When Morgan McGoff was brainstorming a brand identity for her fledgling jewelry company, she knew she wanted a name that would evoke happy memories. And there was one phrase—one memory—she couldn’t get out of her mind. While on a yoga retreat, she had gone skinny dipping in a river on a crisp, clear night. Looking up at a brilliant Milky Way, McGoff thought to herself, This is who I am and where I belong. I truly belong in myself.
McGoff, the owner, artist, and educator behind Skinny Dip Jewelry, wanted to take that good feeling and bring it into her business. “I think that all too often we can forget the power of putting a piece of jewelry on,” she explains. “And when people put on their Skinny Dip jewelry, my hope is that they can embrace themselves.”
Using polymer clay, McGoff crafts every piece by hand in her home studio. Her inspiration draws heavily on nature and organic shapes, patterns, and textures reminiscent of water, horseshoes, and daisies—to name just a few.
Born into a long line of creative women, it was no surprise that a 10-year-old McGoff would proudly tell adults she wanted to be a “starving artist” when she grew up. Her first love was photography, which flourished after her godfather gifted her an old Canon camera. She went on to study in UC’s DAAP program, but after a few years working in that industry, McGoff realized she wanted something different.
“I realized in order for me to feel fulfilled, I didn’t want to constantly go to someone first before making a decision,” she says. “If I had a good idea or if I wanted to try something, I wanted to just do it.”
Making jewelry wasn’t always the plan, either. In Idaho, a homesick McGoff dug through a care package from her mother to find some sculpting clay. She started experimenting. “Before I knew it, I had some shapes, and I was like, Wow, this would make a cool earring,” McGoff says. And from there, her small business venture was born.
Soon, McGoff will introduce a new collection of jewelry at markets and online. “Markets have been such a huge part of Skinny Dip,” she says. “There is something magical that happens when someone sees your work and has a real-life reaction to it right in front of your eyes.”