to work together to make really cohesive designs. I couldn’t do what I do without Whitney. I tend to play it a little safer, but I think that’s why we compliment each other so well.” Anne says.
“We’re two sets of hands and eyes working toward one common goal.”
Both Anne and Whitney have come from their own places of personal interest in jewelry design and craft. For her part, Whitney is inspired by bold colors, excellently conceived product designs, traditional motifs, vintage pins and patterns. But sometimes her inspiration comes from other sources in her life, such as the texture and pattern on the straps of a handbag. She wears the vintage silversmith designs of her grandfather and draws inspiration from his traditional techniques.
Anne also pulls from diverse sources for what inspires her beading work. “I’ve been inspired by many different things over the years, but my biggest inspiration has always come from nature.” Growing up, Anne’s father worked in the mining industry, so she was exposed to rocks and minerals from all over the world at a young age. This naturally translated into a love for beading and jewelry design. “I’m generally a happy person - it’s my personality - and that lends itself to a lot of color!”
This dedication to color is an essential part of Anne and Whitney’s work. For certain lines, they will start their design process by matching colors to a larger client’s seasonal catalog, through pairing their sketches, beading, and pin design, to a prearranged line of clothing. But they also design from scratch, leaning on both modern and traditional color and pattern trends to inform their jewelry designs. Both artists are drawn to turquoise and to contemporary takes on time-tested classics, but are also eager to experiment within the field.
Teamwork within the design process at Peyote Bird doesn’t stop with this pair -- they work with many other artisans as well. Whitney, in particular, collaboratively designs silver components with some of our artist partners around the Southwest and the world, such as Karl “Kee” Natani, Joe Eby, and Gary Custer. Together, they develop prototypes, refine the designs, and then produce the final products. Anne also works closely with many talented artists, including Pilar and Calvin Lovato, Adonnah Langer, Mary Salazar, and Chris Leshem. Each season, they collaborate on color story, materials, and overall theme, to create cohesive, intriguing collections.
“Over the years, working with the same artists, we’re building a relationship. It’s great to see our success together”