For this month’s Designer Spotlight, we chatted with the lovely ladies behind elle+cie. Founded in 2011, elle+cie has quickly become our go-to line of delicate 14K and 18K jewelry. Perfect for every day, their pieces are best sellers in the shop, so we just couldn’t wait to meet the faces behind the brand. Read on to learn about everything from their design process to their favorite metals to their go-to vacation spots.
Your pieces are hand-selected and custom cut. Can you tell us a little about the process?
Every piece is thoughtfully designed by both of us, and hand fabricated by local goldsmiths until they are absolutely perfect.
How did elle+cie come about?
Before Launching elle+cie, we collaborated on an array of creative projects. We met through our daughters who attended preschool together in Los Angeles, and quickly discovered our mutual love of art, design and, of course, jewelry.
Tell us a little about your creative process.
We are greatly inspired by our beautiful California surroundings and draw many of our ideas from the beauty that surrounds our everyday lives. Our newest collection is based on traditional Mah Jong tiles (which is one of our favorite hobbies besides jewelry design, of course!). We have always loved the handcrafted Mah Jong sets that we collect and hoped to translate some of the spiritual and symbolic meanings behind each tile into wearable jewelry. In terms of the technical process, we discuss ideas and their inspirations, sketch out individual pieces, create computerized drawings, and work on samples and designs until they are perfect and ready to be made.
You work with numerous metals and materials. What’s your favorite?
Honestly, the materials we use are all so high quality and gorgeous that it is difficult for us to pick one favorite. But if we had to choose, we would say rose cut diamonds and diamond slices because they allow designers like us to put such a beautiful spin on a very classic gem.
What’s the best part of your partnership? How do you make it work?
I think the best aspect of our partnership is our friendship. We have been friends since our daughters were three years old. We share almost all of the same opinions about beauty and what makes jewelry unique, and both appreciate simplicity and individuality in the pieces we create. We actually first bonded over the floral arrangements we made for our daughter’s school and to this day, share a great mutual respect for each other’s creative talents, eye for design, and unique abilities. I wish we had secrets for others on how to make partnerships work, but for us, it truly works thanks to our genuine friendship and diverse personal backgrounds.
When did you know you made it?
We are both aspirational as individuals and hate defining success as a static goal. We will know we have made it when we feel there is absolutely nothing we can add to our collection, which honestly may never happen because we are constantly inspired by the beauty in our lives.
Describe your studio in a few words.
A bright, comfortable space that we enjoy being creative in.
How do you get inspired?
Nature, traveling, beautiful design, shapes, and colors.
Who is your favorite designer or artist?
Colleen – Jaume Piensa.
Lauren – Mark Rothko.
What has been your biggest best seller?
Our best sellers have definitely been our delicate necklaces. Our customers love to layer them and enjoy them both as personal pieces as well as gifts.
Favorite vacation spot?
Colleen – Cape Town, South Africa.
Lauren – Anywhere with my husband and family.
What’s next for Elle+Cie?
We plan to continue to build our customer base and focus on making pieces that our customers will cherish.