Lightening represents energy, conviction and strength. The Lightening Studs are a delicate, abstract homage to this powerful symbol. Handmade from 14K gold, the thin and long earrings can be worn in several orientations, and are light enough to be worn daily. Kristen Elspeth sources her materials from Los Angeles and New York, and works with local metal-smiths to perfect each design.Read the brand story
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- 14K gold
- Measures a little less than ¾"
- Made in LA
Made by Hand
Made in the U.S.A.
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Kristen Levy, the designer behind Kristen Elspeth, began exploring the jewelry boxes of her mother and grandmother as a young girl, piecing together broken jewels into wearable art for herself. Now, her curiosity and creative spirit is embodied in a line of delicate pieces leveraging a host of natural materials and finished with gold and sterling silver accents. The label’s richly natural taste and imaginative details have gained a loyal following.
Jewelry-making has always been close to Kristen’s heart, and when her side business making and selling pieces began requiring more than just her free time, she founded Kristen Elspeth back in 2001. “I’ve always been making jewelry in some way and knew that was what I wanted to be doing with my time,” she says. Now based in Echo Park, Los Angeles, Kristen Elspeth is a one-woman business run entirely by Kristen, with the help of her fiancé and graphic design aficionado, David.
Kristen starts each morning at 7:30 am with her coffee and daily emails before approaching the work bench to finish up pieces for clients or refine new ideas. When she’s not working from home, Kristen often visits the studio that does the casting, soldering, and plating for her pieces and works with her metal-smithers to perfect her designs. From there she finishes them and makes them into the final piece of jewelry. The whole process never leaves the Los Angeles area, with a majority of the materials sourced locally.
Her current collection’s minimalist and modern aesthetic is rooted in nature, defined by raw materials that make a statement, like the African porcupine quills used to create the signature Trapeze Necklace. Porcupines shed their quills naturally, after which they are carefully gathered and cleaned. Porcupines and their quills represent trust, innocence, invincibility, intelligence, and are symbols of protection from dark spirits. The Bar Studs are a minimalist interpretation of the Quill pieces, and echo the scale-shift that has followed the evolution of her aesthetic. “I started out using smaller quills and and dainty beadwork. As I began working with metals, I also was able to grow the scale in some areas of my work. Some of my pieces are an exaggeration of an idea that started out as something tiny.”