Jewelry Love: Lauren Milmine Designs
As you well know, I LOVE some baubles.
I am particularly fond of bright, colorful tassels and offbeat numbers.
I am such a fan of this recent find with a distinct southern twist.
Enjoy getting to know
What is your training?
I love sharing that, in fact, I don’t have any formal training in jewelry design. Instead, I actually studied to be a Health Care Attorney!
I have a JD and an MPA and spent my early professional life teaching Health Law to grad students at Georgia Southern and providing legal advice as a healthcare administrator. However, I have always had a love for jewelry and a need to express myself artistically. In 2009, my mom, an interior designer in Atlanta, mailed me a bunch of jewelry supplies she purchased at market in Atlanta, challenging me to “learn how to make it” and including a request to send her and my sisters what I made. That was the moment I truly found my passion! After joyfully welcoming triplets in 2012, I (luckily!) could not return to my legal career. I immersed myself into my passion and continued to hone the craft. After selling to my friends for a while, I discovered that people had a genuine interest in my designs. In 2015, I threw caution to the wind and launched Lauren Milmine Designs. I am so blessed today to do what I love.
What inspires you and your designs & how has your area influenced your work?
My inspiration is rooted in nature, interior design & architecture, and my world travels. My designs are influenced by the beauty of the Georgia coastline where I am fortunate to live; the interior design environment in which I was raised (I love incorporating vintage chandelier chain and vibrant fabrics and trims), and the architecture and rich cultures I have been exposed to in my travels to Turkey, Greece, Italy, Croatia, France, Denmark and Mexico. For example, my spring line includes large, colorful “Aztec Tassels” drawn from the Mayans and a Coastal Collection giving nod to my coastal home and incorporating hand-painted shells, sea glass, and recycled glass beads from Ghana.
What is your favorite piece?
I design a lot of statement pieces and have a favorite pair of statement earrings and a statement necklace. My signature Aztec Tassel Earrings are my absolute favorite earrings. I love the current statement earring trend and these large beaded tassel earrings definitely make a bold and fun statement and come in a variety of bright colors and neutrals. Even better – they are surprisingly light!
I also love my Druzy Quartz Nugget Necklaces. You can dress them up or down and they add a great pop of color for any outfit.
What is your favorite restaurant in (your city)?
Local 1110 is a longtime favorite. I love the casual, simple elegance and modern design that draws from the building’s history as a former 1950’s-era downtown bank. They make a fantastic cocktail and I love sipping a margarita at their scenic rooftop bar to unwind before dinner.
What is your favorite cocktail?
I tend to stick with a vodka soda with a healthy dose of fresh squeezed lime juice. But the spring and summer have so many fun and tasty drinks! I love a cold glass of Rosé or a salt rimmed Margarita on the rocks.
How do you balance personal life and work?
Not very well! I am a mother of 4-year old triplets and the wife of an attorney who works upwards of 60 hours per week. I am the owner, designer and sole employee of my jewelry design business, which I currently operate out of my home. It is amazing on the one hand because I can see my kids whenever I want and take time to do fun things with them throughout the day. Although my family is my first priority, my situation makes it difficult to stick to strict working hours and I often find myself working well into the evening and in all areas of the house! Just yesterday, my kids were trying to tell me where something was and they said “it’s in your office,” when they were actually referring to the dining room, where I have transferred all of my packing and shipping operations. My business has fortunately grown to the point I need to hire some additional help and look for a workspace outside of the home. I am hoping this will help me find more balance. But for now, I am balancing it the best that I can!
I have been fortunate enough to do a lot of traveling and see some of the most beautiful and culturally rich parts of the world, so I only have a handful of bucket list trips I would like to take and a few spots I must see again. My husband and I celebrate our 10th anniversary this year so I have been day dreaming about travel a lot recently. As a mother of preschool triplets, I may only be able to do one big trip until they (and me) are a little older and New Zealand – with its 90-mile beach and endless outdoor adventures- is at the top of my list! We would start with the breathtaking scenery and outdoor recreation – hiking, heli-tours and -skiing fishing, kayaking, rafting, and horseback riding – abundant on the South Island. Queenstown, the granite peaks of Milord Sound, Glenorchy, Lake Wakatipu and The Dart River are a must! From there we would travel over to Christchurch and the nearby snow-capped Southern Alps. It would be an absolute dream come true to take in the shimmering blue glacial waters of Lake Pukaki and Mt. Cook under a cloudless sky. We would cap off our trip relaxing and taking in the beauty of the tropical beaches and indigenous history of the Northland.
There are countless people who have inspired me throughout the years, so it is hard to narrow the field. But Reese Witherspoon is someone I admire for the career and family she’s built so beautifully. And Draper James is quickly becoming a retail force in the south and beyond. I would be honored to create a collection for Draper James and would be over the moon to see her wearing Lauren Milmine Designs herself!
Your favorite host / hostess gift to give?
I love the LAFCO candles, which have fun names for the rooms they suggest you burn them in.
Who is your style icon?
I love the 70s and think Laura Hutton and Bianca Jagger encapsulate both the bohemian and glam styles off the 1970’s.
More modern day style icons are Kate Hudson and Kate Bosworth. They both have a 70’s glam vibe about them as well as an effortless, chic, bohemian and feminine style. I love how Kate Bosworth takes risks and is on the cutting edge of fashion, yet often chooses minimalist designs with clean lines for timeless style.
Your favorite up and coming artist?
That is also tough since I am a new artist myself! I am currently obsessing over Lele Sadoughi; and although she is hardly an up and coming designer, she started her own line a few years ago and it is off-the-charts amazing.
What is your most treasured possession?
My engagement ring. It belonged to my husband’s grandmother before me and has a unique mine cut focal diamond, which they stopped making in the 1920s. He inherited it and updated it with some shank diamonds to personalize it for me. I love its beauty and the history and sentiment that I carry with me everyday.
What are you reading?
I love to read, but as a small business owner and mother of young triplets, I don’t have the opportunity to sit down and read very often. I love listening to books via Audible and am currently listening to The Kitchen House.
What are you listening to?
It varies depending on my mood. I tend to gravitate to Classic and Indie Rock. I have been listening to Paul Simon a lot recently because I will finally be seeing him live in St. Augustine in June! He is such a brilliant songwriter and I love the African and Brazillian influences on his music.
What are your favorite blogs / publications?
I love Garden & Gun, Coastal Living, InStyle, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Southern Living, and Savannah Magazine. As for blogs, I am obsessed with the Polished Jewelry Blog – it is SO eclectic and inspirational! Some of my other favorite blogs are Caroline Harper’s House of Harper, Monica Lavin’s The Lavin Label, Macy Stucke’s Stuck on Style, Ashley Stamoulis’s Suthingirl, Morgan Hutchinson’s Buru, Mandy Kellog Rye’s Waiting on Martha and the Well Code, and Luisa Hammett’s Peaches to Pearls, and of course– The English Room for a design and style fix.
All photos by Teresa Earnest Photography
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