Have a little read of our latest interview with the chilled but effortlessly cool Elizabeth Schricker of the newly branded Elizabeth Stone jewellery, formerly our beloved beachy bohemian jeweler, Oia Jules. We chatted about social media and it's art form, to insane Chinese factory dealers and her fav instagram accounts. Who are the LA girls to follow? We got the scoop, have a wee read over a cuppa, and enjoy. :-)
We are smitten with your jewellery (as you’ve probably guessed, with our numerous repeat orders!), can you tell us a little bit about your background, about Oia Jules now Elizabeth Stone, and how it all started?
It’s been two years since I went off on my own. After having grown up on the East Coast of the US, I went to art school in New York City. I then came to Los Angeles and worked as in graphic design and art direction for many years.
I actually started the company as a kind of side project with a friend of mine from art school, almost as a way of reconnecting we started making jewellery together. We began small, selling at local craft fairs and from there decided to start the Etsy shop. When Etsy started doing well, it was from that point we really starting promoting it, we did a whole grass roots campaign with fashion bloggers, right before that explosion of that whole craze of blogging. I managed to get some of our pieces out there. Having the knowledge of graphic design and my previous work with branding and marketing etc, I was really able to use that experience to back the Etsy shop.
I was feeling at a cross roads in my career when the Etsy shop just got on a roll and I was so passionate about jewellery and discovering new gemstones I really felt that I wanted to pursue this full time and my partner kind of went the opposite direction. We sort of switched places work wise. After she left I dove right into it. Shortly after I was asked by Jewel Mint, a big company in the US – to be one of twelve LA designers, to feature in a section of their site called "the Collective". It was a bit of an experiment, their outreach offered amazing exposure and I ended up being their top seller. That enabled me to move out of my dining room and get a studio and start a real business of my own. It was a really big moment for me; it basically helped me launch my company. So we’ve slowly been growing ever since..
That is so fantastic! Where do you find your inspiration and what is the process of designing like for you?
It's got to be Los Angeles appeal ~ New York is iconic, but L.A just has that living by the beach, movie star appeal.
A big part of the inspiration behind the brand is really that laid back glam of LA, people here tend to dress down. In a way I’m taking my New York background where people really dress up for work, whereas here you wear your flipflops to work. For me it’s that juxtaposition of ripped jeans and t-shirt with a really fabulous necklace, which is used to glam up the everyday look.
A lot of the inspiration comes from that lifestyle here in Los Angeles, that vibe. I just love pairing the natural elements of agate and druzy. I’m completely in love with finding these gemstones that ooze this incredibly one off appeal, nobody else has them. They’re unique, they all have different positive properties.
I mean, sometimes it’s challenging because not everybody is going to love every stone they get. I always think it’s better to see the line in person and you can pick whichever stones your into. That mixture of the natural beauty of the stone and a real shiny, slick chain. It’s that juxtaposition of the real earthy element mixed with the glam - that's what we're about.
Of course I am constantly sourcing new stones, new gemstones as the business grows and a lot of my inspiration comes from interacting and seeing those elements themselves.
I build from the stones and around the colours I’m into for a season - I work with that. I have a notebook filled with tiny little sketches of new pieces that I sadly have not nearly enough time to create. Sometimes i'll just make a one of a kind piece and that’s actually how I started off.
Ahh we love that ~ each piece must have some sort of representation of you, or something you have a real affinity with. It’s a beautiful way to connect with your product and the piece, as a shopper or a gift hunter, you want something personal and unique .
Yes, of course you want to work with what’s going on in the Fashion world, but it’s a fine line, you don’t want it to influence you to the point that your doing something that everybody else is doing. The challenge is constantly trying to stay ahead, to keep fresh. I am constantly thinking - how can I use these stones but in a different way, what can I pair it with that hasn’t paired it with before. How can I keep it different, fresh.
My gold chain is tarnish resistant and I try to use metals that have better quality and not just stones that come from a random China factory but are hand cut in Brazil. Stick to your guns, know your quality. It’s hard when there are copy cats, it’s important to stay ahead, not take it personally, and just have faith in your own true designs. After all you have the creative ideas.
Great tips! We'd love to know how did you come to find your vendors in Brazil? That can't have been easy?
It was a really long process, I had been buying stones locally here in Los Angeles and I was trying to source vendors through Etsy and embarked on this process of trying to track down and find suitable sources overseas. Somehow through trial and error I managed to meet with my vendor and we had a real understanding of what custom design I was looking for and he was very willing to custom cut stones for me. It was a big thing for me finding him. They own their own mines in Brazil and cut the stone there and being able to trust somebody with your design, - it's great, the internets been a blessing and a curse. Censorship is hard, its hard to police your designs.
What would an average day be for you in your studio?
It varies, depending on our order load and I'm a mom too. My son is eight and in school right now so I try to be hands on with him. So I am kind of all over the place all of the time. ( Clearly in the best way possible, right RRR’ers? ) A typical day starts with orders and my team and I prioritise. I’m constantly doing the business side of things, designing new pieces, helping with production, emailing, social media.
Everything is made to order and honestly, there’s never a dull moment here.
Do you find it hard to separate the more administrative tasks from the more creative design aspect of things? Isn't it hard when social media never sleeps and orders keep coming in? How do you find the time to get creative?
Sometimes I’ll come into the studio just on the weekends when nobody else is here and just make the ideas I can’t stop thinking about, not all of them always work, but its good to work on the ideas that I’ve sketched out, it’s great to see it come together, for me its really hard to make it all happen at once during the day, (preach it girl, we’re only human ).
The amazing thing about social media is that direct line of contact it gives me as a designer to customers. That instant feedback is invaluable. By really communicating, to have them feel and know that they’re getting something that’s made personally for them. I care about what my customers think; social media is really valuable in that sense.
We hear ya.. Social Media is practically an art form in itself.
What is it about your studio that makes it home for you? Do you have any rituals or comforts that make it the best possible place for you to get creative, to get your work done?
My personal office was an old dentist’s office, it’s all wooden, so it has this very warm vibe. The lighting in here is really great. I have gem shaped everything - a gem speaker, a gem shaped glass, prints of gems - it’s modern but feminine with unicorn print and gem wallpaper - which let’s be honest wouldn’t go down so well with her eight year old son.. or maybe it would? We’ll leave her to find that out..
There’s tonnes of gorgeous stones surrounding us everyday, that, combined with beautiful natural light, that’s what makes it a home to me.
Describe your brand in three words?
Laid back Glam.
As you know, you are well and truly on our list, but we’d love to know what emerging designers you are keeping a wee eye on? Who sticks out for you?
Oh let's see, Jennifer Fisher, Lynn Ban – she just did all of Rhianna’s jewellery for her tour and definitely Kelly Wearstler – she started as interior designer and then started clothing and jewellery, her pieces are very sculptural.
What’s on your personal wish list at the moment? What are you looking for for Fall?
Ahhh a big burgundy Balenciaga Motorcycle bag. ( She’ll take it in black or burgundy, okay followers? HA, wouldn't we all! )
When you open your laptop each morning, what are the sites you can’t live without?
Instagram. Instragram. Instagram. I scroll through that first thing.
As far as websites, there’s Design Love Fest – it’s amazing - I love that she’s very unique..which rouses my problem with the fashion blogs, they promote a lot of the same brands, similar aesthetics (we hear ya), but DLF – she blends whimsy with vintage. She’s a go-to for inspiration definitely.
Songs of Style and Sincerely Jules are up there – I used to work with Song from SOS, and she just nails the Los Angeles look. Mixing high end with low end, it’s relaxed vibe, but is also classy.
Ah yes and Sincerely Jules, noted. They’re amazing except I can’t help but wonder do they even eat the French toast/ waffles/ ice cream frappe/ or whatever it is they are always and I mean always shot with. LOL. Sorry girls, I am a huge fan, but seriously, how do you do it?
Somebody started this funny Insta account called ‘NO, She didn’t eat that’ Check it out. They probably just take a little nibble, leaving the rest -what of it!
(Clearly I need to learn that discipline, if I’m gramming it the chances are I’m eating/drinking it….)
So who would be your favorite person to follow on Instagram?
I really like finding new fashion or lifestyle accounts which use Instagram in a more artistic way. I recommend ‘view from the top’ it’s totally refreshing and gorgeous.
We totally agree, not a formulated still life right? YIKES you totally get the Celine card holder/ purse, perfectly manicured nails and oh wait there’s my cute cupcake and the latest Michael Kors watch and beautifully bronzed and bangle clad wrist.
Who would you favourite artist be?
I love Marc Ryden, but another, lesser known artist, Stella Marie Baer.
What would your top beauty or skin tip be? We’re beauty obsessed.. do you have any can't-live without products of the moment?
Honestly I’m not a huge make-up person. I’m a massive Clinique fan, i've been using it for years, and Kiehls - their avocado eye mask is brilliant. Clinique have this amazing roller ball thing for under the eyes. I use it a lot. I’m a bit obsessed with taking care of that part of my face.
Where is your favourite place on earth?
I’m a complete beach girl. I love the city you know, I have that metropolitan love. But that’s what I love about LA, you have that access to metropolitan life and then in twenty minutes your by the beach. That’s what I love. It’s my favourite place just to relax when I have a day, just spend it by the beach.
And on that note lovely readers... off to the beach ey? HA. We wish. Although our Holywood coastline can be spectacular... xRRR