When it comes to jewelry, designer Erin Gordon knows what she likes, and happily, Chicago likes it too. A New York transplant, Gordon began her line of jewelry as a hobby, but by 2009, she was selling her signature semi-precious gemstone charm bracelets direct to customers and at Sarca, a Gold Coast boutique. Demand escalated, however, and in response, Gordon is launching an e-commerce site, allowing her growing customer base to shop at their convenience. Gordon spoke with Our Town about her favorite designs, her new men’s line and the style-setter she hopes will be Bah-nanas over her work.
Our Town What’s the first piece of jewelry you remember owning?
Erin Gordon When I was very young, my grandparents had a ring made with my birthstone and diamonds for me to wear when it was time for my Bat Mitzvah.
OT What inspires you?
EG So many things, from friends, family and favorite quotes, to fashion, colors, prints, fabrics, art and photography.
OT Which of your designs are you most excited about right now?
EG I recently launched a brand new Luxe Line which will be available on my website in April. With the Luxe Line, I am using luxury gemstones like Malachite, Leopard Skin Agate and Cloudy Quartz with rose gold and rondelle crystal ball accents. The Luxe Line can either be worn alone or mixed in with bracelets from my core collection to add a little extra sparkle.
OT What would you say to others interested in making their hobby a business?
EG I am so lucky I was able to turn my passion for jewelry design into a business. It’s definitely been a learning experience over the past year but if you truly love what you do, it’s worth all of the hard work and dedication it requires to be successful.
OT You’re known for your charm bracelets, a retro concept. However, your take seems current. How do you achieve a look both modern and vintage?
EG When I initially launched my jewelry line, I focused on creating one-of-a-kind pieces using vintage brooches and charms mixed with new gemstones. With the popularity of my vintage pieces, I expanded my collection with signature bracelets that reflect a modern take on a charm bracelet using vibrant gemstones and edgy charms like skulls, Buddha’s, peace signs and feathers.
OT Your website will feature a men’s line. What does that entail?
EG My men’s line is perfect for stylish men who like to stand out. The men’s bracelets are simple but add an unexpected edge to a well-stocked wardrobe. My most popular men’s bracelet is definitely the black onyx skull bracelet.
OT What was the inspiration behind your bridal line?
EG I wanted to provide a chic alternative for brides looking for fashion-forward bridesmaid gifts. I work one-on-one with many brides who love gifting their bridesmaids with a signature bracelet or a set. The monogrammed bracelets are perfect for groups and the bride can select the color or unique charm that complements each bridesmaid’s style. I also have pieces that are ideal for brides, either for showers, rehearsal dinners or even the big day.
OT Who would you love to see wearing your jewelry?
EG I love Rachel Zoe and her style. I know if she was seen in my pieces then everyone would need to have them.
Find your new favorite bracelet at www.byeringordon.com. Oh, and BREAKING RACHEL ZOE NEWS: Looks like today's the day. Here's hoping the kid gets his or her mother's ambition and father's appetite and not vice versa.
A freelance writer with an MFA in Creative Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Sarah Terez Rosenblum, when not writing, supports herself as a figure model, Spinning instructor and teacher at Chicago's Story Studio. Inevitably one day she will find herself lecturing naked on a spinning bike. She’s kind of looking forward to it actually. IMPORTANT: the official Our Town site doesn't support comments. Join in the conversation by followingOur Town on Facebook and Sarah on Twitter: @SarahTerez