Last week I had the opportunity to sit down with one of my absolute favorite jewelry designers, Lily Dawson. Not only am I her biggest fan since we share the same name (duh!) but I have been obsessed with her designs ever since I first spotted her geo spike ring while interviewing Sophia Bush last winter with The CHICago Life Blog. After keeping a close eye on her designs via her Instagram account, I realized that I had developed a huge girl crush. Drawn in by how effortless her pieces appear while sparking the perfect mixture of edge & class - I just knew that I wanted to learn more about her inspiration, personal favorites and what was coming out next!
adoptedSTYLE: What was the inspiration behind starting your own jewelry line, Lily Dawson Designs?
Lily Dawson: I started the company after attending fashion school out in L.A. I moved back to Missouri and was frustrated that I couldn’t find affordable trendy jewelry that was prevalent on the west coast. I started creating pieces for friends and selling at a local boutique.
AS: If you could see any celebrity, dead or alive, wearing your pieces, who would it be?
LD: That’s so tough! I think I might have to dodge this one. I really love growing organically and pleasing the clients that may come across my things. Any celebrity attention is wonderful, but I design pieces under $100 for a reason. I want handmade jewelry to be accessible for women like me, who aren’t rich and famous, but care about how they dress as well as supporting artists. The celebrities that have worn my pieces have attended the art fairs that I frequent and buy something because they picked it out themselves, just like my other customers!
AS: If you could only design rings, bracelets, earrings or necklaces for the rest of your life, which would it be and why?
LD: I go through phases with this. When I first started the business “arm party” madness was about to explode, but lately I’ve been really excited about earrings.
AS: We love that you have an online shop, as well as frequent a ton of different festivals around the Midwest, which festival/market is your favorite to attend each year and why?
LD: The Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago is always a great segway into the Fall/early holiday season. I also love the Dose Markets in Chicago. Great people put them on and there are always awesome shoppers and vendors!
AS: What is your favorite piece that you have ever created?
LD: I really love the Talon Pendant Earrings (shown below)
AS: What advice would you give aspiring jewelry designers?
LD: Ask for help! I would not be where I am without recognizing my strengths and weaknesses. Identifying areas that I should delegate for someone else has allowed my time to be used more productively and kept stress at bay by not feeling overwhelmed with work that I am not skilled at.
AS: Do you have any new pieces coming out in time for the holidays this year?
LD: Yes! I am in the midst of creating, so I can’t share anything right now (sorry!) Sneak peeks are likely to be leaked on my Instagram page soon via @lilydawsondesigns.