As part of our first series of collaborations with talented small business owners we were so excited to work with Erin Myles of Wanderluxe Design. Her creations reflect a fantastic style that backend back to prairie and Native American design in a cool, fresh way. Erin has become an expert in metalsmithing through her business and we asked her to share her story in her own words. Here is the journey of Erin Myles and Wanderluxe.
I began my adventure with jewelry design in college. I was originally a ceramics major at UMASS but switched to a double major with jewelry/metalsmithing after taking an introductory metalsmithing class. I've always considered myself more of a craftsperson than an artist, so college was tough for me in that everything had to be "art". If a piece wasn't about your dead grandmother or your struggle with gender equality it wasn't valid. I was just interested in making beautiful well-made objects. I was, and still am, very interested in pattern and repetition. Most of my inspiration at that time came from Japanese and Islamic pattern and Indian Mehendi hand painting.
I entered the costume jewelry industry after college where I designed for many of the stores you find at the mall. That was super fun for a long time, but I began to feel like I was just filling the world with stuff. It wasn't well-considered and it didn't support a local community of manufacturers that still exist in RI where I live. Everything is mass-produced overseas and I wanted to make a contribution that was more personal and local. I know my work will wind up in the hands of a few people who love it instead of a garbage can.
Wanderluxe is the medium between my college and workforce experience. I'm happy now to work with local manufacturers who help with some of my processes. All of the components used are sourced from local chain and rhinestone manufacturers. Each casted piece in the Wanderluxe line is original, hand drawn by me and I hand embroider each piece in my studio. I'm happy that I can be attached to the making process again. I feel like I'm creating something original, refreshing and responsible.
In the future I would like to share some of my other passions with the world. I will be sharing homemade apothecary recipes on my blog along with a monthly studio playlist. Right now I'm experimenting with making natural skin care goods and fragrances. I've taken the time to source responsible suppliers in the U.S. so if and when I introduce a new product line it will be in keeping with my ultimate goals of transparency and responsibility.
To learn more about Erin and Wanderluxe, hop over to her website at www.wanderluxedesign.com and follow her journey on Instagram by following her handle @wanderluxejewelry.