What: Jewelry made of metal, semiprecious stones, beads and canvas. Described as a “modern spin on timeless classics,” it’s designed to be “transitional” – something you can wear to work and events afterward. Prices range from about $16 to about $300.
Who: Erin McDermott White knew designing jewelry was her full-time passion when she began selling her creations at the local farmer’s market in her hometown of Charlottesville, Va. She was able to see the reaction her pieces received, and see them in a different light – and she loved it. She studied studio art at the University of Virginia, but took a semester to specifically study making jewelry at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. She aims to make affordable jewelry that can be worn anywhere. “I make pieces women can wear to work, to yoga class, to a wedding – really like those pieces you can put on every single day and it works. Unique and different, but still you feel really confident wearing.”
How: McDermott White says she gets inspiration for her pieces from everything around her and doesn’t view them as simply jewelry. “I guess for me a lot of times it’s just seeing colors, shapes and stones and figuring out how to assemble them in a way that will be attractive. I get inspirations from a lot of things as far as paintings and the way people put together things. I don’t see it as an actual earring and a necklace, I see it more of a blend of shapes and colors.” She works out of her studio behind her Myers Park home and also will work with groups who want jewelry-making classes – she recently taught a book club how to make handmade tassels and necklaces – or anyone who wants custom-designed pieces.
Bridal love: McDermott White has found a niche with bridal jewelry and estimates she creates earrings and necklaces for 200 weddings per year. The focus came after her own wedding, when she had 11 bridesmaids. “I wanted to give the girls something that they’d say, ‘Oh my gosh, I love these earrings and I’ll wear them again!’” she said. She has a bridal section on her website, but also will custom-design jewelry based on photos of dresses, incorporating different elements to suit the personalities of different bridesmaids.
What’s next: McDermott White is launching a new children’s line in partnership with her best friend, Atlanta artist Kiki Slaughter. McDermott White will take canvas from Slaughter’s paintings, and create bracelets and other jewelry. Named after both women’s children, Coco Hill (www.shopcocohill.com) will be launched by mid-September.