Before Lauren Newton found herself at a bench inspired to create jewelry with character, she was a zoologist at the Central Park Zoo. Her journey from zoologist to jewelry is not as surprising as it sounds. You often find nods to science, animals and nature hidden in all she creates.
The Jewelry Edit had the opportunity to talk to Newton.
How did you come up with the name/concept for your company?
I chose my name to represent my work for two main reasons, I am a one woman show so everything is designed by me and or handled by me in some manner. Also someone told me my name sounded like a scientist's name, which speaks to my former career so I think it just works.
Where do you look for inspiration when designing pieces?
I look for inspiration everywhere but find myself drawn to design with aspects and silhouettes taken from nature, but also pop culture and themes that invoke a sense of nostalgia.
What are your favorite types of pieces to design?
Rings! I love rings, they are the workhorse of jewelry pieces, they represent so many things and so many important milestones in people’s lives.
What’s your favorite type of material to wear/work with?
I love wearing gold, 18k specifically, although many of my favorite vintage pieces are in 14k. 18k is also my favorite material to work in. It’s strong, but very forgiving and I think is the perfect material to set stones in.
How would you describe your style?
I definitely think that my style has been influenced by my past career as an educator and caring for animals. I definitely value minimalism, comfort and utility and use jewels as a way to accessorize any outfit. I like to layer chains and pile on rings and switch those frequently, but I usually have one pair of hoops I live in.
Who/what are your biggest style influences?
This is a hard one because I came into jewelry from a fabrication angle, so I definitely learned about building and production details before I even thought about design. I am very drawn to Victorian and Edwardian jewelry, old and European cut diamonds, and appreciate anything that has a story and is worn through a persons whole life.
What was the first piece of jewelry you remember buying for yourself?
The first real piece of jewelry I bought myself was a gold and diamond necklace. I still have it, it’s a little fancy for everyday wear but still reflects the low key style choices I still make today.
What’s the most special piece of jewelry you own? What’s the story behind it?
I would have to say my engagement ring. As a jeweler, naturally I designed it but the center stone was selected by my husband and the ring was crafted in platinum by one of my best friends. It has a hidden L and J in the design.
What’s one piece of jewelry you wear often, that you can’t live without?
Hoop earrings definitely but secondarily gold rings.
How many pieces of jewelry do you usually wear at any given time? What are they?
I live in a pair of hoops and several stud earrings. Each day I switch up my chain selection from 1-3 chains/ charms at a time, and I definitely change my rings daily, between 2-3 on each hand.
Why do you think it’s important for people to wear jewelry?
I think jewelry reflects personality, individualism. I was one of our first adornments as humans, before our ancestors even wore clothing. It doesn't have to be expensive, just something that speaks to who you are and what you love.
What’s something people should keep in mind when shopping for jewelry?
I would say buy something that is the perfect meeting of what you like and what your budget will allow. Don't follow trends, buy what you see yourself reaching for time and again.
What draws customers in to purchase jewelry from your collection?