”I love adventure. From my travels around the world, I have gained an appreciation for beauty and texture; light and reflection. I am in awe of the world’s vast array of natural landscapes and use them to fuel my creative process. In my work, I twist and morph the places I have visited to drape on the body and transport the imagination.”
Those inspiring words are from #girlboss Eve, founder of her own brand Original Eve. Here, she chats to us at House of Coco and tells us more about her brand, plans for the future and more…
When did you launch the brand and what was the reason behind it?
Throughout my life, I have been an avid traveler. Rather than let the memories waste away in iPhoto albums that I rarely look through, I decided to share my travel experiences by transforming the landscapes I have seen into wearable objects that evoke the feelings of being in that place—work I started during my Master’s in Fine Art studies. I love finding unique beauty and textures in places looking at light and reflection. With higher quality craftsmanship than trinkets from the side of the road, the objects I make are what I call “Heirlooms of Experience”.
In October of 2016, I decided to leave my full time job to focus on designing a fine jewelry collection. I launched Original Eve’s first collection, “Terracing Peru”, at the beginning of August 2017, when I was included in Vogue U.K.’s September issue.
What’s your background?
I am certified as a Graduate Gemologist and Graduate Pearl expert by the Gemological Institute of America. I earned my Master’s in Fine Art in Metal/Jewelry/CAD-CAM from Tyler School of Art at Temple University and my Bachelor’s degree in Art History and Studio Art Practice from Williams College.
I have been working in the jewelry industry for years in a variety of capacities—I worked in museums, auction houses, for small designers, and for Tiffany & Co. in education and luxury sales training. Throughout, I made custom jewelry pieces for friends and family on the side—mostly engagement rings and wedding jewelry.
All of these experiences contribute to my love for jewelry history, gemstones, and craftsmanship, which I hope you can see in my work!
How many people are involved in the company and what are their roles?
At the moment, I am a one-woman show! I design all of my jewelry on my laptop using computer-aided design, take all of my own photos, develop my website, manage my Instagram account, and personally meet with all of my commission clients.
I work with craftsmen in New York’s Jewelry District to produce all of my pieces, shuttling items between the best casters, polishers and setters I can find—quality is very important to me. All of the jewelers I work with have the firm handshakes to prove that they have spent lifetimes bending metal by hand!
If you could start over with the business, would you do anything differently?
I feel very fortunate to have started my business after working within the jewelry industry for a long time. I have many friends who have done this before me and allies who are full of advice and support. If I had to start the business over, I am not quite sure what I would change. I think more time will tell!
What is the hardest challenge you have faced since you started the company?
Starting a business on your own can be a very lonely endeavor. It’s very easy to go for a full day (or days), staring at the computer without interacting with other people face-to-face. I now work out of a co-working space and am extremely thankful for the community I have gained.
Tell us one fact about you that people wouldn’t know?
I have gigantic dimples and I used to be able to hold grapes in them. I have (sadly) lost the skill.
2017 is here, where do you plan on taking the brand?
My brand is about travel, so I have a few dream locations up my sleeve for the coming year! My next collection is going to be based on a recent trip I took to the Azores, a Portuguese volcanic island chain in the middle of the Atlantic that was absolutely breathtaking. Huge volcanoes emerge from the ocean and are covered with wild hydrangeas—My favorite flower. At the tops of the peaks are crater lakes that are the most vivid blues and greens. The collection will be very organic in form, textured, and full of colored gemstones and chains. I’m very excited about it!
To date, what has been the highlight since launching?
I make a lot of custom jewelry, mainly engagement rings. I am so lucky to be involved in this moment in people’s lives. My clients are all so amazing and different from one another. It is such a privilege to hear how they fell in love, how they know this is the person, and, ultimately, contribute to the love story by making the object that will lead them to forever. I love what I do and am so honored to be able to make them rings that are as unique as their relationships.
Which city do you feel most at home in, London, Paris or New York?
Original Eve Designs is based in New York, which is where I have lived for several years now. Though I love both London and Paris, I would say I feel most at home in the city I call home!
Three products you can’t leave the house without?
You will never see me without a pair of earrings! Recently I have been rocking the Original Eve Terrace Open Hoop Earrings in 18k Yellow Gold.
I am also wearing Johnny B. Lip Paint Kit in Chelsea (it’s the absolute best matte lipstick I have ever tried. It lasts for hours, doesn’t transfer, and doesn’t dry out the lips).
True to my trade—You also will never find me without my jeweler’s loupe! I’ve got to be able to grade diamonds on the fly!
Style is a form of self-expression. It allows people to wear their confidence in way that everyone can see.
Best thing about London to you?
Since I am a gemologist and jewelry designer, I think my answer is pretty obvious: The Crown Jewels!!
Statement shoe or statement bag?
Statement EARRING! I would much rather be barefoot, bag-less and fully bejeweled!
If you had to, what piece of clothing from your wardrobe would you wear everyday?
If I could, I would wear my adventure pants every day! I love to travel and when I went to the Amazon several years ago, I bought a pair of pants I dubbed my “Adventure Pants” that are the softest and most comfortable things I own. I would ideally be wearing them while on a travel adventure too!
Favourite love song?
You & Me by Dave Matthews Band
Most memorable piece of advice given to you?
Ice cream. I eat a lot of ice cream.
If you could spent 24 hours in anywhere in the world, where would it be?
24 hours isn’t enough time for all of the places I want to visit! I would love to go to the Bolivian Salt Flats, see the Aurora Boreilis and hot springs in Iceland, snorkel the Great Barrier Reef, visit gemstone mines in Sri Lanka, the colorful buildings of Cinque Terra, and the Fjords in Norway.
But, if I am only allowed to go to one place, I think I would choose to go to my hometown in New England on the coast of Massachusetts. Not only are the white sand beaches beautiful, but a trip there includes the most loving (and naughty) Labrador on the planet!
In future, how do you plan on expanding the company?
My plan is to create additional lines based on various locations around the world, taking into account the unique textures, light, and feeling of being in those places.
Find out more…