“Where the Bohemian Beach Girl meets the City”
There are very few phrases I come across that perfectly represent who I feel I am when it comes to my style. One day I may be in a pencil skirt and white button down with heels and the next day it is cut offs and a tank, walking around in Vans. I have never felt confined to selecting only one “look” when it comes to my closet and it is why I feel comfortable transitioning from the office to the beach without so much as a flinch. When it comes to the details of my style, I love jewelry that transitions with me, providing the perfect compliment no matter the look. Spire Jewelry is one of those collections that represents exactly what it says; “where the Bohemian Beach Girl meets the City”.
I sat down with Erin Stafford, the designer behind Spire to chat about the line, how it came to be and her hopes for her collections. It was fun to be on the other side of the interview because she was my first interview ever when I first started Juggling in Heels, writing my feature article in Orange Coast Magazine back in January 2012. It was so fun to have the tables turned!
When Did you first launch Spire?
Spire started in May 2012
What was your inspiration?
I always say that Spire is where the Bohemian beach girl meets the city. I grew up in Orange County near the beach and am obsessed with all things turquoise and beachy. But I also lived in Europe for 8 years (Paris, London and Cambridge), so I definitely have that chic, European, city vibe as well. Add to that my nomadic spirit and obsession with traveling to the farthest corners of the globe, and its really a mixed bag. Spire is without a doubt beachy and bohemian, but it’s also got a subtle and refined, sometimes edgy, twist to it.
<Wearing the Agate Slice Necklace with my favorite Everlane tee, Gap jeans, and Vans to run errands>
What is your background in jewelry/fashion/retail and how did that get you to the place of being a designer?
My background is certainly not traditional. I was a political science undergrad and gender studies MA who worked in digital media and advertising for years in London at an agency, and then at MTV.
I was always interested in fashion though, so when I moved back to Orange County from London, I got a gig as an assistant to a celebrity stylist in Hollywood and began my career in fashion. I eventually branched out on my own and worked as a stylist, image consultant, personal shopper, and fashion show producer for a decade (I still do from time to time as well!). I also started working as a fashion journalist for a number of magazines, but mainly Orange Coast Magazine, where I’ve been their contributing style editor for 8 years now, and still am. In that capacity, I get to meet so many fun and creative people in Orange County. I am constantly scouting out new boutiques, talking with buyers and boutique owners, interviewing designers and fashionable people in the area. It was during a few of these meetings that I was inspired to start making jewelry.
I took a few classes to learn the basics, but have mostly taught myself. I still take classes from time to time to learn a new skill or technique. I am always looking to expand my repertoire and incorporate new materials and techniques into my designs.
I look at my design process the way a stylist would though. A stylist doesn’t (normally) design their own clothes. They pull from a number of designers and stores to put the perfect look together for their client. In the same way, I buy beads, components and supplies from markets and sources all over the world and put them together into fabulous pieces of jewelry. I am not physically mining for agates and polishing my own beads, or creating molds that I then pour silver into to create a particular pendant. If I need something like that made, I have someone I use that brings my designs to life. But mostly, I love scouring the globe for interesting materials and supplies that I can incorporate into unique and fun pieces of jewelry.
What is your hope for your customers when purchasing a piece?
I hope they love it and it makes them smile and feel great every time they wear it. My line is so easy to wear on its own, or layered together with other pieces you already own. It’s fun for me to see how people mix up Spire jewelry and put their own, unique style print on it.
The bohemian girl might mix it with a ton of pieces, or the classic girl might just wear one necklace on its own. Either way, it looks great.
<wearing the Tibetan wooden bracelets with a Heidi Merrick dress and a Foley and Corinna crossbody for brunch>
What did you see missing in the market that you felt Spire could provide?
Jewelry is like shoes…you can never have enough! There are so many fabulous lines out there, but there is always room for more because women love jewelry and will continue to buy more. It’s amazing how a new piece can add new life to an outfit you’ve had for years. It can also dramatically change the look of an outfit – taking something from day to night, or from bohemian to preppy, with a change of jewelry.
I wanted to provide women with transitional jewelry. Things they could throw on with a tank top and cut offs or wear with a silk blouse and blazer. Many women have a selection of jewelry, but have those few pieces that live on your dresser that we wear all the time. I want Spire to be a part of that dresser-top collection. Those pieces you can throw on with anything, because they work with everything and make you feel great.
Who is the Spire customer?
She’s definitely a free spirit. Someone that speaks her mind, and isn’t afraid to be unique. But the longer I do this, the more I realize she’s any woman that wants to infuse a bit of elegant, beachy, edginess into her wardrobe. I have these simple 18K gold vermeil spike earrings that sell like crazy. My mom, who is super conservative in her dressing loved them and wears them constantly. SHe would NEVER be considered an edgy dresser, or someone that would gravitate towards anything spiked, but because they are so simple and understated, they work for her. Like I said before, SPire is transitional. It can be very beachy, bohemian and edgy if you put it all together, or it can be elegant and refined if you wear it alone. I love that.
<wearing the Tibetan cluster necklace with a Cynthia Vincent poncho, Zara shorts and sandals and a Marc Jacobs bag for a day at the pool (hence the wet hair!)>
Erin is pretty amazing and am so excited to have her collection featured here on Juggling in Heels. And I saved the best for last! Erin has offered to giveaway one of my favorite pieces, the Tribal Turquoise Spike necklace to one lucky JIH reader.
It is gorgeous and such an easy piece to incorporate into any wardrobe. You can receive up to 10 entries by entering below. This giveaway will be open until Sunday, June 22 at 12:00am Pacific Standard Time. Good luck! (This giveaway is for US Residents only).
a Rafflecopter giveaway
To preview the entire Spire collection, you can visit the Spire Jewelry shop by clicking here.