Designer Stephanie Owen has always had a love and fascination for sparkle. As a child growing up in Santa Barbara, CA, Stephanie admired her mother and grandmothers’ sense of style. She would spend long hours rummaging through their collections of sparkling jewelry, trying on each piece until she was covered, head to toe, in bling. This childhood fascination was not merely dress up but the catalyst to her jewelry design career, which took full root during her teenage years where she first experimented in designing and making her own jewelry.
After graduating from Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, Stephanie worked at a public relations firm in Los Angeles. She often wore her own jewelry creations to meetings and received enthusiastic responses from the fashion editors and celebrity stylists whom she worked alongside. But, it wasn’t until singer Joss Stone wore three of her necklaces to the Grammy Awards in 2005 that Stephanie decided to pursue jewelry design full time. She then launched Elizabeth Cole, which she named after her sister and great-great grandmother.
Working with a combination of vintage and modern glass stones, the materials are Stephanie’s largest source of inspiration. She begins the design process by considering rarity, brilliance, and color, often beginning a collection from an idea sparked by an interesting or new stone she has discovered. Other inspirational elements are derived from interior design, gardening, and nature, with her pieces resembling “bouquets of stones on your body.” She assembles key stones in each piece to direct light, drawing attention to various parts of the body. Next she layers textures, patterns, and colors to surround them, completing the piece.
“Truly, my workspace is a mess as I work best when I have stones and brass components strewn across my desk. Having all of my materials at my fingertips and working with my hands allows the piece to naturally take shape, and it is in this way that I’m able to best and most effectively design.”
Wanting to create jewelry that handle the wear of being worn every day, Stephanie places a priority on quality. She solders each prototype herself, using traditional techniques learned from a master artisan who has over 40 years of experience. Placing an emphasis on quality and authenticity, Stephanie relocated the business to Rhode Island to ensure the highest level of craftsmanship. Each piece is produced by skilled jewelry craftsmen in Rhode Island, supporting the area’s rich historical jewelry manufacturing industry.
“Many aren’t aware of Rhode Island’s history in jewelry making–it may be the smallest state in the country, but for over 100 years it was the center of costume jewelry design and production. Although much of the business has moved overseas, Rhode Island still maintains significant infrastructure for the design and manufacture of jewelry. By being in Rhode Island, I not only benefit from being surrounded by individuals who have been making jewelry for decades, but we are also able to ensure a higher standard of quality and promote a product that is Made in America, all of which is important to me.”
Elizabeth Cole collections offer feminine, glamorous jewelry that is thoughtfully designed and meticulously handcrafted. Elizabeth Cole collections are unique and fashionable, sophisticated and quirky, modern yet timeless. In 2009, Stephanie was nominated for the Fashion Group International Rising Star Award for Accessories. She has collaborated with fashion designer Zac Posen and counts Jessica Alba, Mila Kunis, Eva Mendes, Katy Perry, Alicia Keys and Mary J. Blige, among her fans.
We hope you love the Elizabeth Cole collection as much as we do.
As Always, Shine Bright!