If you’re not following @eleuxjewelry on Instagram, then what are you doing with your life? This beautiful, young designer is making a name for herself in the world of fashion earrings. Aria at Eleux Jewelry focuses on utilizing unusual gemstones like fossilized coral, opalized wood, boulder opal, and many other unique stones as well as fine gemstones such as sapphire, amethyst, and more! In addition to that, she also offers custom design services for customers wanting a one-of-a-kind piece.
I had the luxury of getting to meet with Aria in person at her studio and take some photographs of her beautiful product. I even got to try on one of her carved gemstone ear climbers which looked even better in person than I imagined.
I hope you enjoy this interview with Aria about her place in the industry, her edge as a designer, and the future of Eleux Jewelry. Please check out her website, Instagram, and feel free to reach out and share photos and stories of your Eleux Jewelry purchase!
JOTT: Let’s start with the basics. How did you get into the jewelry business?
Aria: Growing up, I was always interested in the arts. I attended my very first gem show at the age of three in Tucson, Arizona and I have been living and breathing gemstones and jewelry ever since! As a young girl, my dad taught me how to sketch and paint, and I learned how to make beaded jewelry with my mom. I sold my first jewelry collection at the age of ten and I was instantly hooked. Everything I did as a young girl became centered around how I could turn both my love for minerals and my love of art into a career.
I completed my bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a minor in Metalsmithing. After undergrad, I attended the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), to pursue my dream of becoming a certified Gemologist and Jewelry Designer. I obtained three certifications from GIA: Graduate Gemologist, Jewelry Design CAD, and Jewelry Design Hand Rendering.
JOTT: Do you mind telling the JOTT readers a little about Eleux jewelry and your signature style as a designer?
Aria: Eleux was founded on the idea of “evolving” luxury with “exclusive” jewelry (the origin of the two “e’s” in “Eleux”). I pronounce my company’s name as “elle-ux” but everyone has their own interpretation and that’s totally okay!
I believe that jewelry is an extension of oneself and it should evoke feelings of individuality, independence, confidence, and beauty. No one shares the same story, so why should we share the same jewelry? I tend to steer away from trends with Eleux because I feel that everyone should have a piece of jewelry that’s unique only to them.
As both a mineral collector and a gemologist, I have a strong affinity for mineral specimens as well as faceted gemstones. Because of this, my jewelry style exposes the juxtaposition between the rough and the faceted: both earth-made but at different life stages. One is unassuming with a textured finish; the other sparkles and every facet angle is smooth to the touch.
Like gemstones, humans are all unique and not one person’s story is the same. By working with one-of-a-kind materials and contrasting elements, each piece of Eleux jewelry is one-of-a-kind and has the ability to speak to someone differently.
JOTT: I can’t resist bringing this up…How did you get the idea for the gemstone ear climbers? How did you determine the stones and designs? Tell me everything!
Aria: I was working retail when I first learned about ear climbers. I was transfixed by this idea that something so unique and special can “climb” all the way up the earlobe, only requires one piercing, and is still SO comfortable. I purchased my first ear climber about a year ago from the jewelry store I was working at, it’s simple – white gold with little diamonds.
I was literally sitting at home when the idea hit me. I was wearing this little diamond climber and I just remember thinking – do cabochon-style gemstone climbers even exist? I honestly didn’t think the idea was that novel and I thought someone must have created it. I spent a couple hours searching Google, Instagram, and Pinterest and all I was seeing for gemstone climbers were faceted and often in a cluster setting style. So, I just decided to go for it! I messaged my gemstone cutter to see if creating this shape was even a possibility.
I am incredibly lucky to have an amazing cutter that will literally carve anything I’d like. To create the shape, I first took my little diamond ear climber and used it as a template. I drew out a couple variations to determine my desired length and width, cut out the shape from a piece of paper, and held it up to my ear to make sure the size and curve of the shape would sit comfortably. I sent my cutter the sketch and measurements and she sent me images of about 20 different slabs of rough gemstones to pick from. From there, I drew that shape on top of the image of the slab on my phone and sent it back to her. When selecting the gemstones for the climbers, I try to stay away from browns, peaches, reds, yellows, etc. just because I feel like those colors would blend in with a lot of skin tones. I have both neutrals (whites and greys) and brighter colors (purples, and greens), that way the customer can decide how much of a statement they want to make!
JOTT: What are your goals for Eleux? And are you interested in starting up any other lines?
Aria: My goal is to create beautiful jewelry for women that help them to release their confidence and inner beauty. Currently, Eleux impacts the lives of dozens of women, and ultimately, we aim to work with hundreds to thousands of women and expand our platform so that jewelry is accessible and transformative to the wearer. I want to inspire people through jewelry. I want women to wear a gemstone they’ve never seen or heard of and feel powerful because they have a gem that no one else does. As for any additional lines, Eleux is my one and only venture and I aim to release new collections of jewelry every few months.
JOTT: In addition to your line, you also design custom jewelry for your clientele. Tell us a little bit about that.
Aria: Because my brand focuses on one-of-kind jewelry, this goes hand-in-hand with custom bridal. What I found when working retail is that a lot of brides prefer to be a part of the design process – I mean, they do have to wear it every day! I usually start the custom process with the selection of a center-stone and continue from there. I think the gemstone’s characteristics play a huge part in the design. Although I will make almost any custom design my client wants, I prefer designing with elements of femininity and nature throughout my work.
I truly love creating custom jewelry. It’s completely different than selling a stocked ring out of a case. The custom bridal process gives you a deeper connection with your client, and nothing compares to the feeling of knowing that you helped make the most important day of their lives special.
JOTT: Do you feel your Graduate Gemologist certification has helped you with your business?
Aria: One hundred percent. Because of my G.G. certification I feel confident in talking to customers about everything from natural gemstones, synthetics, treatments, origin, inclusions, etc. Knowledge is so important, especially in an industry where there is already such a pre-disposed stigma around diamonds and colored gemstones. I want my customers to feel good about what they’re buying, where it comes from, and what makes it unique.
JOTT: What is your advice to other professionals who want to be successful as jewelry designers?
-Set small goals in addition to your big goals. If you don’t break down your one-year or five-year plan it’s easy to feel lost. Setting a goal each month to help you work up to that big goal can help your long-term goals feel more realistic and accomplishable. For example, earlier this year, I made myself a goal that I was going to grow my Instagram following each month, for five months, by 100 followers. I was able to achieve over 100 follower growth every month, and I never would have got there if I did not set the goal to begin with.
-Take advantage of the opportunities/resources provided to you. This industry is so welcoming. The WJA mentorship program for one has been life changing for me. It comes with your membership and I do not think enough members utilize this source. This is an amazing opportunity to learn from experts in the industry with conversations tailored to your specific brand. In addition, there are great podcasts out there. Flourish & Thrive helped get me started and they have lots of tips, and it’s free! Joy Joya podcast is great too, as well as her book Joy Joya Marketing is amazing for jewelry specific business tips.
If you have any questions for Aria, you can reach her on Instagram @eleuxjewelry.
Don’t forget to visit her website, https://eleux.com/