In continuing our Women at Work series, spotlighting female business owners on the Central Coast, I am pleased to introduce Lauren Miller, of Elizabeth Lauren Jewelry Designs, to you dear readers. Lauren was gracious to share some of her thoughts and inspirations in an interview. With her background as an athlete and her passions firmly grounded in creativity and design, Lauren’s work strikes a balance between strength and serenity, her pieces are absolutely beautiful.
1) Tell us a little bit about yourself…
I grew up in the mountains of Santa Cruz, California and I played competitive soccer from age 5 on. Soccer was a huge part of my life and the sport led me to receive a full scholarship to Cal Poly. I started at Cal Poly in 2009 as a Kinesiology major. Since I was an athlete for the majority of my life, I wanted to be a physical therapist; however, shortly into my college career, I realized studying science wasn’t a good fit for me. In 2011, I transferred into the History department so I could read, write and interpret past events. During my fourth and final year at Cal Poly, I had to choose a senior project topic and my professor advised me to choose something that I was passionate about; jewelry immediately popped into my head. I started making jewelry in 2008 during my senior year at Santa Cruz High School. The jewelry smithing class taught me how to solder and manipulate metals as well as set stones and wire wrap.
2) What was the first piece of jewelry you made? How has your business grown and developed since then?
The first piece of jewelry that I made and was proud of was a sterling silver, bezel set abalone ring. My dad used to dive for abalone up the northern coast of California and he had a case of abalone shells that weren’t being used. I took the opportunity to incorporate objects that would bring sentimentality and beauty into one piece. Since then, my business has stayed true to an earthy feel, but has progressed to a more simplistic style.
3) How do you define Elizabeth Lauren Jewelry Designs? What kind of woman is it designed for?
Elizabeth Lauren Jewelry Designs are modern, simplistic, understated and beautiful. I like to texture my metals and I try to incorporate natural stones whether it be turquoise, chalcedony, jade or jasper. The woman I design for is casually elegant, dresses both simply and professionally.
4) Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration from other contemporary jewelry designs in stores, online, and in the media. I take those concepts and try to make them my own. Since I work for a jewelry business in downtown San Luis Obispo, I am exposed to new jewelry lines every day. I pull little aspects from every piece and incorporate them into one.
5) Most influential woman in your life?
The most influential woman in my life is my mom because she has always been supportive of my life decisions. She trusts that I will choose the right path and do what makes me happy.
6) Last book you read and enjoyed?
The last book I read and enjoyed was Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert. It is the sequel to Eat, Pray, Love. I appreciated her path to self discovery.
7) Go-to wine?
My go-to wine is any Cabernet Sauvignon.
8) What do you order at a bar?
At a bar, I order a margarita, on the rocks, no salt.
9) Hopes/dreams/aspirations for the future?
For the future, I intend to truly know myself, to always seek happiness, and to nurture the relationships I’ve acquired thus far. In regards to my jewelry business, I hope that designing always remains a passion.
Thanks so much for sharing Lauren! Readers be sure to check out Lauren’s beautiful designs in her Etsy shop (click here).