Jewelry can finish an outfit and give you that needed boost of confidence. Yet until the past couple of years I rarely wore it. Two things changed that: meeting a few designers who crafted jewelry in the US and displaying my jewelry so that I could easily grab a piece or two when I rushed out the door.
I don't have much jewelry in my closet. A lot of the pieces I got when I was growing up were stolen along with my hope chest from a storage facility in college. The pieces I've chosen to keep and to purchase for myself all have stories behind them. When I wear them I remember where I picked the item up (or who gifted it to me), who made it for me, and where I've worn the piece before.
Last October I took Style and Styleability from Hilary Rushford. One of her closet organization tips, put your jewelry on display, has totally changed how often I wear my jewelry.
Now, whether it's dashing to the corner store or going out on a date with cubes, I always finish my outfit with jewelry. Most of the items I wear are vintage finds from my grandmother and my aunts. Other pieces are handcrafted items from US based designers I found through attending Alt Summits. I love supporting fellow makers, so I thought I'd introduce you to three of my favorites.
Seattle-Based Ravenna Girls
One of my friends braids nautical rope. One holiday he made me a keychain of braided black nautical rope that I looped together to wear as a bracelet. So, you can imagine my joy when I opened a gift from Bing at lunch during my first Alt Summit. In it was a cyan braided nautical rope bracelet (not shown) from Ravenna Girls. I fell in love and wore it everywhere. (I went through a phase where I was wearing neutral clothes just so that I could wear my bracelet.)
Right before Alt Summit SF I decided I should get bracelets in colors complementary to my branding. I picked up a black and white houndstooth (not shown) and a red bracelet. Shortly after, I'd expand my collection with navy blue, green, and mustard bracelets.
SF Bay Area-Based Zelma Rose
I didn't wear necklaces on an almost daily basis until I got a Chevron statement necklace in my Alt for Everyone goodie box. I loved the simplicity (and the fact that it wasn't something Gates could easily choke on when I was wearing it around her).
Lisa Anderson Shaffer, the designer behind Zelma Rose, makes simple lockets with pattern fabric that are now my go to accessory for adding a pop of color or a contrasting pattern to an outfit. The geometric statement necklaces I have are: Yellow and Grey and Purple Star. Whenever I wear one of her designs, someone always asks me where I got the necklace. The coolest thing about her designs is the convertible chain that lets you lengthen or shorten the pendant with ease. For a girl with no jewelry skills this is awesome! There's no need to find someone who can shorten the chain for me.
While Lisa lives in the SF Bay Area our paths have yet to cross. Luckily, she'll be teaching a Design Camp at Alt Summit this June (one on growing your business via Instagram). I'm sure it will be a popular session, so you can be sure I'll be lining up early!
Seattle-Based Moorea Seal
Before I met Moorea Seal in San Francisco at Alt Summit SF, I hadn't been one to regularly wear earrings. Earrings for me were typically reserved for occasions when I was dressing up. A simple business card with treat attached changed all that. I shared a hometown shortbread from my favorite local chocolate maker, Dandelion, and in return got a pair of metal stud earrings. A love for pairing modern industrial with vintage was born; I enjoyed seeing people do a double take and ask me about the disconnect in aesthetics.
I love mixed metals, so when I was looking for earrings to pair with a vintage Sigrid Olsen necklace I'd been gifted, I immediately went to Moorea Seal. Her Modern Tribal earrings (shown only in the jewelry display) are my favorite. I wore them for confidence the day I filmed the video introduction for my online Thai Flavors cooking class.
As cubes and I go camping every Fourth of July and Labor Day Weekends, I like being able to wear non-traditional statement rings where my engagement and wedding rings would normally go. Being born in February, I've always had raw amethyst as part of my room decor. When Moorea Seal offered adjustable Amethyst rings I couldn't resist and snapped one up. It's traveled safely to and from four holiday campouts to date.
Credits: All layouts designed by and images taken by Eden Hensley Silverstein for The Road to the Good Life.
Disclosure: I received a Ravenna Girls Nautical Bracelet in cyan (not shown) from Bing as a gift during Thursday lunch at Alt Summit SLC 2013. I received the Zelma Rose Chevron pendant in the Goodie Box all attendees to Alt for Everyone May 2013 received. I received the earrings and ring when I exchanged business cards with Moorea Seal at Alt Summit SF and Alt Summit SLC 2014, respectively. I am not being compensated to write about the jewelry I received, nor did I receive any discounts for the jewelry I purchased after each conference. I am not an affiliate of any of the designers; I do not receive any compensation if you choose to purchase jewelry. All opinions presented are my own.