Who is Elizabeth Cole?
Elizabeth Cole Jewelry was born from a love of beautiful things and an appreciation for the inherent power of jewelry to make you look and feel your very best. From a young age, we’d both heard stories from our mother of the darling dresses that our Granny had made for her and our aunt (I believe some of those dresses are still hanging in our mom’s closet). Mom always lamented the fact that she didn’t inherit Granny’s sewing skills– and while Granny’s sewing skills didn’t seem to skip a generation and land on either one of us, her fashion sense and creativity certainly found a new home in her youngest grandchild, Stephanie. Stephanie started creating jewelry after a trip to the local bead store enabled her to create a fun pair of earrings for a very reasonable price. Throughout high school and college, Stephanie tinkered, repurposed, played and explored with vintage jewelry, frequented the local craft and bead stores and found joy in creating beautiful things that she and her friends (and sister of course) could wear.
When Stephanie found herself back in Southern California after graduating college, she landed a job at a boutique Fashion, Lifestyle and Beauty PR Firm promoting an array of beautiful products. However, the firm’s client roster was missing a jewelry brand. Therefore, when the editors and stylists Stephanie met with requested the jewelry line that she herself was wearing, she said “No problem, we can get you some more of this jewelry”. So in that year (2004-2005), Stephanie found herself sending jewelry to celebrities such as Faith Hill, Paula Abdul, Alicia Keys and Drew Barrymore. And when Joss Stone wore a collection of Stephanie’s necklaces for her performance at the Grammy’s in 2005, it seemed that perhaps designing and selling jewelry might be the better career path than promoting other designers’ products. And so, Elizabeth Cole was born in May 2005.
And who exactly is Elizabeth Cole? Why, I am. My name is Elizabeth Cole Owen but everyone knows me as Beth. I am Stephanie’s older sister and have been her business partner at Elizabeth Cole since 2011. Together,she and I have grown Elizabeth Cole and find joy not only in working together, but also in supporting and empowering women, both our customers and our employees (all of whom are women) through the creation of beautiful jewelry. Perhaps it was Granny’s fashionable influence, but Stephanie and I have always felt strongly that the right accessory not only elevates an outfit, but elevates how a woman feels. For thousands of years, jewelry has been a symbol of power and wealth – there’s a reason that a jewel encrusted crown has been the symbol of royalty for kings and queens throughout time and around the world. When Coco Channel first made jewelry more accessible with what she deemed “costume jewelry”, that same feeling of power that Kings and Queens had long enjoyed, now became attainable by the many rather than only by the few. At Elizabeth Cole Jewelry, Stephanie and I strive to continue the legacy of making fun, flirtatious, empowering jewelry available to women around the world.
Elizabeth Cole’s first steps were in our parents’ garage in Southern California (because let’s be honest, all good things come out of a garage 😉) where Stephanie painstakingly and lovingly crafted each and every design and piece. However, it wasn’t long before she discovered a little known fact, Rhode Island is the Costume Jewelry Capital of the World and has been since the mid 1800s. With the advent of the gold plating process by Nehemlah Dodge in Providence in 1794, a new jewelry making process and industry was born. By 1830, over 25 partnerships were operating and creating jewelry in Providence and by the turn of the 20th century, there were over 200.
Rhode Island still boasts a rich heritage of findings houses and jewelry artisans that keep the art of jewelry making alive and in 2009, Stephanie relocated to Rhode Island and brought Elizabeth Cole with her. To date, each and every piece is handcrafted in Rhode Island and we are delighted to play a part in maintaining Rhode Island's heritage and to be a company that is Proudly Made in the USA.