Give us More of Elizabeth Moore
Elizabeth Moore is a model, dancer and singer turned fine jewelry designer. With an extensive background in the arts, she creates pieces that celebrate womanhood and inspire. Her designs not only look good, they do good as well, using sustainably and ethically sourced materials. Read along to learn more about Elizabeth Moore, in our interview with her.
Before becoming a jewelry designer, you worked within the musical theater and modeling industries. How would you say this background has impacted your business, in terms of creativity and inspiration?
I learned discipline and self-expression in my formative years, training as a ballet dancer, but in college I had a career ending injury that was devastating. That single experience was my 1st act of reinvention, which led me to a career as a singer, which is what I did in the city for many years. Being able to pivot when a challenge presents itself has helped me navigate the jewelry industry, especially after launching right before COVID. When I worked as a fit model I worked with some incredible designers, and from that experience, I was able to learn the process and steps of creating a design and then building a collection. I never set out to model. I just kind of fell into it, but in the end it taught me the most about design. I’ve never had a formal job, so all those years in the performing arts, in a way, led me to jewelry.
Continuing with your background, how would you say your various living environments, growing up in the South and now living in New York City, have impacted your designs?
Growing up in North Carolina, I was lucky enough to be surrounded by lovely things. I was surrounded by strong sassy women who took pride in everything they did. Whatever my mother and grandmother did, there was always a sense of something special, always presented in a casual but perfect way. We grew up drinking iced tea in crystal glasses with a lovely silver teaspoon, regardless of the occasion. When creating a piece of jewelry I never want it to be too precious and fussy, but rather have it be something that makes you and the moment feel special.
COVID-19 has heavily impacted businesses around the world. How would you say the pandemic has affected your business? What has changed the most as we begin to emerge from the other side of it?
I launched my fine line in Feb 2020, so when COVID hit a few weeks later, I didn’t know how to proceed because all of the plans I had were turned upside down or put on hold, but I wasn’t ready to give up. So, I started reaching out and calling on some of the people that I had met along the way, and connecting with them through social media. The shift to online is definitely here to stay, but there is no substitute for personal relationships. COVID has just reinforced this more than ever.
Being that you aim to make wearable pieces for the everyday woman, how do you manage to continue to create designs that are unique and still make an impact?
I’m continually focused on keeping the quality, price and intention at the forefront of everything that I do and create. When I’m creating something new, I’m obsessed with finding ways to maintain meaningful ways to add symbols and enforce empowerment. I try not to over design or tell the story literally when creating something new, as many of the pieces can have a double meaning.
The shift to becoming an ethical and sustainable company is a challenging one. How did you make the transition, and what were the most difficult aspects?
I was frustrated with the supply chain and quality that was happening when I was manufacturing overseas, and I wanted a business that reflected my own values. I spent a lot of time and energy researching and finding like-minded vendors. It was like starting over, which was difficult but also incredibly rewarding. As I keep building we’ll continue refining those practices and look for more ways to put sustainability into practice.
What is a piece of advice you could give to small businesses making the transition to becoming more ethical and sustainable?
Find your people, and create a strong team that you can rely on and trust. Manufacturing in NYC has been a huge turning point for me in creating a sustainable brand. Working with people who share your values is important and rewarding. When you produce locally, you have more control over what goes into your business.
Empowering women is a key element in your brand. How do you reflect female empowerment within your designs?
I constantly strive to create a brand that is accessibly priced, so that women can buy for themselves. Who doesn’t love fine jewelry as a gift? But I want to create a product that can be a gift to yourself, and what is better than that? As women, we have so much on our plate, as business owners, mothers, and wives, so I wanted to put subtle symbols in each piece as reminders of inspiration and strength, because we could all use a little reminder of those things now and then.
All of your collections have subtle symbolism within each piece. Which of the collections resonates with you most?
The Eye of the Sun. I completed the collection during COVID and it was inspired by a Victor Hugo lyric, “Even the darkest night will end and the sun will shine.” The Marquise stones were the starting point, and then the sunbeams. I didn’t want it to be too literal, but I wanted it to feel bright and substantial and uplifting.
EM has been featured in numerous well-known publications such as Vogue and Forbes. How would you say this has affected both you and your brand?
I’m so grateful for the support I’ve had from these amazing editors and writers, especially during this last year. For me it’s about buyer confidence when you are introducing something new. Having the support of these publications has helped push the brand out and introduced my jewelry to a broader audience.
What would you say inspires you most, and how do you channel that inspiration into your pieces?
NYC is my home, and I’m inspired daily by its perfect imperfections. It’s all about the infinite possibilities that happen there. I’m always learning something new from this city every day or meeting someone who opens up my world and inspires me in a different way. I always say inspiration is everywhere, and I really feel that living in NY.
What is your favorite piece of jewelry to wear?
My Circle of 5th’s Diamond cigar band and my Infinity Hoops. Hoops have always been a daily staple of mine, and I love the simplicity and weight of the cigar band, which I usually stack with my diamond bands. I love how the infinity signs go around the outside of the hoops, creating a texture that isn’t obvious.
What is your recipe for success, and what are the next steps for Elizabeth Moore jewelry?
My recipe for success is to constantly take inspiration from the world around me. The most important thing for me is to surround myself with positive, strong people who inspire, challenge, and push me, even when I am feeling stuck. I stay focused on my vision and what my original intention was when I started this rebranding process. What are the next steps for EM? To continue growing and adding more sustainable practices to my business and, most importantly, to keep creating and connecting.
Elizabeth Moore is redefining what it means to be sustainably chic. To see more of her work, visit www.elizabethmoore.com and follow her @elizabethmoorenyc on Instagram.