LoveToKnow is delighted to present an interview with Los Angeles based jewelry designer, Ellen Sue Ballon of Deity Jewels.
About Deity Jewels
Celebrities Love Deity's One-of-a-Kind Jewelry
Ellen made her mark designing one-of-a-kind handmade letterpress invitations, announcements and stationery for Hollywood's celebrity set at the famed Soolip Paperie in West Hollywood. All the while, her VIP customers were not only eyeing her unique and gorgeous paper creations, they were also buying the jewels off her neck. Ellen's exclusive one-of-a-kind Deity Jewels are worn by Hollywood's elite including: Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Sheryl Crow, Debra Messing, Nancy O'Dell, The Olsen Twins, Justine Bateman & Rosario Dawson.What began as a purely personal artistic pursuit has quickly developed into a lucrative business - a business that fosters both Ellen's gift for producing beautiful jewelry with naturally-occurring gemstones and her ongoing desire to positively influence another's life through the sharing of that gift. In this interview we find out more about Deity Jewels and tips for holiday jewelry.
LoveToKnow (LTK): How long have you been designing and making unique handcrafted jewelry? What is the history of Deity Jewels? Ellen Sue Ballon (ESB): I started making jewelry in college at the Ohio State University. Actually, it started as cornrowing my room mates' hair and putting these fantastic beads on the ends that I got at the most awesome bead store ever, right down the street from my apartment. That was 1990-ish.
The name, Deity Jewels comes from a couple of different origins. The first being my habit of grabbing whatever piece I have on my neck in order to think or make any kind of decision - like I am praying to it for help. The second reason was a woman who bought jewelry from me came to me later and told me how beautiful, sexy, and invincible it made her feel while wearing it. My creations made her feel like a goddess.
Jewelry Styles, Materials and Techniques
LTK: How would you describe your style? Where do you get your inspiration?ESB: My style: natural, organic, inspiring, laid back, sexy, layered, simple, colorful, meaningful. I draw my inspiration from nature, India, Native American Indian weaving and thinking, and current trends in fashion.
LTK: What materials do you work in and why? I notice that you use macramé in your work, what other techniques do you use and why?
ESB: I use mostly 14k gold and both precious and semi-precious stones. Every piece is woven using silk which is hand-knotted between every bead and/or macramé. As a result, the jewelry becomes very tactile and 3D-like. I think that the softness and color of the silk and the graphicness of the knots and macramé gives each stone the opportunity to shine.
Holiday Jewelry: Gift Giving Tips
LTK: What tips would you give someone looking to buy and give jewelry as a gift for Christmas - or other festive occasion? What would be your top tips to help someone make a successful jewelry purchase as a surprise gift?
ESB: One suggestion for buying jewelry for Christmas or other festive occasions, I would suggest buying something that is special enough to be worn to the season's parties, but is also something that will carry through to the rest of the year.
Another suggestion is to buy a piece that speaks to the emotion of the person you are buying for. The beauty of stones is that they all have metaphysical properties which help heal or strengthen or nurture or bring courage, etc...All of Deity's pieces come with a tag specific to the piece, defining what the metaphysical properties are.
LTK: Your jewelry is individually made and each piece is one of a kind. What tips would you give people to help them buy one of a kind purchases.
ESB: Jewelry is such a personal thing. Know the person you are giving to! Again, each Deity piece comes with its individual tag which lends a hand when choosing - when in doubt, choose something like pink quartz which brings the wearer love and health, emerald which brings inner strength and courage... who couldn't use some of those?
Buying and Wearing Christmas and Holiday Jewelry
LTK: What jewelry should people buy to wear during the holiday season? Do you find that people buy holiday jewelry
ESB: During the holidays, people want to shine. It is a beautiful time of year and we all should feel how beautiful we are and how sweet it is to be alive.
Translating this feeling into our jewelry means a bit more sparkle on the neck and a longer dangle at the ears. People do buy jewelry for themselves specifically at the holiday season. I think as they are out shopping for everyone else, they need to (and should) get something special for themselves as well!
LTK: As a jewelry designer what are your busy times of year? When do you start planning for the seasons?
ESB: As a designer, my busy season is pretty much all year round. People are inclined to wear more jewelry with the warmer weather fashions. It carries through to the holidays because giving jewelry is such a popular gift. For me, that means having the fall line ready for the February and March shows. However, Deity's spring/summer line has always been strong. I use a lot of blues, greens and whites which sell very well. The spring/summer shows are in January and February.
Jewelry Trends and the Future of Deity Jewels
LTK: What are your plans for Deity Jewels. What do you see the trends being over the next few months?
ESB: I am so excited about the new line. I am using a lot of tiny square 14k gold Bali beads that add such richness. There are also hand cast charms with precious stones, as well as heavier pieces in addition to the simple styles we are known for. The line has grown up a lot.
The website is under construction and will reflect the new look. We are excited to present the line at higher level of stores as well as continuing to work with our existing retail partners. As far as trends go, lots of jewel tones, bold shapes and layering.
For More Information...
LTK: How can readers find out more about you and your work?
''' ESB:''' The website is DeityJewels.com or they can contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LoveToKnow would like to thank Ellen Sue Ballon for taking the time to talk to us about her jewelry and plans for the future.