David & Ron - Ten Thousand Things

The name TENTHOUSANDTHINGS is taken from a line of ancient Chinese philosophy: “from one thing begets the ten thousand things.” This principle of infinite creativity and constant evolution guides designers David Rees and Ron Anderson.

Each TTT piece has the integrity of antique jewelry but is distinctly modern: both organic and refined. “Our big motivation has always been to create jewelry that could be considered an heirloom piece, like something valued by your mother or grandmother and passed down through generations,” says David. “Substantial and classic but original.” Materials include rare American pearls from the Mississippi River, unusual sapphire cabochons in beautiful colors, black opals and diamonds, both brilliant white and unusual colors. A signature technique is delicate gold or silver beading on chain as necklaces and earrings. TTT’s latest innovations have come from exploring abstract shapes inspired by nature and making compositions of these shapes into strikingly original earrings and pendants and bracelets.

Ron Anderson started making his own jewelry as a teenager in Detroit. He moved to New York City to work in high fashion retail and began selling his work on the street in Soho. “I made jewelry because the requirements were easy to meet, you don’t need much space and the materials were easy to find.” says Ron.  In 1991, he met David Rees, who had moved to New York from Ohio after getting a degree in art history and was working for Linda Dresner on Park Ave. They decided to collaborate.

“Our first collection was a series of 60 inch fine black chain necklaces with a small pearl every few inches and a large raw stone cross,” says David. “At the time it was a major shift in fashion jewelry proportion. And became widely copied.” Another early piece was a tiny pair of earrings made of four small white pearls on an ear wire that were super simple and really different. They were used in the first Calvin Klein ads featuring Kate Moss. View press. The good news is that they still sell them.  

In 1997 TTT opened a retail store and production studio on 19th Street in Manhattan. “We wanted to create a studio/retail situation where we made it onsite in the studio and sold it in the front store space,” says David. “Art Smith is a great inspiration in this regard as he was among the first in the tradition of west village studio/retail establishments.” They designed the interior, which was profiled in World of Interiors. It quickly became a mecca for celebrities and stylists buying special pieces for themselves.

TTT relocated to 423 West 14th Street as the meatpacking district was being developed as a fashion center.  The interior elements of hand-blown glass and combination of woods were duplicated and the roster of designers expanded.

A second line, Good Fortune was introduced in the fall of 2008.  “We created it as a collection of unique and original charms, talismans and personal elements for customers to custom create their own charm necklaces,” says Ron.

“We love our customers,” says David. “They pay attention to detail, don’t miss a thing, see all that we put into the work and truly, that is what keeps us going, I swear. Over the years we have been stunned by the observations customers have made about the jewelry.  Susan Sarandon, one of our most beloved, longtime supporters, once said the reason she loves our jewelry is that often the simplest things are the hardest to do, just like acting. We thought that was a lovely way of seeing it.”