Los Angeles based jewelry designer Ellen Sue Ballon of Deity Jewels is a treasure trove of information not only about jewelry design and trends, but also about shopping for holiday jewelry and choosing the best gift for everyone on your list. Her advice can help you choose great holiday jewelry gifts.
Deity Jewels: From Personal Passion to Celeb Fave
Ellen Sue Ballon 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 have been 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 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. Her passion for jewelry morphed into a dog rescue organization, and now Ballon sells select designs through that organization, Deity Animal Rescue to fund the operation.
According to Ballon, the name for her company was inspired by a few different things. "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
Ballon describes her style as "natural, organic, inspiring, laid back, sexy, layered, simple, colorful, meaningful." She adds that she draws inspiration from multiple sources, including "nature, India, Native American Indian weaving and thinking, and current trends in fashion."
The process she uses for creating her pieces is as individual as they are. "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," Ballon explains.
Holiday Jewelry: Gift Giving Tips
It's never a bad idea to go to the experts for their ideas about holiday gift-giving. Ballon's advice? Know the person you are giving to!" She adds, "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."
The recipient's personality and emotions should also be a focus when choosing a piece. Ballon advises that shoppers, "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."
Buying and Wearing Christmas and Holiday Jewelry
Designers are also excellent sources for figuring out the best way to wear holiday jewelry. Ballon notes that during the holiday season with all of its parties and get-togethers, it's natural to pay even more attention to the items we're wearing. "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!"
Jewelry Trends and the Future of Deity Jewels
Trends change, and that includes trends in jewelry as well. Ballon believes that the trend toward jewel tones, bold shapes, and layering will be strong in the near future.
It's clear that Ballon has plenty of projects in the works to engage with those trends. "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."