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Geologist turned jewelry designer peels back the curtain on what makes her tick

Posted by Alexis Nido-Russo on


Rhode Island-based designer Erika Young gains inspiration for her stunning line of handcrafted jewelry from the jagged coastline of her home state. Each copper-and-stone piece is perfectly imperfect—just the way we like it.

Five Fast Things to Know About of Erika Young of Lazuli Handcrafted

  1. I have a full-time job as an offshore geophysical surveyor. When I was in pursuing my BS in Geology, I felt this urge to transform the mineral samples that we were studying in class into wearable art. I’ve been making jewelry since I was a kid, I began electroforming a year and a half ago. Of the techniques that I have researched and attempted, electroforming best preserves the raw quality of the materials I use. My work requires frequent travel and the schedule can be inconsistent, so making jewelry at home helps to ground and center me. 

  1. I have a ball exploring greenhouses. There’s a fantastic one called Peckham’s Greenhouse in Little Compton, Rhode Island. There are some gorgeous scenic roads around here, too and I brainstorm in the car all the time. Folks around here tend to share a pride for the state's history and an appreciation for the natural beauty that's all around us.

  1. I really love my moonstone ring. I find moonstone so alluring, like there’s a tiny world inside each stone.  

  1. I wish I'd had some basic business know-how when I first started out.  Because my educational background is in science, I’m learning the rest as I go. I’m lucky that my customers and stockists are typically pretty patient with me.

  1. My personal style is minimalist, boho-beachy, and comfortable, with a hint of vintage. My closet is 80% neutrals, and I really hate spending too much time trying to figure out what to wear.