On Art, Business, and Learning to Trust Yourself
Plus, a jewelry giveaway.
One of my great joys is talking with people who are deeply passionate about something. Whether it’s their job, artistic practice, family, hobby…I find there is always a universality to their stories, struggles, and advice that applies to us all.
Such is the case with today’s guest, Vanessa Lianne, the designer behind Vanessa Lianne Jewelry. Her pieces have been featured on the cover of Vogue, and in the pages of Brides, Cosmopolitan, InStyle, Martha Stewart Weddings, The New York Times and more. (She is also the designer of my favorite signet ring, which I wear every day. Read on for a chance to win one of your own.)
Here, Vanessa shares a behind-the-scenes glimpse of life as an artist and business owner, how her lowest moment taught her to finally trust herself, and seven easy tips to select and style jewelry in a way that feels meaningful and authentic to you.
When did you first fall in love with jewelry?
I’ve loved jewelry for as long as I can remember; I was fascinated by it before I could talk. As a kid, I knew the jewelry collection of every adult in my life—when I think back on my friends’ parents, I don’t remember their names, but I can picture their bracelets. My grandmother had an amazing collection of costume jewelry, and I would play with it for hours.
When I was seven, I went to the bead store for the first time, which was a revelation. I started by making Fimo beads, which I would tie with hemp and try to sell to my sisters’ classmates. But I always felt limited because I had all these ideas I couldn’t make from the findings in stores. I wanted to fabricate my own metal and create the designs in my head.
When did you know you wanted to pursue jewelry as a career?
I didn’t know any creatives growing up, so I didn’t realize “jewelry designer” was an actual job. I also didn’t consider myself an artist because I wasn’t good at drawing—like many people, I had very conventional, limited ideas of what an “artist” was. One day while I was at college, I looked up the curriculum of a jewelry school, and when I saw the classes, I started to cry. You could take wax carving and stone setting and have them count toward your degree! I promised myself that once I was done with school, I would pursue jewelry.