Happy Friday munafans! We always love turning the spotlight on our amazing Coterie members. Today, we're spotlighting the ever so talented New York based jeweler, Lisa of Charlton and Lola. Lisa studied liberal arts then went on to Law School in England and the United States. Later, she was trained under Master Jeweler David Benlolo, where she fell in love with unique gemstones and pearls. We are excited to be interviewing her on the blog today, and hope you love her precious jewelry as much as we do. Thanks for sharing with us Lisa!
Describe your jewelry company in 5 words or less.
Soulful, Natural, New Classic, Elegant & Powerful
How did you get into the jewelry business?
I was disillusioned by my legal job and quit in 2011. My soul was just looking for more and I didn't know what it needed. I then took a trip to Ghana to be with my family and then I came back to NYC. I had some vintage African beads that I wanted to turn into jewelry pieces, so I signed up for beading and wire-wrapping classes. I thought to myself that's still not it, so I signed up for metal-smithing classes. I started taking jewelry-making classes at night after work as a lawyer and just stayed at it. Soon friends and family started asking me to make fine jewelry for them, especially their engagement rings and wedding bands, so as the years went by my passion slowly turned into a business.
What do you love most about being a jeweler?
Sitting at the bench and using my hands to work with gemstones and gold. It's such a pure and organic moment. A blessing to be connected with nature and be working with my hands on some of the most beautiful and precious materials in the world.
What keeps you inspired?
Nature and the beauty of stones, rocks and metals. These are all God-made and so creatively beautiful beyond human imagination. How can't you be in awe and be inspired to create fine jewelry to showcase Nature's beauty?
What has been the best business advice you’ve received?
"Lisa, those are good problems to have, it's called doing business" ~Sheryl Jones, when I was complaining about all the things I had to get done.
Says it all.
When you're not designing jewelry, what do you love to do?
I love to meditate and do yoga. It calms and centers me and also gets me back in touch with my soul and God.
What advice can you give to couples looking for that perfect piece of jewelry?
Make sure the piece of fine jewelry is an extension of your character and personality; don't be swayed by trends.
What are your favorite stones to work with and why?
I love love spinels. It was one of the first gemstones I ever bought for myself. I love them for their vibrancy of colors. They come in reds, pinks, purples, greys and blues. They also best-known for their singly refractive quality that is only matched by diamonds and garnets: so brilliance.
I also love tourmalines for the variety of colors they come in and the mystery of highly included tourmaline cabochons.
Lastly, who can't love an amazing diamond? Diamonds always speak from themselves in the case of beauty and timeless elegance. Rose cut diamonds also have a beautiful old word charm to them.
When brides meet you, what is your process like? What can they expect?
When brides meet me they can expect me to take the time to learn more about them and their partner. I believe in an intuitive design process, so the more I learn about the bride and groom, the more I can create fine jewelry that matches their vision and lifestyle. Definitely a wonderful aspect in my job. It creates a beautiful intimacy that lends itself very well to my creative process.
Based on your experiences, what would you like every couple to know before contacting a jeweler?
Pick a jeweler that appreciates you aesthetic and be open to the fact that your jeweler is also a creative, so give them room to add their own touch to what they create for you. Allot of people come to a jeweler asking for a replica of a famous jewelry design and hoping to get it priced for less. However that robs you of obtaining a genuine experience to creatively collaborate with your jeweler and to create a one-of-a-kind fine jewelry piece. That should be a special experience all it's own and worth the price of the whole experience and process.
Let’s get personal!
What’s in your handbag right now?
My ring-sizer, business cards, sunglasses, glasses, a pencil case full of pens and penils, colorless mascara, lipbalm, my wallet & sketch books for design.
iphone, blackberry or android-
Mac or pc?
If you could travel to any location right now, where would it be?
London to be with my sister or Accra to be with my friends.
Favorite song? book? tv show?
Currently: Weary by Solange Knowles, Invisible Acts of Power by Caroline Myss, Chef's Table on Netflix.
Going on vacation to a tropical place and falling asleep in the sun and not giving a care about all my responsibilities. So delicious.
Something that recently inspired you?
A trip to Thailand to Bangkok and Koh Samui. I got to experience world-class service and appreciate how to cater to others and make them feel truly special: a real sense of customer service. I'm looking forward to blending those elements into my brand.
Thanks so much for sharing your story with us! Keep in touch with Charlton and Lola using the following links below: