Vickie Riggs College days -early '70s

College days -early ’70s

I’m a 70s girl. I was in high school in the 60s and college in the 70s. Women were raising their voices in strong and beautiful ways. Think Joan Baez and Gloria Steinem. In my naiveté I thought we now were free! Free to do, be, and accomplish anything we wanted to!

Fast forward to the year 2008. I am an artist; a stained glass artist and a jewelry designer and goldsmith with a passion for 3-dimensional work. As a member of WJA – Women’s Jewelry Association – our chapter put forward a design contest to celebrate our 25th anniversary. When I discovered that our WJA organization was formed because we had such a small, secondary role in our industry, that in 1984 we were still being relegated to the “Would you go get us a cup of coffee?” role, I was shocked! 1984? Still not allowed to participate in all aspects of OUR industry? The jewelry industry? Seriously! So my design HAD to be about Breaking the Glass Ceiling.

And What Fun!

As it was the 25th anniversary, I carved 25 steps to the ‘top’. I imagined the effort it took to make it into the board rooms, the professional networking groups, and to finally receive the opportunity and recognition women deserved.

At the top of the stairs, there is actual glass!  As a stained glass artist, we have many patterns to pick from. Of course, I chose “crackled” glass – and on top of the glass, there is a pair of high heels. But not sitting perfectly side by side.  These shoes appear, just as yours do, after you get home from a long day’s work, and you’ve kicked them off on your way to relax with a glass of wine!

We did it in heels!

Against the tide. Overcoming the emphasis on our looks and not our talents. And if you have any doubt about that, just take note of the comments reporters make about women athletes and public figures and how much they focus on attire and hairstyle and looks: Dove Have Your Say. Unbelievable!

Again, seriously?


This design symbolizes our efforts to be equal, to be valued; and to have the opportunity to use our passion, our talents and our wisdom in the arena of life!

So regardless of your political views, we can celebrate the nomination of a woman, for the very first time, to run for the office of President of the United States of America!


Breaking The Glass Ceiling RingThank you Hillary, and all the strong and determined women before you who have pushed the envelope. Thank you for breaking yet another Glass Ceiling.




Breaking The Glass Ceiling Ring


For all women who have the courage to dream big, and persevere, the Breaking The Glass Ceiling Series symbolizes their hard earned success!

Artist’s note: Pendants and Brooches available too. See the full series collection here.