Interview with Jewelry Designer, Ariel Gordon

Thursday, May 2, 2013

I live in the quaint little enclave of Hayes Valley and often take jaunts to my favorite boutiques, including Rand+Statler and Azaela, to browse their selection of taste makers.  There was one particular jewelry designer who always caught my eye because of her timeless productions and minimalist yet feminine aesthetic.  Ariel Gordon has virtually achieved overnight success since the launch of her self-titled brand in 2009, and she attributes some of that to her mentor and friend, Maya Brenner, whom she assisted for nearly five years before completely branching out on her own.  I had the absolute pleasure of speaking with Ariel, and I can assure you she is as gracious and humble as she is talented.  We discussed how she converted her interest into a viable business, her "I've made it" moment, and what keeps the creativity flowing.

Check out what she had to say...

I read that you attended school at UCLA where you studied English and Italian, and then, subsequently, went on to work in Public Relations.  How did you become interested in jewelry design, and transition that interest into a business?

I began my career in Public Relations, specifically in celebrity gifting houses, and let's just say, that I was unfulfilled in that line of work for various reasons, but had the privilege of interacting with some very talented creators.  One of them, Paige Sargisson, a New York-based jewelry designer, really inspired me to migrate away from the corporate world in search of professional and personal gratification.  I admired how much she valued a work/life balance, something I feel is integral to my success.

After coming to the realization that I wanted to explore other professional endeavors, I signed up for a jewelry making course in Santa Monica, and subsequently moved to San Francisco to study Gemology at the Revere Academy. After graduation, I eagerly sent my resume to a slew of L.A. jewelry designers, pronouncing that I was overqualified and available. Maya Brenner ended up hiring me to act as her right-hand "wo-man", and I was fortunate enough to be able to assist as well as oversee many facets of running a small business.  That education propelled me to make a move in producing my own line on the side, while still acting as an assistant to Maya. 

With the help of bloggers and a few loyal celebrity clientele, in 2010, I was able to completely branch out on my own. 

How would you describe your design aesthetic?

My pieces are designed to be worn everyday and are transitional from day to night. 

Your pieces are worn by some of the most sought after women in the entertainment and fashion industries.  What was your "I've made it" moment?

I would say that I have had two "aha" moments, where I really felt an overwhelming sense of achievement.  The first was in 2010, during the holidays, at the grocery store, where I came across three magazines (Glamour, Lucky & Us Weekly) that my designs were featured in, with one of the publications prominently displaying my pieces on the COVER! The second was when I participated in "Lucky Shops" the same year, and was approached by a swarm of editors requesting personal orders.  Oh....and a third, I was on the TODAY Show in January!  

Your design studio is located in DTLA (Downtown Los Angeles).  What drew you to that area?

It's smack dab in the middle of the jewelry district which is really important for me because I'm an advocate for locally sourced materials as well as supporting my community of fellow producers.

What keeps you creatively inspired?

I keep a sketchbook in my purse and I am constantly jotting down ideasI feel inspired by travel, visiting museums, scouring Pinterest, scanning Instagram, vintage shopping, and shapes.  I design two collections per year, one in the Spring and one in Fall, so it's important for the line to continually evolve as what inspires me alters. 

What advice would you give to aspiring designers?

Be ready to work hard.  It's not glossy or shiny.  It's hard and sweaty.

What are some revelations we can expect from your line in the future?

I am working on something new, but I am not quite ready to divulge it to the world yet.

I got the inside scoop, so be sure to check back when this new undertaking launches!!

Ariel's DTLA Studio
To peruse Ariel's collection visit, 

**SF Shop Girl in collaboration with Ariel Gordon Jewelry will be hosting a $150 GIVEAWAY next week, so stay tuned for more details!


  1. She's my role model, as an aspiring jewelry designer I look up to her. I'm in love with her studio and pieces.
    Lovely post.


  2. Thank you Monyale! Well you picked the right designer to emulate. She's beyond gracious, and her pieces are understated yet beautiful!

    Thanks again for reading.


  3. Aww, I love this- you lucky lady- she seems like a dream to chat with! And her "a ha" moments were pretty cool. I think I'd freak if I saw my stuff in several mags. ;)

    xo Carlina

  4. Me too! Can you imagine? Love you lady! xx


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