Tuesday, November 21, 2017


By Eva Fydrych

Ellen Lyons
Ellen Lyons Jewelry Designs

Photo courtesy of the designer

Have you ever wondered what makes a successful jewelry business and why some brands are just more appealing than others? 

Ellen Lyons, a graduate of the Diamonds and Colored Stones Program of the renowned Gemological Institute of America (GIA), may have found the answer. Designing and making one-of-a-kind pieces that fall within the Fine Art Jewelry genre, Ellen is not only very passionate about her craft, but she also applies a very specific design philosophy to every single item she creates and has a clear vision of her business goals.

"I don't do trendy", explains Ellen, "I don't mass-produce my work. Once a piece is purchased, I do not make it again."

Proudly handcrafted in America, Ellen Lyons Jewelry Designs uses only metals and gemstones that are fair-traded and sustainably sourced. The final result is impressive – contemporary and elegant designs that make you feel special and unique.

Photo courtesy of the designer

FASHION STUDIO: What inspired you to start your own business?

ELLEN: What inspired me was a move to the Pacific Northwest. I decided to follow my passion as a jewelry designer after 20+ years in the legal profession in San Francisco, California. 

FASHION STUDIO: How would you describe your target customer? Who do you design for?

ELLEN: I design for women who follow their own muse. 

FASHION STUDIO: What do you consider your biggest success so far?

ELLEN: My biggest success would be becoming a confident and seasoned metal/silversmith which includes the time I spent learning my craft. By learning I mean: how to solder; how to make my own wire and jump rings; how to saw out my own designed patterns for pendants, earrings, rings; and also studying at the Gemological Institute of America. At the GIA, I learned to tell the difference with just my eyes and a jeweler's loupe how to detect a real and a synthetic gemstone. All my customers can be confident that when I say it's a real ruby, I've tested it and verified it as such.

A post shared by Ellen Lyons Jewelry (@ellenlyonsjewelry) on

FASHION STUDIO: Where do you find inspiration for your designs? 

ELLEN: My inspiration comes from a couple of sources: antiquities (2000 year old Roman glass shards from Israel), my travels, nature (example: the bark of tree), and architecture. I love visual texture which is translated into the metal with a hammer, a jeweler's torch and/or a jeweler's rolling mill. I love taking a piece of fallen birch bark from a tree and putting it through a rolling mill to texture the metal.

FASHION STUDIO: What are your main challenges and how do you overcome them?

ELLEN: Trying to decide what to work on first because my muse is always coming up with new designs and ideas.

FASHION STUDIO: Which fashion trends for Fall/Winter 2017 would you recommend?

ELLEN: I don't follow fashion trends so my best advice is to wear what makes you feel good and what is comfortable. A trend lasts but a season, a classic design lasts forever.

Photo courtesy of the designer

FASHION STUDIO: What is the best piece of fashion advice you've ever received?

ELLEN: There is one that really stuck in my head I always try to follow: "Be yourself, everyone else is taken." 

FASHION STUDIO: What is your ultimate goal? Where do you see your business in five years time?

ELLEN: My goal is not to be lost within the mainstream. I want to continue creating timeless pieces that will become family heirlooms, cherished and passed on with stories and tales for generations to come. In five years time, I hope to be designing only high-end commissioned pieces.

FASHION STUDIO: Thank you so much for your time and good luck with developing your brand!

Photo courtesy of the designer (Click to enlarge)

Photo courtesy of the designer

Photo courtesy of the designer

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