A blog about style, minimalism & self-improvement

A designer's tips for collecting timeless jewelry

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Thursday, November 19, 2015

My jewelry game is not subject to trends: I've essentially been wearing the same pieces every day for more than 10 years: a slim yellow gold wedding band strung through a yellow gold box chain, layered over a shorter gold necklace, a classic watch, and a rotating assortment of silver and antique gold rings, bracelets and earrings. Rarely do I find a piece that it earns a spot in my permanent rotation, partly because it is so difficult to find high quality, timeless pieces that are also affordable.

I was recently introduced to Chicago-based designer Lindsay Lewis' amazing line of jewelry that passed my ultimate jewelry investment test: "Would I pass this on to my future daughter?" It was a 'yes' to nearly every item. Lindsay's pieces have an expensive, vintage art deco feel but are made with affordable-yet-quality materials to keep her prices refreshingly affordable. Her work fills the (pretty bare) niche between fine and contemporary jewelry, a great source for unique items that you'll own and wear forever. I've added several pieces from her current collection to my Christmas list (hint, hint to Wes) like these earrings, this set of cuffs and this necklace.

Lindsay was nice enough to take the time for an interview for this little blog - read on for more about how she's grown her business, her advice on building a timeless collection of jewelry, and her design icons.

Tell me a little bit about your background:

I grew up in the Chicago suburbs and first learned jewelry making in high school. We had a really amazing, fully equipped metalsmithing studio. When I was taking classes in high school, I had no idea it would become a career - it was just really fun. But by the time I was a junior, I was obsessed and knew I wanted to further my education in metalsmithing. I went on to get a Bachelor's of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where I studied light metals, sculpture, and designed objects, which melded really well together for jewelry design. I taught jewelry classes for a while and also worked under a jeweler when I was in school. 

I had been selling jewelry for years but it became more full time when I graduated from college in 2013.


Who do you have in mind when you make a design?

I make what I’m personally drawn to and as I grow older and my tastes change so does the work. I can’t say I design for a specific type of person but my collection has been most successful with women ages 20-35. 

What is your key to success? 

I got to where I am by staying focused, working hard, sacrificing weekends, making friends in the industry, and loving every minute of what I do. Also, never being satisfied and always wanting more for the business! Spending so many years just learning the craft of metalsmithing has also been really helpful. 

Tell us a little bit about your design and production process. 

I do tons of research and sketches. Then make lots of samples and many times get inspiration from the metal itself and what it can do. 

What are your favorite pieces available right now? 

I love the Odette necklace and the Double Dia rings! My most popular sellers are the Dia rings, Dia cuffs, and Soleil necklace.

What tips do you have for someone trying to build a collection of unique jewelry they'll wear forever? 

Do you! Look at a million things and mash all your favorites together to create something different. 

Who are some of your icons in the jewelry design business or other creative fields? 

I love the work of Raymond Templier and Gerard Sandoz, both jewelers in the 20’s and 30’s. I think it’s important to look back in history for inspiration because it can be easy to get caught up in current trends. However, I look up to so many talented women who are killing it, running their business! It’s an amazing community to be in. 

What do you do when you're short on creative inspiration? 

I love going to the library!


Thanks, Linsday! All photos are courtesy of Linsday. You can follow her on Instagram @lindsaylewis__ and shop her work at any of these sources
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