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Jewelry is often thought of as a symbolic accessory—you equate pieces with specific memories and real meaning. For Erin Sachse of Eriness Jewelry, these symbols have taken on a life of their own. Throughout her career, the LA-bred Sachse has imbued her work with meaning vis-à-vis these small icons and in its most recent iteration, has taken the shape of a ladybug. Eriness’ latest release, The Ladybug Collection, is an homage to Erin’s late mother and its path into existence includes a vivid dream and real touchstones from the sky and beyond.
MELISSA: Things are a little different right now, we’re in an unprecedented time…how have you shifted as a business and as an individual to accommodate this new normal?
ERIN: COVID has really forced me to slow down in a positive way. Things that used to feel so immediate don’t necessarily have that same urgency anymore, while larger ideas that have been on the back-burner have come into focus for our team. I keep reminding myself that, especially right now, every day is different. The way I approached things pre-COVID might not work going forward and that’s okay. We are constantly talking about being flexible, adapting to this new way of life and being excited about the challenges of doing business during this very weird time.
As a brand, we have been working on how to best engage with our customers, focusing on e-commerce and supporting our partner retailers. From new digital launches, virtual trunk shows and one-on-one zoom consultations, it has been really fun navigating the new normal. However, I really miss connecting with my customers IRL & cannot wait for that to return!
MELISSA: You are an LA native who has been making and selling jewelry since high school / college! Talk about a lifelong passion! What do you attribute this singular focus to?
ERIN: Once I started making jewelry, I really couldn’t imagine doing anything else for a career. Jewelry is such an expressive thing to design. Unlike clothing, a lot of women wear the same pieces every day. There is a real bond people have with their jewelry. I really love this human connection. To design in this framework is such a blessing to me. Every day I get the opportunity to craft the world I am trying to create without limits.
MELISSA: A word that you use to describe your work is “playful.” How do you take that whimsy that seems to be at the core of your DNA and translate it into serious fine jewelry?
ERIN: Los Angeles is such an integral part of who I am and the DNA of the brand. The city is so vibrant and doesn’t take itself too seriously. I have always been attracted to color and the way it transforms jewelry. In many ways, this playfulness feels like the best representation of my version of LA. Ultimately, your jewelry should make you happy and as a designer, I work hard to dispel the notion that fine jewelry needs to be super serious. I love looking down at my fingers and seeing handfuls of color.
MELISSA: Tell us about your “RESIST” necklace and how it came to be a phenomenon.
ERIN: The Resist collection is very important to me. It was the first time I stepped outside my box and used my platform to be an advocate to promote social change. When I originally launched the Resist Collection in 2016, I was responding to the election of an administration that degrades women. My goal was to support reproductive rights by donating proceeds from the collection to Planned Parenthood. I actually just launched a new Resist Collection, which I am so excited about. The collection will continue to support Planned Parenthood as well as two other incredible nonprofit organizations: the ACLU and Color of Change.
MELISSA: Symbols figure heavily in your work. Can you tell us why and decode some of your favorites for us?!
ERIN: It is crazy to think how long it has been since I started designing jewelry. As I’ve grown and dealt with the things life brings (good & bad), I have become a much more spiritual person. There are certain symbols that are deeply personal to me and it felt natural to start incorporating them into my designs. What has been so fulfilling is seeing how other people have their own personal connections with the same symbols.
As an example, my Ladybug Collection represents a special connection between my mom and I. I was nervous to put my ladybugs out into the world, but to see so many people with their own spiritual connections to ladybugs has made the symbol even more meaningful to me.
MELISSA: You just released your Ladybug range in honor of your late mother. Can you share the vivid dream you had that inspired you to create this collection?
ERIN: My mom passed away last year. She was my best friend—we did everything together. Right before she passed, I had the most vivid dream in which I was surrounded by millions of ladybugs. Instead of feeling swarmed or trapped, in the moment I felt an overwhelming sense of comfort and familiarity. I have always had an unexplainably deep connection to ladybugs and right when I woke up I remembered that a ladybug flew into our home just a few days before. Later that day I learned that the night of my dream, an 80 mile by 80 mile swarm of ladybugs flew over Los Angeles. While I was having a dream that I was completely surrounded by ladybugs, there were miles and miles of actual ladybugs flying over me! Since that dream, I see ladybugs everywhere. Even on my Mom’s birthday a few months later, I asked the universe for a single ladybug and to my amazement a ladybug landed in my hair and stayed there for over 2 hours.
The Ladybug collection is dedicated to my mom and is a reminder of her love, strength and protection.
MELISSA: What are some of your daily particulars that you always put on
ERIN: Eriness Jewelry, duh! I also live in a uniform of vintage Levi’s and white tees.
MELISSA: With Fall, what’s next?
ERIN: A new president (I hope…)