Tuesday, November 26, 2013

SHOP SPOTLIGHT

Featured Jewels: Sarra Earrings in Crystal // Mara Bracelet // Alex Cuff // Small Sarra Cuff // Sunburst Studs // Zoe Bow Cuff // Perla Cuff
Several months ago, I was approached by Loren Barham, the founder and designer behind Loren Hope, to spread a little sparkle. I was tickled she reached out to me and jumped at the opportunity to style images that include her stunning work. If you follow either Loren or myself on Instagram, you've probably seen some of these images pop up on your feed. It's been a treat to play dress up with her jewels and style them with a little Type-A(shley) flair. Of course, that's incredibly easy when you're working with such colorful and sparkly pieces!

What I love most about Loren's work is the inspiration and hope it's offered me these past few months. When we spoke on the phone, she mentioned that Loren Hope jewelry was born when Loren lived in the UK; her husband was also in the Air Force and they were stationed at Lakenheath AFB. Creating jewelry gave her a way to make a little extra money and satisfy her itch to create. Upon sharing that detail with me, I couldn't help but smile. It was just so nice to connect with another military spouse — someone who never allowed their mobile lifestyle to stifle her dreams of creating and successfully turned her passion into a career. I had a sense that Loren understood exactly the way I felt for so many years. Although I'm not sure what I want to be when I grow up, that phone call with Loren made me want to dream a little bigger. I felt a sense of encouragement to keep creating and to explore what brings me joy.

While the opportunity to play around with her jewels has helped me satisfy my creative itch, it's also been a treat to work with such beautifully crafted pieces. It didn't take long for me to realize that Loren's passion is evident in her design. Each detail is carefully thought out, just as each piece from her line is hand crafted. Inspiration comes from unexpected color palettes and geometric designs. Her work has a vintage feel, which goes back to the days when she first began designing jewelry, at age 14, from vintage pieces she collected while plundering around her grandmother's thrift store. Based on Loren's commitment to keeping her business local and manufactured in the U.S., each piece has a sense of heritage and innovation that honors the rich history of jewelry manufacturing that can be found in Rhode Island, also the location of Loren's fabulous design studio. It might just be the Magpie in me —attracted to shiny objects and talks a lot— but I could continue to dote about Loren and her gorgeous jewels. They're magical! 

Take a look at Loren's latest batch of baubles here
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