Happy Friday! I hope this week has been kind to you. I am really looking forward to the weekend and my normal weekend routine. I am in desperate need of a farmers market trip, some yoga and a good house cleaning session. I’m also running a 5K Saturday morning so pray I survive that. I would love to PR but there are no guarantees for me at that distance. It totally depends on how my body is feeling that morning and whether or not I’m on. Fingers crossed that I’m on! I’m hoping that all this CrossFit I’ve been doing will help with the high intensity of racing a 5K.
I am very excited about today’s post. A couple of months ago Erin McDermott White of Erin McDermott Jewelry reached out to me about sampling some pieces of her jewelry and possibly hosting a giveaway on my blog.
I happily agreed for several reasons. First, Erin’s jewelry is beautiful, unique and striking. Second, Erin lives in Charlotte and works out of her home studio…which just happens to be walking distance from the gym. And finally, Erin is incredibly warm, friendly and clearly passionate about what she does. And you know I support going after your passion and doing things that make you fulfilled and happy. Especially when that translates into the work you do.
I visited Erin’s studio a few weeks ago and talked to her about how she got her start in jewelry making, what inspires her and even got to see her in action.
Erin became interested in making jewelry while she was a student at the University of Virginia. She received a Masters in Elementary Education and a Bachelors in Studio Art. She spent some time studying at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and took jewelry classes as part of her curriculum. She shared with me that she learned everything from design to welding – pretty cool, huh? She came back to Charlottesville and apprenticed with some local artists and began to make her own pieces. She first started selling her jewelry at the Charlottesville market and things have taken off from there.
Erin’s jewelry has been featured in Real Simple, Garden & Gun, Style Me Pretty, Charlotte Magazine and more. She works with a mix of semi-precious stones, sterling silver, glass, freshwater pearls, wood and other unique materials when creating her jewelry. She frequently travels to markets across the East coast in search of inspiration and new materials. I was pretty amazed by her collection of stones alone.
Erin was so generous to make two pieces for me. We discussed doing a turquoise stone on a gold chain because I wear a lot of turquoise jewelry but I don’t have anything in gold. At the last minute, we got the idea to incorporate the purple and I love it. I’ve worn the necklace several times and have received so many compliments every time.
The second piece was a disc necklace. I have wanted one for a long time but the hardest thing was deciding what I wanted it to say. I ended up abandoning English words in favor of the Sanskrit mantra, “Om Namah Shivaya.” Simply put, it means “I bow to Shiva.” This explanation from Meditation Is Easy describes it this way, “Shiva is the supreme reality, the inner self. It is the name given to the consciousness that dwells in all. Shiva is the name of your true identity – your true self.” And if we want to get a little crazier, “According to Hindu mythology, there are three Gods who run this creation. The Brahma – who creates the universe, the Vishnu – who preserves the Universe, and Shiva – who in the end destroys the universe. Though Shiva is considered a destroyer, Shiva also symbolizes the inner self which remains intact even after everything ends.” I picked it up yesterday, put it on and haven’t taken it off. It’s absolutely perfect.
And perhaps the best part of visiting with Erin was meeting her English Bulldog, Sukie.
Erin has offered to give away a piece of her jewelry to not only one, but TWO Peanut Butter Runner readers. All we ask is that you check out her website and tell us what item you would like to have. Also be sure to check out her blog for a peak at how she finds inspiration and to see new pieces. She’s also on Facebook and regularly posts new items and updates. And just an FYI…Erin is so creative and does tons of custom work too. She works with a lot of brides for wedding day jewelry and bridesmaids gifts.
Here are the rules…giveaway open to US residents, one entry per person and you have until midnight on Monday, August 13 to enter.
Happy jewelry-ing! Have a great weekend!