Jewelry is a constant obsession for most women… finding that dainty piece that’s perfect on a daily basis, or the occassional knock out statement necklace that adds instant glam is all part of the fun of dressing and being feminine. I recently met jewlery designer Jeri Warlick, and fell hard for her unique and sculptural collections. Jeri moved to Seattle from Little Rock just over a year ago, and I decided to pay a visit to her studio, meet her charming family, and discuss all things creative and sparkly.
Tell us a bit about why you started this line?
Initially, in my 20’s I was just designing and making things for fun that I loved and wanted to wear. People started asking if they could buy the jewelry, and it eventually evolved into an entire business that has enabled me to live a creative life. The Patina line that I introduced this Fall was all about embracing change. I had just moved from Little Rock to Seattle… quite a switch, and it was inspiring to constantly force myself to be open to the unknown, that being out of one’s comfort zone can often result in the most beautiful and exciting things. The line reflects this with it’s simplicity of materials, and modern carved out metals. A more serious type of adornment.
How do you stay inspired?
Travel is the most important way I maintain my creativity. Being out in nature, discovering unusual places, or getting off the beaten path thrills me. I love a good vintage or second hand store…digging through the ruffage to find that gem, and seeing it transformed into something stylish gets my creativity flowing. I love watching the way street style evolves, and all the different ways young people spin it for themselves. Of course, African prints and textiles are a huge part of what I look to in my designs….my beaded earrings and strong metal chokers are heavily influenced by this part of the world. Authentic people and good, structurally sound design are in there too.
As a mother, how do you balance your work and personal life?
I am very spiritual in my life. I meditate every single day, and try to maintain that feeling of being grounded to the earth we walk on. I try to focus more on the process of the work then the outcome, and to revel in the feeling of creating something. I try to apply this same thing to raising children…enjoy the every day, the process of helping them grow into adults. And, art is something that we make a part of family life. Both of us are artists, and we teach our children to incorporate that into their every day as well. It’s a major value in our family life.
When you’re not at work, or with your family, where can we find you?
Ha, at work! My studio is a part of our home, so the two are very married. If not there, which is rare, I’m outdoors somewhere taking a walk or enjoying coffee or a great happy hour with friends.
Where have you traveled lately that sparks your creativity?
It’s not a long trip, but recently I’ve been very inspired by Discovery Park, which is right near our home in Seattle. You can take long walks in the woods, or hike down to the beach…it’s an incredible place that I find endlessly fullfilling. Having the ability to watch the tide come in and out, watching that ebb and flow in nature, keeps me grounded but also reminds me of what beauty we have around us every day.
What is your next big adventure?
We’re headed to Yosemite National Park for Christmas. I’ve been inspired lately by John Muir’s writings and adventures, and would love to bring that into my next collection. We’re planning on camping with our 5 year old, connecting with the energy of the place, and just see where it all goes from there. Peru is also on the list.
Tell us a bit about your daily routine? Take us through your day.
I start every day with a bit of meditation…it centers me before a full schedule takes over. Opening the doors right away to the smell of the Sound is wonderful, and of course, coffee in a French Press is a daily must. I usually sit and write out a few thoughts in my journal quickly, and then cook breakfast for my family…perhaps my favorite routine of all, and one I will do no matter how rich and famous I might become! Every day for me changes with new orders coming in overnight, possible clients to meet with, production needs to address. I spend the entire day working until we meet back together as a family for a home cooked dinner.
Favorite local food and drink haunts?
El Camino for their delicious Margaritas and Mexican food! I love anything spicy, and all the great ethnic food options we have here in Seattle are amazing.
Any artists, designers, or creatives that you look up to?
I love Ralph Lauren’s story…very grassroots and well branded from the start. Kate Spade really made something out of nothing. And Alexander McQueen for embracing the darkness in his life and turning it into something beautiful until there was no more.
How would you describe your style?
“Easy and unexpected”. A good cocktail dress, stilletos, worn in jeans with a goodwill tee and sharp blazer. I love going out at night, straight from working in the studio all day with just some lipstick and a great shoe added for a hint of glamour.
If you’re in the market for a last minute Holiday gift, take a look at Jeri’s incredible works of art, and reach out to her here.
All images by Carlton Canary