Where do you find your inspiration for your designs?
I find my inspiration often through my travels. I love to see new places and I am always looking for unique, different vintage pieces to incorporate into my jewelry. For example one of my necklaces features a key I found while traveling in Paris, I like to think about where that key has been, who it belonged to and what it may have unlocked. There is a lot of mystery in the pieces I incorporate which makes the jewelry intriguing.
What is your background and how did you get started in jewelry design?
My background is in art and architecture. I have always been a fan of old things, textures and layering different elements in my artwork. I grew up in an old house and always liked the peeling paint and things that come along with living in an old house. I started out doing mixed media art and people often commented that my artwork looked like jewelry in a way. After losing my youngest child to brain cancer in 2007, I needed something to do to keep busy with my hands so I slowly started making jewelry. At first, I made a few pieces for myself and got a lot of comments from friends who wanted similar pieces so I started making more and before I knew it, the business quickly grew into something I could no longer contain at my dining room table.
What goes into designing jewelry for brides?
Often we get brides or mother’s of the bride who want to incorporate a family heirloom into their wedding day ensemble. We look at the style of the dress, the neckline or in some cases maybe design something to go around the bouquet that gives the bride the old and new on her wedding day. We will take a piece like maybe an old locket for example, that has been in her family and giving it new life in the form of a necklace or something to carry with the bouquet and it holds special meaning on her wedding day and can live on to be passed down again. We have lockets that can hold a special photograph and then attach to a bouquet then later worn on one of our necklaces. Brides enjoy having a piece from their wedding day which they can wear everyday after. We also design for bridal parties if you are looking for a custom necklace for the bridesmaids dresses or a simple set of earrings to give as a bridesmaid gift that can be worn during the ceremony and later enjoyed every day after.
What are some of your favorite designs you’ve done for brides/bridal parties?
I would have to say the lockets which attach to bouquets holding a photograph of a special family member. We have had several bride’s who have lost their fathers at an early age and I am always grateful for the opportunity to provide them with a way for their dad to walk with them down the aisle that day in the form of a photograph in a locket. Working with mother’s of the bride is also rewarding since they tend to have a difficult time finding an ensemble they really love and feel confident wearing. We can work from scratch designing a necklace or a group of jewelry to fit them and their dress specifically. That is often how new designs originate and we name the new style after the woman it was designed for. Mother’s of the bride especially like the fact that they can wear their jewelry again later–even with jeans!
What advice do you have for brides when picking the right jewelry for their wedding day?
Make sure it’s based in a classic design! It should always represent your personality, however, you never want to look back and wish you had made a different choice!
ExVoto is hosting a bridal event this Thursday from 10 to 5 in their new showroom in Mountain Brook Village. Make sure to stop in to see how you can incorporate Elizabeth’s lovely designs into your wedding.