BAMBI KNIGHT came to Park City back in the ’80s to ski. She was hooked and moved here soon after. But that’s the only predictable part of this sparkplug-of-a-woman’s story.
Knight’s unique path began in the late ’70s, when she abandoned her Florida corporate job the instant she was offered an apprenticeship with a jeweler. As she focused on her new trade, something nearby caught her eye—a skydiving drop zone, mere blocks away. She tried it out and couldn’t do it just once. Her initial interest turned into dozens of jumps, and then into a lifetime of formation diving with an all-women’s group called The Misty Blues.
The logo for her business, Designs by Knight (bkjewels.com), illustrates how this endlessly energetic woman balances her adventurous and creative life: the wings represent her zest for flying, the diamond for the gems she uses in her art. During her 33 years of living in Park City and building a thriving jewelry business, Knight has stayed dedicated to her skydiving alter ego. “I feel like I’m with birds of a feather in the skydiving industry,” she explains. “Jumpers are all really fun, smart people.”
She trains for skydiving year-round by hiking, skiing, and biking. And when designing jewelry, Knight caters to active people like herself. Inspired by nature and architecture, most of her designs are hand-carved from wax and cast using the lost-wax method. Lately, she’s also experimented with a direct metal method in which she creates the prototypes from paper models and then produces them in silver and copper, before going to gold. Whichever process is involved, she wants her clients to be able to wear her classic pieces every day, no matter what they are doing.
“I’m slowing down a bunch, now that I’m the old girl on the team,” she laughs. “Slowing down” is relative. For Knight, it means making closer to 50 jumps a year, instead of 250. Those jumps have led to friendships, travel, and an expanded worldview. It’s unlikely this skydiving jeweler will be grounded anytime soon.