Designer Spotlight: Ariel Gordon
Posted on November 17 2015
Handmade in Los Angeles, Ariel Gordon Jewelry consists of highly personal pieces designed to be worn together and collected overtime. Worn by beauties such as Miranda Kerr, Drew Barrymore, Selena Gomez and Jessica Alba, Gordon’s pieces focus on the intersection of traditional craftsmanship and modern design.
We were lucky enough to chat with the designer herself about everything from how to keep necklaces from tangling to her creative process to her favorite wine. Read on, and prepare to get inspired.
You’re all about delicate stackers. Any styling tips on layering or mixing metals?
I am all about mixing metals. At the moment, I’m wearing 1 rose gold ring, 3 yellow gold rings, and 2 platinum rings. Since they’re delicate, it doesn’t feel like overkill, which is great. If you want to layer necklaces, try mixing the chains. If you wear 2 delicate cable chain necklaces, they’re bound to tangle…but 1 cable chain necklace and 1 faceted bead chain necklace is far less likely to tangle.
How did Ariel Gordon come about?
I used to work in PR and I took a few jewelry classes in Santa Monica as a creative outlet because I was feeling frustrated at work. I really liked making something tangible with my hands and found that I had a knack for it. I signed up for the Revere Academy in San Francisco and did an intensive jewelry design program where I learned everything from soldering to stone setting to casting to gemology. It was a great base of knowledge to work off of. After that, I was Maya Brenner's right hand girl for 5 years where I learned the business side of things.
Tell us a little about your creative process.
When the time comes for me to design a new collection, I turn everything else off and give myself a block of time to sit down quietly and start designing. That usually ends up being a Friday night at 8 or 9. It's become a bit more difficult to find the time now that I have an 11-month-old son, so I am constantly sketching all the little inspirations around me. From design to sampling to production to market is usually a 2 - 3 month process.
You work with a ton of bloggers and celebs. How did these relationships come to life?
Having a background in PR has been a huge help for me. I did my own PR for the first 3 years of my business, but now I work with a great firm. I’ve been lucky to garner a lot of magazine press, celeb fans, and blogger supporters in a few short years. A huge portion of my business is through my website and having this sort of exposure translates directly into web sales and building brand awareness.
Congrats! You're a new mama! How do you balance work with your personal life?
One of the reasons I wanted to start my own business was because I knew when I had kids, I wanted a flexible schedule so I could spend as much time with them as I could. I spent the first 8 months of Luca's life juggling things without any help (other than my husband). I ended up getting a wonderful nanny when I had to go to NYC for a week of appointments and now I have her 3 days a week. I bring her and Luca to the studio with me so I can still see him and nurse him. Since he is crawling everywhere, I knew I need another set of hands on deck.
When did you know you made it?
One day (during the first year of AGJ), I was in the checkout aisle at the grocery store and there was a Lucky Magazine next to an InStyle next to an Us Weekly next to a Glamour and I had jewelry in all 4 of them at the same time. That was definitely a proud moment for me. I also was pretty honored when someone walked up to me at the Farmer's Market wearing head to toe AGJ.
How do you get inspired?
Favorite Coffee Drink?
I never drank coffee until I had Luca. Now I start each day with a Nespresso Americano with a little organic vanilla creme mixed in.
How do you like to pamper yourself?
I recently got eyelash extensions and they really brighten up my face. I don't wear any makeup unless I have a meeting or an event, and It's amazing what a difference they make.
Favorite fall piece from your line?
All are pieces inspired by Luca. Right now, I’m loving the Medallion Signet Necklace and the Name It Stud.
A nice cool glass of Rose on a warm night
Who inspires you?
My chic girl friends.
Favorite vacation spots?
Tulum, Paris, Tokyo.
What's next for Ariel Gordon?
We’ll always be crafting up those delicate, personalized jewels. But I’m also hoping for a bridal line…and a nap sometime soon.