The story behind the beads in which the beautiful Lilah V jewelry is made of is a fascinating one. When Amanda contacted me about reviewing a piece from her collection, I was smitten with the beautiful necklaces and earrings in her Etsy store. But these pieces aren’t just easy on the eyes, there is a fantastic story behind the where these 1940’s/1960’s beads came from. Each bead has a history that can be seen through the tiny wear marks and imperfections, making each piece truly one of a kind. I love having a story to tell about a something I’m wearing. I find it gives me a connection with the piece, that makes me treasure it more than I ever would a generic store bought item.
I received a Yellow Arrow Necklace to review and share with you guys; I’ve been wearing it for a little over a week now and I couldn’t be happier! The beads are a light weight enamel with sides painted with solid platinum and 24k gold (Because it is so lightweight I have actually forgotten I was wearing it a few times!) They are strung on a delicate 14k gold filled chain.
At first glance the necklace itself looks (and feels) dainty, but is actually stronger than you would think. I’ve been wearing it all day, everyday; to work, out to dinner, even in the shower once or twice. It has held up well to the daily wear and tear and I’ve been spared the embarrassment of the dreaded ‘green neck’ you sometimes get with jewelry.
The modern and understated style of the necklace certainly hasn’t meant that it has gone unnoticed. As well as a few compliments at work, I even received props from a stranger while shopping in my local supermarket over the weekend! As I said, these pieces have a fascinating back story and I’ve certainly loved talking about my necklace to anyone who has complimented it. But, I’ll let Amanda tell you all about herself and her designs in her own words…
Hi there! Tell us a little about yourself…
Hello - I’m Amanda and I live in Pasadena, CA with my new husband and two dogs. I was married last June under a 100 year old oak tree and am quite enjoying married life! I just got an electric bicycle which I love to ride around town - especially to Anthropologie to see whats new. I’m learning how to cook from scratch and trying to convince my husband we need a chicken.
How long have you been designing jewelry?
My jewelry design came from sad circumstances. My grandmother passed away leaving me her collection of jewelry. She was a spit fire and lived a long fantastic life where you dressed up to get on an airplane. Much of the jewelry was broken so I took classes on jewelry making and chain work learning how to take apart the old and make it modern. Ever since I have been making elegant everyday jewelry using a combination of mid century and new - I love it. I’m so happy to bring new life and energy from a sad beginning.
Where did the name Lilah V originate from?
Lilah is my adorable collie/aussie rescue.
How did you come into possession of these amazing beads?
The mid century beads you see on the LilahV Moderne Line were made by a European designer from the 1940’s through the early 1960’s. In that time the designer disappeared and the entire collection was lost for decades. The beads were just recently found buried in a factory. All of these original beads were painted on the sides with solid platinum followed by 24k gold to get that gorgeous effect.
To continue the exquisite standard all Moderne jewelry is made with 14k gold filled chain, clasps, ear wires and findings.
What is your design process when making a new piece?
My process begins by cultivating a relationship with artists, families and designers around the world. I find beads, gems and architecturally interesting pieces from small towns and through generations of families. I take these collections and rework them using a modern simplistic eye. What inspires me the most are the clean lines of mid century designers like Eames, Herman Miller and Neutra. Their work contains an effortless elegance where every element has a purpose.
I like to incorporate a pop of color with a bit of whimsy playing around with the designs on a board. Then each design goes through four series of cuts based on availability and the look of the whole collection. During the final cut, I make the necklace using 14k or sterling silver and wear a sample around for a week to make sure the length, fit and colors meld. The occasional woman stopping me in the street asking where I got that necklace moves that design to the top.
What prompted your decision to donate 20% of the proceeds to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society?
LLS is truly a wonderful cause close to my heart as my mother, the bravest woman I have ever met, continues her fight with Leukemia. She is kicking its ass! Here’s to doubling the LilahV donation in 2013.
Where do you hope to take the Moderne Line in the future?
I love interacting with clients so dream is a brick and mortar LilahV store. In the meantime I will keep redesigning my dream on Pinterest.
Check out the Lilah V etsy store to see all of the fabulous pieces in the Morderne Line and don’t forget; As an added bonus, 20% of proceeds from all LilahV sales goes to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, so you can feel good about picking up yourself something pretty!